If you find the thrill in collecting sports cards is all about being able to physically hold a rare item in your hand, then you probably aren’t going to like NFTs.
This form of digital asset is exploding in the art world, with pieces of art moving online at a surprising speed. But how can this technology adapt to the sports card?
The blockchain technology and unique digital items that are the mark of the NFT are perfectly suited for sports cards.
And major sports leagues are starting to take notice. Millions of dollars of sports memorabilia have recently been sold in the form of NFTs.
If you’re curious about the sports card NFT – and wondering whether to invest – take a look at this beginner’s guide.
What Is An NFT?
We should probably start with the basics — what is an NFT? NFT is a term that gets thrown around a lot nowadays, with few people actually understanding what it means.
NFT is short for non-fungible token, which essentially means a unique token (compared to cryptocurrency, which is fungible, as tokens have the same value).
An NFT is typically an image, but it can really be anything digital. When you purchase an NFT, you don’t purchase the image itself, you purchase ownership of an image. Your ownership is then stored on a blockchain.
A blockchain is simply a database, but one that is updated in a chain style. New information is recorded next to old information, so a full history of ownership and sales information can be viewed.
If you were then to sell the NFT, the blockchain would be updated with the new ownership, while maintaining the history of the sale. The NFT itself would remain unchanged.
NFTs are usually purchased using cryptocurrency (such as Ethereum), but some NFTs can be bought using traditional currency. The cryptocurrency is stored in an online crypto wallet.
Once you have your NFT, there isn’t much you can do with it — yet. The image exists online, and can be viewed, downloaded, and printed.
But it isn’t just you, the owner, with that ability. Anyone else can download the image. However, they still won’t have ownership, and the blockchain will remain unchanged.
What Are NFT Sports Cards?
NFT sports cards are unique digital images, created online, which can be bought using cryptocurrency. The ownership of the sports card is then recorded in the blockchain database.
Sport cards adapt quite easily into the digital market. The most collectible of sports cards are all about a unique image, and that’s exactly what an NFT is.
But with the trading card NFT, there’s also some room for expansion. Because of the digital format, NFT trading cards can feature videos and moving images.
So, you don’t just own a LeBron James card — you can own a card of a LeBron James iconic dunk.
The value of the sports card NFT works in the same way as a regular trading card. It’s based on rarity, and fan feeling. And as with standard cards, this is subject to the marketplace, and the whims and interests of collectors.
NFTs have really expanded as a marketplace, offering artworks and digital assets of all kinds.
But the original NFTs were quite similar to trading cards. Cryptokitties and Cryptopunks were early examples of NFTs, and were essentially digital collectibles with small details adding rarity.
Who Is Selling Sports Card NFTs?
If you want to get an idea of just how popular the sports card NFT could become, you just need to take a look at the brands that have jumped on the trend.
Topps and Panini are two of the biggest trading card makers, and they have both released NFTs. Topps allow you to purchase NFTs with a credit card, while Panini have combined their NFTs with physical products.
Fantasy Football has partnered with Sorare, selling cards that can allow you to build your own soccer team.
Some cards are Commons, which are the basic cards used to build the team. Other cards are Tokenized, meaning they’re limited and rare.
The NBA has partnered with Dapper Labs to create the NBA Top Shot. These are short clips of shots and plays, which are sold as collectibles. The NBA Highlights Collectibles have proven to be incredibly popular.
Candy Digital have been working in partnership with Major League Baseball, creating their own line of NFTs.
And this is really just the start. Based on previous success, you can expect major sporting leagues to continue to release new and innovative digital purchases.
Should You Invest In NFT Sports Cards?
If you’re interested in sports memorabilia, then it could be worth investing in NFT sports cards. These digital assets are a growing marketplace, and some major sales have already been made.
There are no guarantees with NFTs, but this is much the same as standard sports cards. The value is at the mercy of the fans and the marketplace.
But with NFTs, there’s no risk of damage involved — you can’t stain a digital image.
Plus, NFTs are still a reasonably young market. Invest now, and you may be able to grab something that can grow in value in the future.
So, are NFTs the future of sports memorabilia? That’s pretty much impossible to say, but we think the trend could keep up for a while.
Sports trading cards transfer over so easily to the digital market, although there are a few areas where the online world can’t keep up. For example, you can’t get your NFT signed by anyone.
And we wouldn’t recommend getting rid of your physical cards just yet. As more and more things move online, those cards will become even rarer.
The NFT sports card can seem incredibly confusing at first, but this digital version of the traditional medium isn’t all that different.
Once you’ve gotten to grips with NFTs, you’ll notice that they’re actually pretty similar to traditional trading cards and other sports memorabilia. It’s all about having ownership of something unique.
If you’re looking for a way to invest in sports memorabilia, or simply want to add another layer of uniqueness to your collection, then NFTs could be right for you.