Taiwanese tea franchise Chatime has released an NFT (non-fungible token) for the first time, and it’s currently going for US$1,000 (NT$27,840).

On Dec. 10, the brand released three NFTs on platforms Opensea and Oursong, with each token featuring a different hand-shaken beverage: bubble milk tea, mango QQ drink (“QQ” meaning supple yet chewy), and lychee black tea.

After opening bids, the price of the bubble milk tea NFT rose 90-fold to pass the US$1,000 mark.

“Chatime is venturing into the metaverse and claims to be the first brand to release an NFT of a shaken drink. In doing so, it hopes to preserve the value of Taiwan’s milk tea culture in the brave virtual new world.

For those looking to get in on the fun, the auction does not end until Jan. 31, 2022. Whoever is the highest bidder will not only get the NFT but also a free cup of tea at any Chatime branch every day for a year.

Meanwhile, Chatime’s virtual assets will lower the barriers to becoming a tea store owner. In the physical world, applicants who would like to run a Chatime tea store must undergo lengthy audits and pay an upfront fee of US$250,000-300,000.

But in the metaverse, there need not be such barriers. Chatime envisions a dynamic ecosystem whereby anyone, anywhere can open up a variety of unique tea stores. While the NFT auction lasts, users only need US$4 (or 0.001 Ether tokens) to be in the running to become a virtual Chatime store owner.

Chatime has released five customized stores on the platforms in five different locations worldwide — Taipei, New York, Paris, Egypt, and Hawaii. The virtual shop owners will have the right to sell virtual tea in the future.

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