HTC is opening a non-fungible token (NFT) store soon that its says will host all forms of digital art, including AR, VR, and XR pieces.

The store, which will open on December 17th, is set to first offer NFTs featuring the works of Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha (1860–1939), which is being offered as a part of a collaboration with the Mucha Foundation.

The NFT sale will coincide with the opening of the ‘Mucha to Manga – The Magic of the Line’ exhibition in Taipei.

Here’s a video in Chinese about the show displaying some of Mucha’s iconic art.

The store is said to offer complete control over the number of NFT editions and the format of the sale, with both fiat and crypto currencies accepted as payment.

HTC says a new NFT series will come to the store each month until April 2022, which will conclude with what it describes as “a special auction.”

For those of us in the VR space, all of this may seem a bit out of left field for the company, which over the years has built itself a significant niche in creating enterprise VR hardware. HTC is no stranger to jumping on the crypto bandwagon though. In 2019 the company released Exodus 1, a blockchain-focused smartphone that acts as a hardware wallet for storing cryptocurrency among other things.

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How NFTs fit into all of that, well, there’s no telling how deep of a commitment the store actually represents. The company’s VIVE Arts initiative has been involved in bringing art-themed content to Viveport, but moreover it bringing VR to cultural institutions in limited-time exhibitions at the Tate Modern, London’s Royal Academy of Arts, Taipei’s National Palace Museum, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris, Washington D.C.’s Newseum, and St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum since its founding in 2017.

Granted, NFT auctions are a far cry from bringing art to the masses—they primarily function as crypto-investment vehicles—although the earning potential for both the creators and buyers can’t be overstated.

The storied Christie’s auction house oversaw the sale of one NFT for $69 million back in March, something many NFT creators have hoped to replicate. Whether HTC makes those sort of headlines isn’t certain. At least Alphonse Mucha didn’t exclusively paint bored apes.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Holdup

    Funny they did a Chinese theme first when China actually banned crypto, NFT and video games recently.

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    • Actually HTC is from Taipei, and in fact the video is in traditional Chinese. I don’t want to enter into political debates about Taiwan, but for sure we all agree that in that isle things are quite different from the mainland…

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    • Bob

      Not videogames. They’ve just enforced a very strict time limit for minors (3 hours maximum per week).

  • Ad

    This is entirely a scam that helps no one. Nothing NFTs do couldn’t be done better with Dropbox, local hosting, torrenting, literally anything but this. They could just give you the files when you pay for them, then you’d have them. They could be tied to an account with a clause to release them if the platform goes under. Anything. NFTs don’t store the work, they server hosting them can go down at any time and it’s gone, and since the damn server exists why not just connect to it normally?!? This was all possible decades ago and doesn’t have a reason to be introduced now. This is simply a way to bring the rancid physical art market, which is purely a vehicle for money laundering, to a digital form so it can become truly grotesque. It’s an affront to art and it actually doesn’t help artists in any appreciable way.

    Interesting note, Beeple’s sale was actually a scam. The person who bought it was part of a crypto investment company that needed the headlines it would generate. They also owned his previous works and one of the oldest tricks in the book is to bid high on the artists next work so that your previous purchases shoot up in value. You can even use them to pay your taxes or get write offs. On top of that, Beeple himself said he didn’t think the work would be purchased for more than a thousand dollars, and it’s incredibly poor as a piece of art with tons of low effort memery and bad political imagery with no message. It’s value isn’t subjective, it’s fabricated to boost a Ponzi scheme/tulip bubble.

    Real people don’t get art with a certificate, and the only unique value a piece of art can have is that it’s sentimental, which can neither be captured or traded with an NFT.

    • ViRGiN

      Replace HTC with Valve, and you would suddenly be 1000% behind the idea.

      • xyzs

        Get a grip with Valve…

        • ViRGiN

          Totally pro consumer and pro developer, still farming that 30% on every purchase, farming for over a decade. Get woke and start demanding more commitment.

          • xyzs

            They are also the only company to use some of their money to fund gaming on linux and precious open source projects that contribute to making things less Microsoft centric.
            Thanks to Valve, we can dream of a high quality linux support for playing games on a OS that is not an advertising bloated blob piece of crap.

          • ViRGiN

            Thanks to Valve, you can dream indeed. Linux lost consumer os wars. Windows penetrated too deep.

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      Just go with this in style… pay in Bitcoins!

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    • KingArt

      NFT is just a crypto record to forge the owner to a LINK to the artwork. If the hosts forgot to pay the domain name fees or decided not to host the server, the NFT is gone forever, unless you “right click and save to”. Which we all can. Also it is NOT decentralized because the NFT platforms do the seller identify verifications and run the sales platform. So it is CENTRALIZED.

  • KingArt

    BS. My first VR headset was a HTC Vive Pro 1. Just got a Quest 2 last month. I have tested Vive Pro 2. Can’t be compared at all. Quest 2 Airlink works so well. Beats HTC in every way. HTC RIP. Together with your NFT please. I have always hated FB but the Quest 2 and platform is just superb. (I don’t VR for FB socializing)