In the third of our four-part series on the redevelopment of Phnom Penh Train Station, The Post looks at the newly opened Royal Train Square becoming home to the Kingdom’s first ever NFT marketplace.
Based out of Royal Train Square – Phnom Penh’s newly opened arts, culture and F&B hub – the Kingdom’s first marketplace for NFTs – non-fungible tokens – is set to revolutionise the Cambodian arts scene.
Krama NFT Marketplace at Royal Train Square is to provide a highly sought-after service in line with the explosion of NFTs and Cambodia’s art renaissance, as the historic building witnesses the continued growth of a very 21st century phenomenon.
“It is great honour to be involved in returning the Phnom Penh Train Station back to its former glory, and to witness the ‘grand old lady’ returning to her rightful position at the centre of the capital as a place where people can meet, dine and relax in beautiful surroundings.
“With the iconic building set to celebrate its 90th anniversary next year, it is particularly apt for Royal Train Square to be the base for Krama NFT Marketplace as Cambodia embraces the latest blockchain technology, just as it was the centre for the Kingdom’s new railway system back in 1932,” said Scott Bolls, the managing director of Royal Train Square.
An NFT marketplace is a dedicated platform for storing and trading NFTs, and items can have a fixed price or be bought at auction.
And the creation of Krama NFT Marketplace comes with sales of value token-based artwork increasing dramatically, while physical art declines with galleries closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
In April, for example, Everydays: the First 5000 Days by Beeples – a digital artwork in JPEG form – was sold by Christie’s auction house for $69.3 million.
Jesse McCaul, Krama’s communications director, said the Kingdom’s first NFT marketplace reflects the global move towards digitalisation and will be of huge benefit to Cambodia’s artists – both creatively and financially.
“The physical assets in the world amount to trillions of dollars, and they are gradually being transferred into digital formats, with NFTs just one avenue of this larger transition.
“Providing additional chances to discover, buy and sell, and create 100s of NFTs based on and promoting Cambodian culture, Krama NFT Marketplace represents a historic opportunity for the Kingdom’s artists to secure and independently verify their works, both old and new.
“NFTs also bring further avenues for experimentation with new forms of enhancing their work with the use of animation, AR and VR, while creating additional revenue streams and even allowing artists to collect ongoing royalties from all future sales of their creations,” McCaul said.
Krama NFT Marketplace is registered in Singapore – the world’s No1 regulator of blockchain digital asset creation – and will have international sales operations in Hong Kong and London to further promote the Kingdom’s unique culture and artists to mature and affluent markets, he added.
With a physical gallery at Royal Train Square in the heart of the capital, the newly formed company is set to showcase 100s of pieces of art, music and photography, as well special gift NFTs.
Krama NFT Marketplace will also host monthly online and physical auctions at the iconic Art Deco railway station, as well a range of art and cultural events.
“An initial stock of digital art related to our physical artworks will be immediately available, while future projects include Full Steam Ahead.
“Full Steam Ahead – a collaboration between the Cambodian Children’s Fund, Krama, Royal Train Square and Field of Dreams – is a series of live painting events highlighting the importance of including art in STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] education.
“An educational project running for 15 months in the lead-up to the station’s 90th anniversary next year, Full Steam Ahead will provide an ongoing inventory with 90 pieces of physical artwork being offered as packages of NFTs aligned with either the original or limited edition prints,” McCaul said.
The pieces are to be created at the Royal Train Square garden, which every Friday night features food, refreshment, art and live music, the Oregon native added.
For enquiries, email: [email protected]. Please visit the kramanftmarketplace.com website or the Royal Train Square Facebook page.