Today eBay announced its first non-fungible token (NFT) drop of a collection of hockey star Wayne Gretzky in collaboration with NFT platform OneOf. The news comes a year after eBay’s CEO first said the company would get involved with NFTs. As context, OpenSea’s volumes in May 2021 were $139 million compared to $3.5 billion in April this year.
“NFTs and blockchain technology are revolutionizing the collectibles space, and are increasingly viewed as an investment opportunity for enthusiasts,” said Dawn Block, VP Collectibles, Electronics and Home at eBay. “Through our partnership with OneOf, eBay is now making coveted NFTs more accessible to a new generation of collectors everywhere. This builds upon our commitment to deliver high passion, high value items to the eBay community of buyers and sellers.”
The Gretzky collection features animations of the hockey star’s covers for Sports Illustrated magazine. As with most NFT collections, there are four levels of rarity. Ten different green NFTs have 299 issued each and cost $10. But at the top end, there are just 15 diamond level NFTs that are priced at $1,500 each.
However, eBay doesn’t appear to have done a huge amount to the crypto audience. For example, there’s a smart contract address if you look hard, but it’s not hyperlinked.
OneOf will be dropping other sports collectibles on eBay throughout the year.
eBay also announced plans for eBay Vault which will store physical trading cards and create a digital marketplace where collectors can buy a fraction. This sounds similar to Dibbs, a platform that fractionalizes physical sports trading cards with the transactions processed via blockchain. Amazon invested last year.
Meanwhile, OneOf is an NFT platform that started with music but has since expanded into sports. It was initially launched in partnership with Quincy Jones and Quincy Jones Productions. Last December, it sold an NFT of an unreleased Whitney Houston demo for $1 million. Other music NFT partnerships include Warner Music and the Grammy Awards.
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