February 23, 2024

Air Nippon Airways (ANA), a prominent Japanese airline, has launched its own online marketplace for the trade, sale, and purchase of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Called the “ANA GranWhale NFT Marketplace,” this platform is themed around aeronautics. The marketplace will be under the oversight of ANA subsidiary, called ANA Neo. This development may give Web3 adoption just that extra nudge in Japan, given that an estimated 4.6 million passengers fly with ANA per year. With this NFT marketplace, ANA passengers will get an avenue to experience the Web3 sector.

The first collection went live on ANA GranWhale on May 30. It showcases the works of Luke Ozawa, an aerial photographer, in the form of digital collectibles, also called NFTs.

Each NFT from this series will be priced JPY 100,000 (roughly Rs.59,160). This collection will also be offering one special NFT as part of an auction, which will bring along the positive film of this photograph.

The second collection on the platform will go live on June 7. This series will show the special painting machine of the first Boeing 787. A total of 1,574 NFTs will be part of this collection with each priced at JPY 7,870 (roughly Rs. 4,656).


Buyers will be able to purchase NFTs via this platform using their debit and credit cards

Along with ANA, NFTs from three other companies will be listed for sale on this platform, the names of which remain undisclosed for now.

“With a view to commercialising NFT products such as specialty products from various parts of Japan, we aim to improve the value of customer experience, including local and overseas, through the ‘GranWhale NFT Marketplace’,” a report by Watch.Impress quoted ANA as saying.

Japan’s prime minister Fumio Kashida has been on a hunt to find ‘new capitalism’ solutions to boost the country’s economy. In May last year, Kishida had said that Japan would develop and foster a promotional environment for Web3, blockchain, NFTs, and the metaverse.

As per the Japanese authorities, crypto technology in itself is not to be blamed for risking the financial stability of crypto investors. Rather, it’s the lack of rules governing the sector that has not been able to make the sector safe to engage with.

In terms of NFTs and the metaverse sectors as well, Japan is accelerating efforts to become a hotspot.

The gaming community of Asia churns a big chunk of revenue. In its latest research report, DappRadar said the Asian nations of India, China, Japan, and South Korea collectively have over 1.7 billion video game players, and this big number has attracted the Web3 gaming community to lay their focus in this market on priority.

“Anime-based NFT collections have recently gained notable traction, comprising 10.73 percent of the top 1000 NFT collections’ trading volume,” the report said.

It is only natural, that native Japanese brands are exploring avenues to integrate Web3 elements with their offerings and operations.

NFTs, for now, are not clearly defined under Japanese law. Their legal status in Japan reportedly varies depending on their specific functions.

ANA, however, is not the only airlines that has taken a pro-Web3 step in recent times.

In April last year, Emirates airline from the UAE jumped on the metaverse and NFT wagon.

“Emirates has always embraced advanced technologies to improve our business processes, enhance our customer offering, and enrich our employees’ skills and experiences,” HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman of Emirates, had said in a statement at the time.

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