The UK Government has announced it's getting into non-fungible tokens with the reveal of a planned 'Royal Mint' NFT for this summer. UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has asked the 136-year-old institution that makes the UK's currency to come up with a new digital token to lead its "financial market infrastructure sandbox", as the press release states.
An NFT is a digital asset that exists on a blockchain, a record of transactions that are kept on networked computers. To learn more about NFTs take a look at our guide, what are NFTs?, or our feature on how to make and sell an NFT.
But there appears to be a mistake in the Royal Mint's launch logo. Have you spotted it? The graphic used to launch its first NFT has what appears to be misplaced dots – it's the kind of basic error you learn to avoid at college. The two dots at the top of the logo are neatly placed and regular, while the bottom left dot has drifted and the bottom right dot has merged into the logo. Take a look below.
Others have spotted the apparent gaff too, with some on Twitter poking fun and referencing the Royal Mint's history for errors – in 2021 they issued a H.G. Wells commemorative £2 coin with a four-legged tripod.
It could be designed that way for a reason. Some on Twitter have also suggested the design could tease how each Royal Mint NFT will be slightly different, with moving dots. Perhaps the misplaced, travelling dots represent some kind of decentralised action. Even if it is a design choice, we can't help see it as a mistake.
The announcement of the UK Government and the Royal Mint's first NFT project was followed up by more details of an idea to make the UK a "global cryptoasset hub". It's a bold plan to bring Stablecoins – cryptocurrencies that are directly tied to fiat (physical) currency – into regulation and legislate for a "financial market infrastructure sandbox". Whatever that means.
Chancellor @RishiSunak has asked @RoyalMintUK to create an NFT to be issued by the summer.This decision shows the the forward-looking approach we are determined to take towards cryptoassets in the UK. pic.twitter.com/cd0tiailBKApril 4, 2022
It's a little unclear what the UK Government has planned for its NFT project, it could simply be a collectible like the many physical coins the Royal Mint (opens in new tab) creates each year. Or it could be more, such as a way to invest directly in UK start-ups, art projects, art schools and more. What is clear is the UK Government has recognised cryptocurrencies and NFTs can't be ignored any longer.
This won't be the first nation state to mint an NFT, as there's already a Ukraine conflict NFT to help the people of that country. NFTs can be confusing, and the Royal Mint's apparent design error doesn't make it easier to trust this project will offer anything new or sustainable. It will, however, be interesting to see where this goes as it could lead to a broader use of NFTs.