PETALING JAYA: Former national butterfly swimmer Cindy Ong will be launching an NFT collection, with a portion of the proceeds going towards the humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine.
According to a press statement, “Cindy Ong Swimmer – My Private Collection” consists of 999 unreleased images and will be launched on NFT marketplace OpenSea on March 20.
The collection will also feature five special NFTs that will each be auctioned with a framed swimsuit worn by Ong at the 2019 Fina World Masters Championships in Gwangju, South Korea where she won five gold and two silver medals.
Ong said she has been planning to release a personal NFT project for some time. She described feeling “horrified” and “saddened” by the suffering of Ukrainians due to the invasion by Russia.
“I began thinking how I could help. That is why I decided to leverage on my upcoming NFT project to bring as much attention to this humanitarian tragedy that had befallen the Ukrainian people and to raise funds for them,” Ong said.
Ong met with Olexander Nechytaylo, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Malaysia, on March 4 to discuss details about her NFT project. Nechytaylo thanked Ong for the initiative in a post on Twitter.
The Ukrainian government has appealed for donations in cryptocurrency through a post on Twitter on Feb 26.
“I believe NFTs are the best way for ordinary folks like ourselves to help Ukraine because sending cryptocurrency does not require middlemen or banks. Ukraine has set up an ERC-20 wallet to receive such funds and I have decided to help,” Ong said.
NFT stands for non-fungible token. NFTs are digital assets – such as images, videos or in-game items – that can be bought or sold using cryptocurrencies, where details of ownership are stored on blockchain. It has been described as hot commodity among crypto investors and celebrities and a lifeline for local artists during the pandemic.
In Malaysia, it was reported that the most expensive NFT ever sold on Pentas, a local NFT marketplace, is a Rusuk Emas artwork by artist Sue Anna Joe which sold for 22 BNB (Binance Coin), equivalent to around RM50,000 back in Dec 2021.