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China’s Neo reveals phygital device, aims to catalyze NFT activity

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Neo, a blockchain in China building what they describe as a Smart Economy and once a stiff competitor of Ethereum, has unveiled OneBand, a phygital NFT device.

Neo unveils OneBand

In a Medium post on April 22, Neo said OneBand is a physical ring cryptographically tied to a non-fungible token (NFT). 

The physical ring and the NFT, Neo clarifies, are intrinsically linked since the ring is embedded with a near-field communication (NFC) chip and a censored BIP32 master key. 

The BIP32 master key standard has been adopted broadly. It would allow NFT and OneBand holders to quickly authenticate their assets across all market segments. NFC is the same technology used by debit and credit card providers like Mastercard and Visa. 

OneBand is created in partnership with COZ and AxLabs. They will demonstrate how the ring works at the Consensus 2023 in Austin, Texas.  

OneBand is an innovation Neo says can broaden NFT use cases and securely accelerate the linkage between the digital and real-worlds.

An extract reads:

“There are so many things you could do in the worlds of POAP, brand activations, game interactions, verifications, financial transactions, and more. The ability to securely embed an NFT asset within a physical asset and have it interact with the real world is a nascent frontier.”

Neo also stated that each ring would be bundled with a developer kit. This way, interested developers, including artists, can create projects leveraging their technology. By trialing their system, developers would also have a chance to explore Neo’s ecosystem and features, including a single-block finality and multi-language smart contract support.

N3 rollout and integration in China’s BSN

While Neo aims to spur NFT activity on the mainnet, the blockchain lags behind competitors, especially Ethereum. 

It is despite the full rollout of N3, the enhanced version of the Neo mainnet, and the integration into China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN) in early 2022. 

As part of the BSN, users in China can access NFT marketplaces in Neo. NFTs minted on Neo and across the BSN ecosystem have been renamed Decentralized Digital Certificates (DDCs) to differentiate themselves from NFTs stamped in other jurisdictions, including Europe and the United States. DDCs comply with rules and regulations set by Chinese authorities.  

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