A total of seven mayors received the NFT awards for various initiatives they undertook to ease the lives of the public in their respective regions.
The Japanese government has become one of the first to issue nonfungible tokens (NFTs) as a form of supplementary rewards to recognize the work of local authorities who have excelled at using digital technology to solve local challenges.
The awards were handed out by the Cabinet Secretariat, a government agency that is headed by the nation’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno during the “Summer Digi Denkoshien 2022” ceremony. The event was also attended by the country’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Seven mayors received recognition for their cities’ ideas centered on the digital economy. Among them was the mayor of Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture, whose administration suggested using electric vehicles for local deliveries. An NFT prize was also given to Maebashi in the Gunma Prefecture for their idea for a platform that uses cameras on mobile devices to track changes in traffic conditions in real-time.
The Ethereum based proof-of-attendance (POAP) NFTs were issued through Hazama Base; the same platform previously used to distribute NFTs at an event held by the Liberal Democratic Party Youth Bureau. The assets are non-transferable, and therefore cannot be sold on the secondary market.
Japan is known as a pro-technology and innovative country where crypto has been regulated by the government as a trading asset. The country’s prime minister has also shared interest in the use of NFTs on a number of occasions in the past. Thus, the recent initiative from the government could become a tradition to carry forward.
NFTs gained a lot of traction during the peak of the bull run, however, with the downturn in the crypto market, the NFT market has seen a steep decline in interest as well. With many pundits quick to dismiss NFTs as a bull run fueled mania, initiatives taken by the Japanese government highlight the adoption of the nascent tech beyond market.