Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is launching his own non-fungible token (NFT) platform, becoming the latest celebrity to offer digital collectibles in the soaring blockchain market.
That platform, Autograph, will launch this spring and promises to include major names in sports, entertainment, and fashion, all of whom will create and sell unique digital collectibles, a Brady spokesman told CNN.
Autograph’s celebrity partners have not been revealed, nor have any individual collectibles.
NFTs are digital representations of assets, images or information that can be bought or sold. Authenticity of NFTs is verified through blockchain technology, which is a digital ledger that can only be altered publicly, in theory, preventing fraud. Unlike fungible cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, NFTs can’t be traded at equivalency because each one is unique.
Although NFTs can be used to represent a variety of information, they’re making headlines as collectibles — anything from JPEGs of priceless art to a soundbite of a flatulent Brooklyn man passing wind (yes, this is true, and it sold for $85).
Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is launching his own non-fungible token (NFT) platform, becoming the latest celebrity to offer digital collectibles in the soaring blockchain market
Autograph’s NFTs have not been revealed, nor has the platform’s celebrity partners. Currently the website features Tom Brady’s signature with the initials LFG: Let’s F***ing Go
A tokenized version of Twitter’s first tweet has sold for $2.9 million, but that was nothing compared to a digital collage by artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, that went for $69.4 million at auction.
The sports industry has also embraced NFTs.
The NBA has already recorded $500 million in NFT sales on its platform, NBA Top Shot, which allows fans to buy and trade digitized video tokens priced between $2 and $210,000.
Meanwhile NBA Top Shot creator, Canadian blockchain technology company Dapper Labs, has secured $305 million in private funding from the likes of current and former league stars such as Michael Jordan, according to The Associated Press.
As for Autograph, Brady and partner Richard Rosenblatt are hoping to offer more than just digital memorabilia. The pair say Autograph will have live auctions, physical product drops, and other in-person experiences for customers.
‘Autograph will bring together some of the world’s most iconic names and brands with best in class digital artists to ideate, create and launch NFTs and ground-breaking experiences to a community of fans and collectors,’ Rosenblatt told CNN.
Not much else is known publicly about Autograph at the moment.
Currently the company website features Brady’s signature with the initials LFG, which stand for ‘Let’s F***ing Go’ – a common sports refrain co-opted by the seven-time Super Bowl champion. An advisory board is also listed, naming Draft Kings CEO Jason Robins and Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer, among others.
This NFT of a LeBron James highlight could fetch anywhere from $4,250 to $50,000
Appraised at anywhere between ‘worthless’ and ‘priceless,’ NFTs, are the latest blockchain innovation to challenge the public’s concept of economic value.
Like a baseball card or any other collectible, NFTs are worth money simply because people believe they’re worth money.
They’re also advantageous because, unlike a Mickey Mantle rookie card, an NFT doesn’t need to be authenticated or stored in an expensive vault.
Furthermore, the blockchain technology serves as a verifiable ledger preventing against fraud, thereby giving customers more confidence in the products than artwork or other collectibles that could be forged.
‘The cool thing here is that I don’t have to put my baseball card in a hermetically sealed device and send it off to some grader to find if it’s in perfect condition and that it has the providence right, that it’s not a forgery,’ Dr. Rodney Fort, a professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Sports Management, told DailyMail.com.
‘It’s completely private and believable,’ Fort continued. ‘If there’s one thing that block chain has shown it’s that you can believe it. When it tells you something about some asset that is the truth, because otherwise the whole thing would have collapsed like a house of cards.’
The NBA has already recorded $500 million in NFT sales on its platform, NBA Top Shot, which allows fans to buy and trade digitized video tokens priced between $2 and $210,000