You can now buy Syed Saddiq’s face as an NFT, in the name of charity10 stycznia, 2022
If you’ve ever thought, “Boy, I sure want to own some art of Syed Saddiq’s face, and I want it as an NFT”, we’ve got news for you.
On a more serious note though, yes, the member of Parliament for Muar has collaborated with a charity organisation called NFT4HOPE to release a collection of NFTs, called Muar Sejiwa.
According to him and NFT4HOPE, the goal of this collection is to raise funds for the nation’s flood victims. The funds will be used for various welfare initiatives including providing food baskets and educational apparatus like laptops/tablets to provide the low income bracket with access to education.
Currently, there are 3 main types of Syed Saddiq NFTs under the collection that we can see up for grabs on NFT marketplace OpenSea: 1 Ultra Rare (called Metamorphosis), 10 Super Rare, and 20 Rare.
None of them have fixed prices, so it appears that interested buyers will have to bid for a piece. Metamorphosis currently has one offer priced at 0.05 ETH (about RM664.40 at the time of writing).
Behind the canvas
These paintings of Saddiq were created by Malaysian contemporary artist, Jaee Tee. She’s well-versed in media like oil, acrylic, Chinese ink, charcoal, and more.
To create Metamorphosis, she digitalised an oil painting she made of Saddiq before adding digital effects to create something that looks like an evolving gif.
Syed Saddiq’s NFTs: Super Rare, a frame of Ultra Rare (Metamorphosis), Rare (left to right)
On her own site, she writes that she specialises in using texture to create strong emotional content, particularly a sense of tension between her work and the viewer.
NFT4HOPE is a publisher of digital collectibles for individuals and organisations to monetise their intellectual property, but each individual issuer of NFTs will be vetted based on the potential impact of the projects.
In the site’s own words, each NFT will only be minted “should their intent align with the common good for significant impact for the world.”
There are no clear criteria on how each submitted NFT is judged though, so it’s hard to say what kind of specific impact NFT4HOPE is looking to make.
The bigger picture
The current main objective is to positively impact victims of the flood, but Saddiq’s larger ambition behind this move is to secure a different fundraising strategy for the Muar constituency in the long run.
Saddiq and his team appear to have been quite active in charitable efforts on the ground, most recently seen with the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance’s (MUDA) donation drive for the floods that exceeded RM2 million.
Throughout, something that Saddiq has also been vocalising is the lack of federal aid or the long wait for it, which is why he’s looking to fundraising via NFTs as the change in method that they need.
Upon looking into the minter of the Muar Sejiwa collection on OpenSea, it appears that there is a Muar Sejiwa V2 collection too, but it’s unclear if it’s a subcategory of the first collection.
The Muar Sejiwa V2 collection
Some other influential figures that NFT4HOPE will be collaborating with to create collections include Shafie Apdal, ex-chief minister of Sabah, and Deborah Henry, TV host and co-founder of social enterprise Fugee School.
NFTs being used for charitable purposes aren’t a new concept, with some earlier instances being the KitaJaga app doing just that in the local scene.
But a few questions remain regarding the project:
Will NFT4HOPE be taking any operating costs from each transaction, and if so, how much would they be?Will the allocation of the funds be transparent to the public?What security measures are in place for safeguarding the collected funds?Are the NFTs issued audited? If not, will there be any plans to audit them to ensure there will be no loopholes?
Personally, I find the use of NFTs in charity to be an odd concept to grasp still. I’m of the opinion that someone who wants to donate to charity can just do it without expecting anything back in return.
Perhaps the usage of NFTs in charity is meant to target a different audience though, one that wouldn’t normally be driven to donate unless there’s an incentive to do so.
In a way, that could further grow a community of charitable Malaysians, and in some cases, encourage some donators to funnel larger sums of money to a good cause.
(Some may argue that the environmental cost of NFTs undermines any good intentions behind charity-driven NFT projects, but that’s a whole other potential article.)
You can learn more about NFT4HOPE here.Read more NFT related articles here.
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Featured Image Credit: Syed Saddiq / NFT4HOPE