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SportsWhy Warriors are the first professional sports team to get into NFTs | #sports | #elderly | #seniors

Why Warriors are the first professional sports team to get into NFTs | #sports | #elderly | #seniors

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As Warriors Chief Revenue Officer Brandon Schneider began to explore NBA Top Shot a few months ago, he reflected on his childhood afternoons spent buying and trading sports cards.

There was nothing quite like opening a new pack and finding a coveted rookie card. But the more Schneider learned about NBA Top Shot, the more he realized that the blockchain-based platform offered the same thrills as sports cards without many of the logistical challenges.

Instead of having to find someone to appraise the physical card and a safe place to store it, Schneider knew exactly how much each virtual card — a short video clip of an NBA player known as a “moment” — was worth and could house it on his computer. That realization got him thinking: Perhaps nonfungible tokens (NFTs), assets verified using the blockchain technology behind NBA Top Shot, could provide Warriors fans a distinctive collecting experience.

When Golden State launched a nonfungible token collection Tuesday that commemorates the team’s six NBA championships and features collectibles for its most iconic games, it became the first pro sports team to venture into a digital space that has gained serious traction in the art market. With the value of cryptocurrencies reaching record highs, NFTs — which make digital artworks unique and, therefore, sellable — are being bought and traded for staggering prices.

According to Nonfungible.com’s annual report, the value of the NFT market ballooned by nearly 300% in 2020, when it was estimated to be worth more than $250 million. The first four months of 2021 have already seen a slew of seven- and eight-figure deals, including an NFT by the artist Mike Winkelmann — also known as Beeple — that sold at auction in March for a record-breaking $69.3 million.

The piece, “Everydays — The First 5000 Days,” is a collage of all the images that Beeple has been posting online each day since 2007. What made its price so astonishing to some is that its purchaser received only a JPG file of the artwork, hundreds of megabytes large, with an NFT attesting that it was the original digital copy.

The winning bidder didn’t acquire a copyright, or even exclusive access to it. Anyone with an internet connection can download “Everydays — The First 5000 Days” for free. But even though the content would be the same, they wouldn’t be able to say they own the verifiably real thing. The fact that people are willing to pay so handsomely for a media file that is blockchain verified has been a topic of much handwringing, but Schneider views it as no different than any other kind of sale.

“It’s the same thing with a baseball card or a basketball card,” said Schneider, who is set to take over as the Warriors’ president and chief operating officer in July. “You could go and take a photocopy of the front and the back of the basketball card, and that’s fine. You have all the information, but that doesn’t have any value to it. It’s the card itself that has value.”



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