Over the past decades, investors have hugely used the security of hard assets such as vehicles and land to build and maintain their wealth. Recently, commodities such as artwork, whiskey brands, sneakers among others have grown exponentially from mere collectibles to worthy investments even to the tune of millions of dollars. In addition, cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin have been gaining widespread recognition by corporations and retail investors alike. In turn, this has catalysed the demand for blockchain powered technology.
All these factors have combined to produce an exceptional form of technology that has surprised the entire investing world: NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens. An NFT is a special form of assets that is traded for a particular amount of money. NFTs can be purchased from a wide array of exchanges and platforms. In this article, you will find some of the biggest NFT investors and the projects that they purchased.
This is perhaps the most popular NFT marketplace so far. Top Shot was introduced in July 2019 when the NBA partnered with Dapper Labs to offer their fans a method in which they could authenticate their favourite NBA highlights. Dabber Labs itself is a blockchain powered company that has a long history of being a highly trafficked trading platform. In a simple explanation, Top Shot is an online platform where people can trade virtual basketball cards. In the platform, fans can purchase as well as sell their favourite players’ video clips from previous seasons. These clips are referred to “moments”, and they exist on its blockchain which makes them unique and impossible to duplicate.
In the Top Shot marketplace, buyers can select from packs of in-game clips that are randomly available in differing amounts and rarities. Also, fans can use the marketplace to purchase and sell in-game highlights with others users there. From jerseys to trading cards to sneakers, sports’ fans have had a long history of love with collectibles. And Top Shot takes advantage of this fact by providing blockchain powered clips of a favourite team or player which fans are happy to pay for. A good example is the clip which featured a dunk by Lebron James that was sold for close to $200,000 in February 2020.
Recently, social media platforms including Twitter have been searching for a way of monetizing their content. To achieve this, Twitter acquired a newsletter publisher, Revue, added a feature called “Super Follows”, and an ability to tip members on the site. However, they seem to have discovered a new money-generating source of income through NFTs.
Interestingly, Jack Dorsey, the Twitter founder, has been leading the charge by selling his very first tweet, “Just setting up my twttr,” on Valuables, whose parent company is Cent. The tweet was put up for sale as a non-fungible token although the post will be available publicly on Twitter. The purchaser will be awarded a certificate that is digitally verified and signed by Jack Dorsey and receive the original tweet’s metadata.
Valuables is an NFT trading platform that allows users to put their tweets up for sale. In the case of Twitter founder’s tweet, the bidding got to as high as $2.5 million. However, this is not an amount that most Twitter users’ posts can manage to reach, but it is a sign that the marketplace has huge potential.
Since their origin in 2017, NFTs have quickly evolved and modernized to become popular now more than ever. CryptoPunks were developed and released to the Ethereum blockchain by John Watkinson and Matt Hall of Larva Labs. They are 24 x 24 pixelated images of randomly generated colourful punks, gorillas and zombies. Only 10,000 copies were made, and they were made free for users who had an Ethereum wallet. However, they were quickly purchased and the buyers developed a fast moving second market when they traded these “punks” over and over again.
It is interesting to know that a simple NFT of a computer-generate avatar of an alien smoking pipe while wearing a hat and a pair of sunglasses was sold for an equivalent of $7.5 million in Ethereum cryptocurrency. It was purchased by an anonymous investor who is known on Twitter as “Peruggia”.
It may seem as though it is meaningless to trade in CryptoPunks, but in the last year, the average selling price of a Punk is over $21,000, and in February last year, one CryptoPunk pixelated image went for $22 million. CryptoPunks remains to be the favourite NFT space for numerous buyers with $142 million worth of revenue realised since its inception. If this trend continues in the same manner, even new contenders will be expected to flood the scene.
An online auction conducted by Christie’s took the business world by storm when a nonfungible token was sold for a staggering $69 million. The piece of work that was purchased, Everydays – The First 5000 Days, was a combination of an image collage that was posted online in 2007 by a digital artist Beeple, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann. This picture was specially minted by the digital artist to be auctioned online as an NFT by Christie’s.
The artwork which only exists as a digital file was sold off in Ethereum to an investor known by his pseudonym, Metakovan. Although the image does not exist physically, the buyer gets proof of authentic ownership by the use of blockchain technology. Interestingly, the artwork was first auctioned at just $100, but the auction time was extended by two weeks which resulted in its price going up last-minute to the region of $69 million. As a result, Beeple, who is not so popular in the mainstream art world, joined the list of the third most expensive artists that are alive.
It may seem as though NFTs are the newest and greatest thing to ever grace the crypto world. However, that is not the case because NFTs have been in existence for years, and so has OpenSea. The oldest NFT trading platform on the internet is OpenSea, and it was designed to be the clearing house for NFT items. From digital collectibles to albums such as Kings of Leon, the platform has been allowing people to trade in all sorts of collectibles.
OpenSea’s bragging rights originate from the fact that their platform is open. This openness has resulted in increased growth of the marketplace and has made OpenSea the largest trading platform for NFTs based on the assets that are available for sale. Furthermore, OpenSea is a decentralized NFT trading marketplace. New NFT investors should consider the platform as an option when trading NFTs.
In the past, NFTs were just a mere concept. But with huge advancements in technology, and the increasing recognition of decentralized cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Bitcoin, it looks like the investing world will be heading there. Many big names are already using these platforms and it is a matter of time before NFTs become a normal “thing”. The main question that arises is, Which platform should you use?