It seems that there are few limits when it comes to what can be turned into an NFT, and Nelson Mandela’s original arrest warrant in digitalized form certainly speaks to this sentiment.
The warrant, which was for treason, has been “specially minted and will be available 61 years after it was first issued,” said Momint, the start-up auctioneer in a statement. They express that it is an exceptionally valuable NFT, considering Madiba’s legacy.
To those looking in from the outside of the NFT world, the news may seem confusing. To some of those on the inside, it may seem like the perfect prize marking the epitome of the struggle years. To others, it may seem obscure to capitalise on such a delicate portion of a country’s history.
Some of the proceeds of the auction will benefit Liliesleaf Farm Museum, once a spot used by the ANC as discreet headquarters during the struggle years. It is the current home of the original, physical warrant.
It is understood to be what was used to arrest Mandela – his damning paper. Liliesleaf foundation director Nicholas Wolpe expressed that it is the only copy known to exist, as per AFP.
Whichever way you may see the cookie crumble, the auction is set to take place this weekend in Cape Town at the Grand Africa Café and Beach.
How could it work as an NFT?
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs can best be understood as a ‘unique’ token, kind of like a one-of-a-kind trading card, as the Verge’s Mitchell Clark explains. Often compared to crypto-currencies, a striking difference between the two, comes from the non-fungible versus fungible aspect. Cryptocurrencies are fungible, whereas NFTs are not. However, the two use the same technology to issue digital tokens, like purchasing artwork with proof that it is an original.
The auction follows the huge NFT auction in 2021 that sold another anti-apartheid icon, Oliver Tambo’s spy ‘pen gun’.