Pope Francis’s Pontifex Carpet Gift Sold as NFT for Charity Purpose in Afghanistan

A Pontifex carpet gifted to Pope Francis by Sheikh Mohamad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, during his visit to the Vatican in September 2016, was sold as a non-fungible token (NFT) for 25 Eths, approximately $81,886 on January 14.

The original carpet, 272cm x 183cm, is woven by Afghan women, the physical version of the Pontifex carpet remains with Pope Francis at present. Zuleya, a retail arm of the Fatima Bint Mohamed bin Zayed Initiative, created a replica measuring 187cm x 125cm to be presented to anyone who buys it as an NFT.

The proceeds are to be channelled for a good cause of helping needy families in Afghanistan based on the challenge of harsh winter, according to local media outlet Khaleej Times.

Musfir Khawaja, the co-founder of nftOne, welcomed this move and stated:

 “This is perhaps the most iconic NFT to be sold in the Middle East. The buyer will get the physical replica of the carpet besides an ornate gold frame on a 165cm digital canvas with the NFT loaded on it.”

The chief executive of the initiative, Maywand Jabarkhyl, believed that NFTs would be a game-changer in offering a crucial step forward of opening new revenue streams for Afghan artisans by presenting a larger global audience. 

With NFTs being among the trendy digital assets, their total sales reached $25 billion in 2021, as reported by Blockchain.News. Furthermore, their market capitalization stood at $31.6 billion at the close of last year.

The proof of ownership guaranteed by NFTs is one of the factors making them tick. For instance, Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary, recently aired his bullish sentiments by stating that NFTs had a more prominent shot of surpassing Bitcoin because they can digitally show ownership of real-world things.


With NFTs being non-divisible and finite, these characteristics are creating their intrinsic value.  

Image source: Shutterstock


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Survey says crypto popular holiday gift for Americans — NFTs not so much

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Dogecoin (DOGE) and Ether (ETH) are set to become the gift of choice for people of the United States, a new study by crypto lending firm BlockFi revealed.

Conducted in October among more than 1,250 U.S. residents, BlockFi’s “Real Talk: Happy HODLdays” survey found that nearly one in 10 Americans would give crypto to their loved ones as a holiday gift.

Bitcoin is the most popular gift by a large margin (75%) for people who plan to give or receive crypto as a present during holiday 2021, followed by Dogecoin and Ether, respectively. Nonfungible tokens (NFTs), on the other hand, still need time to be accepted as a gift alternative as only 2% of respondents are interested in receiving them as a gift.

Moreover, crypto will likely become a hot topic at family dinner tables, as one in three respondents prefer talking about their popular digital assets instead of politics during the holiday season, the survey showed. While boomers would still prefer to talk politics, Gen Z and millennials plan to open the conversation with crypto.

The survey pointed out the lack of knowledge on how to actually give crypto. Less than a quarter of respondents actually knew how to send crypto to someone as a present. This shows that crypto is becoming a popular topic but further education would benefit an even bigger population, BlockFi co-founder and SVP of operations Flori Marquez said.

Related: A quarter of Aussie crypto users plan to buy crypto Christmas gifts: Survey

BlockFi also asked respondents about their new year plans. A third of millennials plan to buy crypto in 2022 while it decreases to 25% in the older generations. Some 15% of respondents said they plan to buy an NFT in 2022. One thing to note is that Gen-Zers, born after 1997, prefers to buy Dogecoin over Ether.

A similar survey, conducted in Australia by Crypto.com, found that a quarter of Aussie crypto users plan to buy crypto gifts for their loved ones ​​this Christmas.