Non-Fungible Token (NFT) and Alternative Finance: Digitalization, Decentralization, and Tokenization


Special Issue Guest Editors: 

Xiang Gao, Associate Professor of Finance, Research Center of Finance, Shanghai Business School, Shanghai, China 

Sunghan Ryu, Associate Professor, USC-SJTU Institute of Cultural and Creative Industry, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China 

Victor Chow, Distinguished Professor of Global Business and Finance, John Chambers College of Business and Economics, West Virginia University, US 


Special Issue Information 

In the background of the rising decentralized finance and the broader decentralized society, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) emerged as one of the major applications of blockchain technology to achieve evident public prominence since cryptocurrency from early 2021. NFTs are transferrable and hence tradeable rights to a diversity of digital assets, including art pieces or collectibles in the form of images, music, videos, and virtual creations such as in-game items, tweets, and memes. Each asset’s ownership is uniquely certified, and its associated online transactions are often encoded within smart (automatically-executed) contracts written on a blockchain. In the crypto landscape, great attention has also been drawn from professional investors when the NFT market has experienced record sales, with the 2021 trading volume achieving a phenomenal growth rate from 2020, primarily a result of the surging new market participants and new media discussions. The high volatility of the blockchain markets has driven the attention of investors and market participants to concentrate on the diversification avenues of NFTs, DeFi Tokens, and Cryptocurrencies. This special issue is motivated by a surge in the NFT activity of creators, investors, traders, media, and regulators. 


Given that NFTs have received growing attention from many, little is known about the role of these financial instruments in alternative finance in a current world economy under challenges of deglobalization and digitalization as well as opportunities for decentralization and tokenization. We, therefore, call for new research explorations on these topics, both theoretical and empirical. It is anticipated that papers included in this special issue will stimulate further research on NFT production, adoption, and trading in different contexts. More specifically, we hope to contribute to the strand of soon-to-be exploding literature on non-fungible tokens and the associated financial arrangements, emphasizing Web 3.0, DeFi, Tokenomics, digital entertainment, alternative finance, cryptocurrencies and so on. Potential topics of special interests, but not limited to, are: 


  • Blockchain, Web 3.0, DeFi, Tokenomics, and digital economy 

  • Play-to-earn games, metaverse and play-to-earn tokens 

  • NFT-based marketplaces and digital platforms 

  • Strategic pricing of NFT-based assets 

  • Experimental methods in finance to NFTs 

  • Specific NFT classes such as CryptoPunks, Bored Apes, and more 

  • The effect of investor sentiment on NFT prices 

  • The business models of NFT marketplaces 

  • A discussion of possible asset pricing routes for NFTs 

  • Venture capital investment in NFT markets 

  • NFT datasets and potentially innovative ideas 

  • New models and approaches to price NFTs 


Manuscript Submission Information 

All submissions will undergo the same strict double-blind peer-review process applied to the journal. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted). The special issue is expected to be published at the end of 2023. 


To submit a manuscript, please register and submit your paper online at: When making your submission, please choose the Special Issue entitled “Non-Fungible Token and Alternative Finance: Digitalization, Decentralization, and Tokenization”. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Author Guidelines page. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere. The submission portal opens on January 31, 2023. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2023. 


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If you would like to discuss your paper before submission or seek advice on the submission process, please contact the CFRI Editorial Office (Shanghai Jiao Tong University) at the following email address: [email protected]