JR Kyushu Releases NFT Service “JR Kyushu NFT” Adopted by Astar Network
Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu) has officially launched its own NFT (non-fungible token) sales site. The innovative new service, aptly named “JR Kyushu NFT,” utilizes the Astar Network (ASTR), a public blockchain originating from Japan.
The primary aim of JR Kyushu NFT is to forge deeper connections with users and unveil the untapped potential and allure of Kyushu by providing NFT content through its sales platform. These unique tokens will serve as digital mementos that commemorate and validate experiences related to “visiting, riding, and using” JR Kyushu services. The NFTs acquired through JR Kyushu NFT come with tangible benefits for their owners, enhancing the allure of owning these digital collectibles.
As a part of the exciting new service, JR Kyushu has launched the first sales product called the “Kamome Series.” This collection features six types of trains that have been operational in Kyushu over the years. Each train is commercialized and sold as an NFT in a captivating video (slide movie) format, priced at 3,300 yen, with a limit of 100 NFTs per train. Furthermore, users who collect all six types of Kamome NFTs will be rewarded with a special “Kamome NFT” as a bonus.
One of the noteworthy aspects of JR Kyushu NFT is that it facilitates the purchase of NFT content using Japanese yen rather than the typical cryptocurrencies. This approach opens the doors to a broader user base, making NFTs more accessible and appealing to people who might not be familiar with cryptocurrency transactions. Additionally, the platform offers a user-friendly wallet linked to the sales site, compatible with popular browsers such as Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge.
For new users, the onboarding process is streamlined, enabling them to set up an ID and password on the site and create a “ValueBase Wallet” offered by Japan’s CryptoLab. Moreover, existing users with a major cryptocurrency wallet, Metamask, can seamlessly integrate and utilize the service by switching their network ID to 592 (ASTR).
The backbone of this groundbreaking initiative is the Astar Network, a public blockchain with Japanese origins that has been deployed on an international scale. This network supports both Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and WebAssembly (WASM), making it an ideal environment for developers to build decentralized applications (dApps) for both Web2 and Web3 platforms.
The notion of NFTs isn’t entirely novel to Japan, as there have been previous examples of successful campaigns involving these unique digital assets. In the spring of 2011, Hakuhodo collaborated with Calbee and CryptoGames to launch an NFT chips campaign featuring “Calbee Potato Chips with NFT,” which garnered significant attention.
Driving the development of Astar Network is Stake Technologies, led by CEO Sota Watanabe. His venture, Startale Labs, a distributed web (Web3) service development company, took flight in January 2021. Startale Labs later embarked on a Web3-related startup support initiative in collaboration with Sony Network Communications Inc. in March.
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