The potential of NFT already appears boundless, even for the world of competitive video games.
In the 10 years since Chris Torres created Nyan Cat, an animated flying cat with a snack-shaped body that leaves a rainbow trail, the meme has been viewed and shared on the web hundreds of millions of times. At the end of February, the author put up a single version of it on Foundation, a website for buying and selling digital goods. In the last hour of the auction, there was a bidding war and Nyan Cat was sold to a user identified only by a cryptocurrency wallet number. The price? About 580 thousand dollars.
The sale was the latest insane milestone in the fast-growing market for buying and selling digital items via NFT, or Non Fungible Tokens. Buyers usually do not acquire copyrights, brands or exclusive ownership of what they buy but they have the right to brag about it and the knowledge that their copy of a digital and easily replicable artifact is the authentic one.
Other recently sold digital tokens include a short 10-second video that sold for $ 6 million and a clip of LeBron James making a memorable basket in a Lakers basketball game, sold for $ 100,000. The site on which it was created is called NBA Top Shot and is a relatively new online platform where customers can collect digital Moments, or very short videos of games played in the NBA. They are sold like basketball stickers so by buying a pack you receive a certain number of random moments.
The value of these digital objects it comes from a thriving secondary market which, exactly as with the stickers of the most famous athletes, pays very well for the best moments. The shots are in all respects of digital sports cards powered by blockchain technology, which means they are available in verifiable numbered runs (no fakes) and do not degrade like a physical product. The nascent market for these items reflects a very clever and advanced move by digital content creators to connect financially with their audience and eliminate middlemen. Some NFT buyers are collectors and fans showing what they bought on social media or on their home screens.
The potential for the esports world is boundless. It is possible to transform any digital product into NFT so a teamkill in the Overwatch League or a clutch play within Valorant could become collectibles which for the right buyer can be worth thousands of euros. Leagues, organizations, teams, individual athletes or individual streamers they can “tokenize” (transform into a token, then into an NFT) any moment or play they play by getting closer to the fans and putting together some money too. The world is still undecided whether or not to consider this practice a bubble or the beginning of a revolution, certainly the world of esports will not take long to understand and exploit its potential.