A carpet given by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Pope Francis as a gift in September 2016 has been sold as a non-fungible token (NFT) for 25 ETH (~$81,500 as of press time) on a marketplace called NFTONE, according to Khaleej Times.
While the physical version of the carpet remains with Pope Francis, the proceeds from the digital version will be used to provide aid to families in Afghanistan. Musfir Khawaja, co-founder of NFTONE, says the sale might be the "most iconic" in the Middle East. He added:
The buyer will get the physical replica of the carpet besides an ornate gold frame on a 165 cm digital canvas with the NFT loaded on it.
However, this won't be the last NFT sale from NFTONE as the digital carpet was one of six pieces that were unveiled at Abu Dhabi Art. It remains unclear though, if other NFT auctions will also be used to support families from South Asia.
As To The Moon reported earlier, Pakistani artist Maliha Abidi also joined the NFT market with her own collection called "Women Rise." Speaking to SCMP, Abidi said she wants to donate part of the proceeds from the sale to advocacy groups that supports equal rights for women like the Malala Fund.
Last year, Jon Burgerman from New York donated 4,000 BUSDs — a Binance-issued stablecoin — earned from selling NFTs to the Binance food initiative in Uganda. Helen Hai, head of Binance charity and NFT, believes that digital collectibles have "intrinsic value that can appreciate over time," which is why donating through an NFT "may provide a relatively higher value."