by R.A. Rowell
After Panini America's launch of the Panini Blockchain sports cards meeting generally negative reviews, sports card collectors were eager to receive Topps response. Their response was a big one: Topps has partnered with the WAX Blockchain to release their own digital collectibles. There are some key differences with the Topps x WAX blockchain cards that should make them a superior collectible to Panini America's blockchain collectibles offerings.
WAX is a Public Blockchain with Easy Account Creation and Easy-to-Use Wallet
According to the Topps x WAX website, the Worldwide Asset eXchange, better known as WAX, "has facilitated the trade of more than $100 million digital items since 2017." Initially, you had to purchase the native WAX cryptocurrency to trade assets. That meant you needed some experience with and knowledge of cryptocurrency. But, this is no longer the case.
WAX released their user-friendly crypto wallet focused on blockchain gaming in December 2019, which we covered on the December 6th Digital Collectibles Roundup. Adding Topps licensed products from Major League Baseball, Star Wars, WWE, and Garbage Pail Kids gives the young blockchain a major boost. The WAX blockchain wallet allows you to purchase blockchain cards with either a credit card or the WAX native cryptocurrency.
What Makes Topps x WAX Cards Superior to the Landmark Panini Blockchain Cards?
The key difference between the Topps x WAX cards and the Panini Blockchain cards is that Panini uses a private blockchain. This means you can only buy and sell their blockchain cards on their own platform. Panini also charges transaction fees for cards sold in their marketplace.
With Topps x WAX you can sell and trade without fees! Also, as WAX is a public blockchain, you don't have your cards tied to a single marketplace. The blockchain cards exist as non-fungible tokens on the WAX blockchain. This means that the complete history of any blockchain card is available to anyone. From the Topps x WAX website:
"By interacting with Garbage Pail Kids cards on the WAX Blockchain, anyone can see the details of the cards’ information and trading history. This enables everyone involved to make informed purchases, sales, and trades, with anyone else in the world - instantly."
Since blockchain records can't be altered and are available to anyone, there's no uncertainty about the authenticity or transaction history of a given card. Having a complete trade and sale history takes the guesswork out of card buying, trading, and selling. Also, since you can buy these WAX cards with either a standard credit card or WAX cryptocurrency, you don't need any previous experience with blockchain collectibles.
The First Panini Blockchain Cards Lack Public Oversight and Distributed Through Dutch Auctions
The major complaints about the Panini blockchain cards are the private nature of the Panini blockchain and the method used tonfistrivute them. While reverse auctions, known as Dutch auctions, are popular in the blockchain world, the starting prices of the first unique Panini blockchain cards were much too high for average collectors to afford.
The upside of the Panini blockchain cards is that you receive a physical counterpart to the digital card. The obvious flaw to this strategy is that the digital blockchain token is a separate asset with no value outside of the uniqueness of the asset. So, the sales of these cards often closely tracked the sale prices of similar physical one-on-one sports cards.
It remains to be seen how valuable the Panini blockchain cards themselves prove to be. But, being essentially trapped on a private blockchain means that Panini has complete control over the assets. If Panini ever shuts down their program, what will happen with the cards?
Also, because there are fees involved in the sale of these blockchain tokens, you don't have the freedom to trade freely among members. You are essentially forced to buy and sell at Panini's profit. While you do get the transaction and sales history of a given card, there's no public oversight and the market is much more limited.
You do use US dollars to purchase the Panini blockchain cards with no cryptocurrency involved. But, as WAX allows the same thing with it's own crypto wallet, this is no longer an advantage for Panini. It will be interesting to see how Panini responds to the Topps x WAX partnership.
Garbage Pail Kids Blockchain Cards Launch in March 2020
The Topps x WAX Blockchain offerings begin with Garbage Pail Kids collectibles released in March 2020, in honor of the Garbage Pail Kids' 35th anniversary. You can sign up for the waitlist here for the chance of exclusive Garbage Pail Kids cards.
What do you think about these Topps X Wax cards? Are they something you'll collect?
by R.A. Rowell
As we’ve established in our first few articles about the brand new one-of-one Panini Blockchain cards, the digital assets that Panini paired with traditional one-of-one physical trading cards really don’t seem to be of much value at all right now. Of course, as we learn more about what Panini plans to do with the cards in its Blockchain program, that may change. For the next few weeks, we’ll simply be reporting on the sales themselves and our thoughts on them. After Week 10, we’ll have a more comprehensive analysis.
Week 4 of the 2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain release featured some legendary players. Notably, a couple of the cards featured only an auto and no patch or a patch with no auto. Did this affect their value? Let’s find out.
Here’s the Week 4 Panini Blockchain line-up
Now, here’s the order and sales:
Trae Young 1/1 NBA Logoman Patch Auto - $8,816.34
Tom Brady 1/1 Patch Auto - $7,673.48
Donovan Mitchell 1/1 NBA Logoman Patch Auto - $5,469.40
Patrick Mahomes II & DeShaun Watson Dual Brand Logo Patch Auto - $3,591.85
Aaron Judge 1/1 Button Autograph - $1,387.76
Emmitt Smith 1/1 Patch Autograph - $1,387.76
Christian Pulisic 1/1 Patch Auto - $1,061.23
Jimmy Butler 1/1 NBA Logoman Patch - $734.70
Charles Woodson 1/1 Patch Auto - $734.70
Charles Barkley 1/1 Autograph - $489.81
The first Panini National Treasures Blockchain card off the board was Trae Young. That’s not all that surprising considering how Trae Young has played in 2019-20. The second was Tom Brady, one of the key players, if not THE KEY player, to collect in all of the NFL. Donovan Mitchell’s card was third, and he’s having his best year in the NBA yet for the Utah Jazz. The 4th card, the dual patch auto of Mahomes and Watson feels like a bargain.
The dropoff after that was to be expected, with the other six cards selling for $1,400 or less. One of the cards was a player we already saw in Panini Blockchain Week 2 with Charles Woodson. The difference is that this card pictures the legendary defensive back with the Raiders while the Week 2 card had him with the Packers. Notably that card sold for $653.07. This one sold for about $80 more. The other cards all seem like fair prices for those types of cards in the traditional sports card market. So, the Blockchain digital asset is pretty much just a bonus piece, as the winner will recieve the physical copy within the next couple of months.
What will Week 5 bring? We know the next 10 cards will include Ken Griffey Jr., Ezekiel Elliott, John Wall, Kaapo Kakko (our first hockey player), Pete Alonso, Dan Marino, Jarrett Culver, Aaron Rodgers, and Gianluigi Buffon.
What do you think of the Panini National Treasure Blockchain cards so far? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Panini Blockchain's week 3 release featured a Mickey Mantle Cut Auto, an Overpriced Zion Williamson One-of-One, and More Unique Gems.
by R.A. Rowell
Before we begin to analyze the auction results of the Panini Blockchain Week 3 cards, I have to address the obvious issue with these weeks auctions. Why, oh why, Panini, did you start the Zion Williamson card at $250,000? Don’t you realize now that $100,000 was an absurd starting point and that you just got lucky with that Kobe Bryant selling for $60,000 plus? Well, in Week 3, we will see yet another $60,000-plus sale. Beyond that, not so much.
Anyway, these 2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain auctions haven’t been all that fun to cover as they are 5-day Dutch auctions that last from Monday to Friday starting an absurd high point. It’s actually a fair point to say that letting them drag out so long has actually HURT the sales of these cards. After all, these are one-of-ones of a brand new product and as we’ve seen already, some of these cards went significantly lower than they should have for the physical “gift” copy alone.
The good news is that the market seems pretty much set now, with all the action happening on the last day of the auctions. It doesn’t make for very exciting coverage as all the action pretty much happens all at once. At least with an eBay auction, you can see how many people are watching and how many bids are in - of course, with a Dutch auction you go backwards and the first bid wins, but still… this is boring as all fudge cakes.
After all, when you look at Week 3’s lineup of Panini National Treasures Blockchain cards, you’ll realize, if these were just ordinary one-of-one cards - without the blockchain - the hype would be REAL on these. But, because of how poorly Panini has handled these auctions - and the strange lack of marketing them much at all - you simply aren’t hearing much at all. That’s both good and bad; we’re seeing the first adopters of these cards get some major bargains with some of these cards.
I’m not saying that the Dutch auction format is a bad idea. It’s just that Panini set their expectations FAR too high, and they’ll be drawing out this painful process for the next couple of months. The format itself isn’t the problem. Also, they are doing NOTHING to hype the product outside of a blog post and a couple of tweets - far as I’ve seen. Also, people are bashing the whole Blockchain aspect, for reasons we covered in our first in-depth analysis of the Panini Blockchain cards from Weeks 1 and 2. The concept is very good, the execution has very much been.... not so good.
Anyway, we still have ten pretty interesting cards to look at here. I mean, look at this lineup:
You’re telling me that there’s a Mickey Mantle cut autograph in this week’s lineup and we haven’t heard any hype around it? Plus, even though the Packers were dismantled in the 2020 NFC Championship game, you have a dual patch auto of two Packers legends, and we haven’t heard about that, either?
Yes, this week’s focus is on Zion Williamson. As sick as tired as I’m sure many of us sports fans are hearing about Zion, he was a really impressive player before and I think he’ll have a pretty good NBA career. His brief first NBA game was fire, but it was in very limited minutes. This card is fine and should be valuable, but come on, Panini - a starting bid of $250,000? You have the GALL to set THAT high a price on these cards that besides the one outlier haven’t sold for over $5k? Sheesh.
Also, Neymar’s patch is just not all that interesting. The soccer cards have been sort of bland in general so far. The Maradona one was OK, but the other one was lacking. Come on, Panini, you can do better, and you HAVE done better! Not to mention, SOCCER IS THE NUMBER ONE SPORT IN THE WORLD!
Anyway, Eloy Jimenez has a silly button auto, which I suppose we could loosely call a “rookie card.” I’m not a fan of buttons as a patch, but apparently some people like them. Barry Sanders is an NFL legend. Paul George is going to be an NBA Hall of Famer.
OK, Wentz is overrated and Jones hasn’t impressed me yet. But the rest of that lineup is pretty solid. So, overall, this isn’t a bad week worth of cards.
But, seriously, how can this week 3 lineup NOT be getting attention? It should be all over the sports card news. Anyway, for the handful of people actually watching these Blockchain auctions, let’s see how they turned out.
Panini Blockchain Cards Week 3 Dutch Auction Results
Well, then, we did have our second five-figure sale in Week 3. No surprise our $60,816.33 man is Zion Williamson. Let’s look at all ten sales in order:
Zion Williamson: $60,816.33
Anthony Davis: $9,061.23
Brett Favre/Aaron Rodgers: $3,102.05
Daniel Jones: $3,102.05
Mickey Mantle: $3,102.05
Barry Sanders: $2,775.52
Paul George: $2,612.25
Carson Wentz: $2,367.36
Eloy Jimenez: $897.97
I’m not going to break them down quite to the same level as Weeks 1 and 2 because the market appears to be stabilizing on these cards to the point where people are clearly paying for the physical one-of-one. Until there’s some added benefit to the Blockchain digital copies, there simply won’t be that much extra paid for the right to that second non-tangible asset.
The Zion is by far the highest sale more based on the starting bid than I think it’s true value. However, the hype around his debut and subsequent immediate success was fuel for the fire here. Panini truly took advantage of the timing here. That being said, the market for Zion one-of-one cards has been quite nuts. So, the five-figure sale of this card is more reflective of the current melt-up of the market for Zion cards than a FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) moment.
Anthony Davis has been extremely successful for the Los Angeles Lakers. So, it’s probably no surprise that his card was the second-highest seller, a whopping $9,061. Of all 10 of the cards in Week 3, this is probably the highest overpay for the physical copy alone. The other eight I feel were fair prices, although a couple may have been on the low side - especially Eloy.
At the end of each week, we’ll continue to report on the Panini Blockchain card sales. After Week 10, once all 100 initial one-of-one Panin Blockchain National Treasures cards are sold, we’ll have more of a full breakdown of all the sales.
What do you think of how the market for these Panini Blockchain cards is developing? Do you see any bargains in the Week 3 card sales?
Sorare Football (Soccer) Blockchain Cards Available on OpenSea: A Look at the Growing Secondary Market for this Popular Blockchain Fantasy Football Game!
by R.A. Rowell
Sorare is a fantasy football (soccer) blockchain game built on the LOOM blockchain network. The Sorare marketplace for their soccer blockchain cards has been very active. Each week, they release limited edition, serial numbered digital blockchain cards from a new soccer team. These cards can be used in setting up a 5-man fantasy team usable in weekly prize-supported fantasy soccer leagues. Some cards are rarer than others, and the rarer they are, the higher multiplier of fantasy points for that real-life player that card gives you.
Being blockchain non-fungible tokens (NFTs), these cards aren’t just playable in the Sorare weekly fantasy leagues, but they even gain experience points that allow them to level up as they are used! This gives them additional value if you decide to sell them later. They aren’t just static collectibles, which is what digital collectibles need to have in order to gain value. The scarcity certainly helps the cards build value, and having the #1 card of a print run is extremely valuable, too!
Big news for Sorare came on January 13th, 2020 when it was announced that Sorare cards could be released to the open Ethereum blockchain. Sorare crypto trading cards have since become available on popular Ethereum NFT marketplace OpenSea. While the market hasn’t yet developed much on OpenSea as of this writing, it’s still very early.
The best, most valuable card available on OpenSea as of 1/18/2020 is a unique one-of-one Vincent Kompany card. It last sold for 1.75 ETH on 7/26/2020. A couple bids were placed on it in August, but both were withdrawn. Several other cards are traded hands, but it’s not many.
But, on Sorare’s own marketplace, plenty of bids are being placed and cards are actively moving. This makes sense, as the best players and the rarest cards won’t be leaving Sorare since managers want to actually play with them! However, the option to send them to the Ethereum blockchain where you can sell them on a secondary market is a great option to have.
So, who’s been hot on the Sorare Transfer Market in-game marketplace?
Club Atletico de Madrid’s star forward Joao Felix had his first card (out of 100 copies) sold for 0.522 ETH (about 80 euros/$90 USD) on 1/18/20. The second card out of 100 sold for 0.439 ETH (about 68.5 euros/$76 USD). Considering that Felix is a player who managers will prefer to roster rather than flip, it’s possible the copies of his cards that do hit the market will quickly gain value. $80 to $90 for a single blockchain card gives you a good idea of what even just a Rare a card for a strong player can fetch thanks to the weekly leagues.
Atletico de Madrid had even better sales results for the Super Rare cards, with goalkeeper Jan Oblak leading the sales at 2.29 ETH/361.20 EUR/$400 USD. Following him were midfielder Koke (1.32 ETH/208.20 EUR/$231 USD), defender Renan Lodi (1.045 ETH/164.83 EUR/$183 USD), forward Alvaro Morata (1.028 ETH/162.18 EUR/$180 USD), and defender Kieran Trippier (0.707 ETH/111.52 EUR/$124 USD). These cards offer a 14.4 fantasy points multiplier and are numbered to just 10 copies. Hat tip to @blockchainYNWA on Twitter for this info!
On the Manager Sales section, cards are listed for as little as 2 euro and as much as 500 euro for unique cards. We wish we had more exact sales data to share right now, but Sorare’s marketplace doesn’t have a recently sold section. What we can say is that there’s plenty of activity with Sorare: according to DappRadar, in a 7-day period between 1/11/2020 to 1/18/2020 there were over 4,400 transactions on Sorare with a volume of over $16,000. That’s about $3.60 (3.24 EUR) on average. Cards are moving on a regular basis every other day. So, if you’re trying to get into the game, you can choose from a wide array of player cards and invest as little as $20 for your starting 5-man antasy team.
If you’d rather start off with brand new cards, a five-card pack costs 30 euro or an equivalent amount of Ethereum ETH. Also, if you sign up today, as a new manager you can choose your first five players FOR FREE! If you haven’t played Sorare yet, sign up at Sorare today for free and check it out!
My first starting five consists of these five common cards: Mike Maignan (goalkeeper), Silas Gnaka (Defender), Carlos Soler (midfielder), Landry Dimata (forward), Marco Kana (midfielder). I just joined my first rookie league. Let me know what you think of my picks and who you chose to start your team (or who you are already playing!)
We’re looking forward to the continued growth and development of the Sorare game! Stay tuned to the Digital Collectibles Journal for more news and analysis of the Sorare soccer blockchain card market.
How Much Surplus Value Do the Panini Blockchain NFTs Have Over The Physical Copies?
by R.A. Rowell
The first week of Panini Blockchain card auctions was a huge story. The Digital Collectibles Journal covered the sale of all 10 of the very first Panini Blockchain cards, including the first ever Panini Blockchain card sale of a Kobe Bryant 1/1 NFT (non-fungible token) for $61,714! Week 2 of the auctions looked to be an even better mix of rookies and stars, which is why we decided to hold off our analysis of the Week 1 sales until Week 2. Without the second round to compare to, the data wasn’t going to be as valuable.
The major question that I had, as have many other traditional sports card collectors and blockchain collectibles enthusiasts, is what the actual value of these Panini blockchain cards will be. The two major questions I have are these.
First, being on a PRIVATE Panini-owned blockchain - and not on a mainstream NFT-supporting blockchain network like Ethereum, EOS, Tron, Wax, etc - what is backing these cards’ value, especially with a physical counterpart that is a completely separate asset?
Secondly, what can be done with these digital assets besides just swapping them between digital collectors? Most NFTs have the ability to be displayed on a variety of apps and many are usable in popular blockchain-powered games. Panini has not yet made it clear what can be one with these blockchain cards outside of merely buying and selling them.
What Really Are Blockchain Trading Cards?
For those unfamiliar with what NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are, the Wikipedia definition is this:
A non-fungible token is a special type of cryptographic token which represents something unique; non-fungible tokens are thus not mutually interchangeable by their individual specification. This is in contrast to cryptocurrencies like Zcash, and many network or utility tokens that are fungible in nature.
Basically, each NFT is unique, much like a serial numbered trading card or other collectible. Panini has the opportunity to do something special with these. Blockchain trading cards have already met with success in soccer, where they can be used in a fantasy sports game. As of yet, there is no benefit to owning these Panini National Treasures Blockchain cards other than simply owning them as well as the ability to buy and sell them, albeit for now exclusively limited to Panini’s own marketplace.
What Panini is doing right with these blockchain NFTs is that they made a very good decision to pair these one-of-ones with a digital copy. This means that we have a frame of reference for what the “real life” counterpart could sell for, especially when the cards are based on the already super-popular National Treasures design. They also released a very strong checklist of 100 cards in their initial offering. Also, as NFTs, these cards can be utilized across a wide variety of applications, not tied to a single app like their legacy digital collectible apps.
The drawbacks to these crypto collectibles from Panini are obvious, though. They are tied to a private blockchain network owned by Panini. This means it doesn’t have the transparency of many of the popular networks out there. Even though you own the private keys to your blockchain cards, who is to say what Panini will allow you to do with them? On Ethereum and other popular blockchain networks that support NFTs, you can sell them on third-party websites and freely between others on the network using the private keys.
What Panini ultimately allows to happen with their blockchain remains to be seen. However, the potential of Panini creating a blockchain collectible empire is certainly a possibility. They have the resources, the customer base, and the popular brands to pave a brand new way for collectors to interact with trading cards.
For now, let’s see how the market, which hasn’t been really positive about the developments so far, reacted to the Week One offerings. After, we’ll compare those results with Week Two - in my opinion a better offering - and see how the market has changed, or not changed.
How Much Surplus Value Did the Week One Panini National Treasures Blockchain Offerings Have Over Physical Card Comps on eBay?
Let’s now answer the very question we set out to explore at the outset of this article: if one takes possession of the physical card, how much could that card be expected to sell for compared to the sales price of the Panini Blockchain auction? In this way, we can somewhat begin to assess the true value of the blockchain NFT asset right now and the potential profits their initial buyers may realize in the coming weeks and months - or even years if the market becomes that bullish.
Panini National Treasures is a premier brand in NFL football and NBA basketball. It’s also becoming a top brand for soccer cards, as well. However, Panini doesn’t have MLB or NHL licenses, but it does have deals with some individual hockey players and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA).
These distinctions in licensing are going to actually be quite important when it comes to the baseball and hockey cards. (There are a few hockey cards among the 100 cards initially offered.) I have written previously about how undervalued I believe Panini National Treasures cards are for baseball on Sports Card Investor. Being not fully licensed has adversely affected these cards’ values when compared to the fully-licensed Topps. But, of course, as of this writing at least, Topps has not yet jumped on the blockchain bandwagon.
The way that Panini has auctioned off these cards is a Dutch auction, starting the bids at a whopping $100,000 each. This starting point has been criticized by many, myself included. But, there are a couple of reasons for this. Many people see this as a money-grab by Panini jumping on the exploding blockchain collectibles market. But, really, many NFTs from other projects have started their bids at $100,000 worth of ETH - Ethereum’s primary cryptocurrency - or whatever their native cryptocurrency might be. Some of these NFTs have sold for 5 figures.
So, perhaps it’s not a huge surprise that one of the Panini Blockchain cards sold for five figures. What’s not as surprising is that the other 9 of the Week One cards broke $4,000. So, if you’ve been following the news, you’ll know who the number one card is. If not, you will see in a moment. Let’s list out the final sale prices of each of the Week One cards right now, in the order they sold. That’s very easy to do because it was a Dutch auction, in which the price drops every few minutes until a bidder decides to accept the sale at the current price.
Note that all of these 2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain cards are one-of-one autographed cards that contain one or more patches. Note that Panini says to allow 8 to 12 weeks for delivery of the physical card, so it will be sometime in March before we start seeing these actually posted for sale on eBay, etc.
#1: Kobe Bryant - $61,714!
#2: Ja Morant/Rui Hachimura - $3,591.85
#3: Kyler Murray - $3,183.68
#4: Honus Wagner - $3,102.05
#5: Damian Lillard - $1,959.19
#6: Coby White - $1,959.19
#7: Gleyber Torres - $1,551.03
#8: Christian McCaffrey - $1,306.13
#9: Peyton Manning - $1,224.50
#10: Luis Suarez - $571.44
Talk about a wide range in the sale prices. Of course, that Kobe Bryant is a hilarious outlier, isn’t it? To be honest, pretty much every one likely expected Kobe’s card to be the first to sell. But, what explains the $58,122.15 gap between the first and second sales? My only thought was that it was a FOMO moment. Someone had to put in the first bid. While I’m sure most collectors expected most of these cards to sell for thousands, this was probably unexpected.
2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain Kobe Bryant NBA Logoman Patch Autograph 1/1
Initial Sale Price: $61,714
Best Comp: 2015-16 National Treasures Kobe Bryant Game-Used NBA Logoman Tag Patch AUTO 1/1 PSA 10 (Ebay link)
Comp Last Sold Price: $15,000 (November 21, 2019)
Estimated Surplus Paid: $46,714
It would’ve been entirely reasonable for this auction to end at $30,000 or so, if we consider the blockchain asset to have the same comparable value as the physical card. Was this a gross overpay? Perhaps. But, there is enormous value in coming first, especially with Kobe’s entry into the Basketball Hall of Fame very near. Being a one-of-one, it’s not impossible that the buyer could recoup a vast percentage of the initial sale by selling both assets.
The beauty of being a one-of-one is that the only ceiling on its value is the market. If I were holding this card after making this big of a purchase, I’d wait until his Hall of Fame induction is announced. Will the blockchain card alone fetch $50,000? It’s not impossible.
2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain Ja Morant/Rui Hachimura Dual NBA Logoman Auto
Initial Sale Price: $3,591.85
Best Comp for Ja Morant: 2019-20 Panini National Treasures Collegiate Auto Nike Patch Ja Morant 1/1 (Sold for $1800 on Dec. 10, 2019)
Best Comp for Rui Hachimura: 2019-20 National Treasures Black Rui Hachimura RPA RC Rookie Patch AUTO 1/1 (Sold for $787.67 on Nov. 18, 2019)
Best Comp for Dual Logoman Auto 1/1: Kevin Knox/Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 2018-19 Immaculate Logoman Patch Auto RC (Sold for $3100 on Dec. 29, 2019)
Estimated Surplus Paid: $500 or less
It doesn’t surprise me at all that this card was the second sale overall. After all, Ja Morant has had an incredible rookie year. Hachimura is a great talent and only boosts the overall value of this card. Being Japanese makes him one of the more unique talents in the NBA, and of course, we all know that Japan has a strong sports card market. Hachimura has another card in the Week 2 offerings that we’ll get to in a bit.
This is one of the more unique cards in that it’s a dual of Ja Morant and Rui Hachimura, the first of its kind. Morant and Hachimura were featured on a 2019 Immaculate Patch card numbered to 5 that also included Zion Williamson and RJ Barret (ebay link). That card sold for just $110.50 on December 3rd, 2019.
The best real comp is a 2018-19 dual Logoman auto of Kevin Knox/Shai Gilegeous-Alexander that sold for $3100. While Hachimura hasn’t reached the level of those other two, Morant has been so spectacular that around $3000 would seem a fair price. That means that the blockchain card would only have to sell for $600 or so for surplus market value. The physical card alone may have a true market value of more than $3600 if Morant wins Rookie of the Year, which is extremely likely. This was a good purchase.
2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain Kyler Murray NFL Shield Auto 1/1
Initial Sale Price: $3,183.68
Best Comps: 2019 PANINI UNPARALLELED KYLER MURRAY AUTO NFL SHIELD PATCH CARD #'d 1/1 (Sold for $848 on Nov. 21, 2019) & KYLER MURRAY 2019 Spectra SuperFractor Autograph Auto RPA NFL Shield Rookie 1/1 (Sold for $839 on Oct. 24, 2019)
Estimated Surplus Paid: $2300 or less
While they aren’t perfect comps, the 2019 Panini Unparalleled and Spectra SuperFractor one-of-ones are about as close as we’ll get to this Kyler Murray one-of-one. They both feature NFL Shield logo patches and autos and both sold for around $850. Being National Treasures and effectively being a Rookie Patch Auto (RPA) should boost its value a bit. The estimated surplus of about $2300 paid for the blockchain card is based on that comp, and this card is probably worth $1000 or more.
The problem is that despite Kyler Murray showing lots of potential, he played for a non-contender in the Arizona Cardinals. That is likely to change over the next few years, so this card in physical form alone should be worth a lot more as soon as the 2020 NFL season. While this was perhaps a slight overpay, if Murray lives up to his hype - which he may - it won’t be an overpay at all. This will be a key card to watch for this Week One offering. I’ll take the under on that surplus estimate, significantly under.
2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain Honus Wagner Cut Auto 1/1
Initial Sale Price: $3,102.05
Best Comp: 2004 Legendary Cuts BGS 9.5 (ebay link)
Estimated Surplus Paid: $100 to $500
The Honus Wagner cut auto was one of the key cards initially used to promote the Panini Blockchain cards. You have to dig for a cut auto comp, as most National Treasures Honus Wagner cards feature bat relics. The most recent cut auto sales of Honus Wagner were a Best Offer on a 2018 Topps Luminaries (listed at about $2,300 USD, but sold for just about $1,550) on November 21st, 2019 (ebay link) and a 2004 Legendary Cuts BGS 9.5 (ebay link) which sold for $3,000 on November 19th, 2019.
I’m leaning towards the SP Legendary Cuts comp for a couple of reasons. The Topps Luminaries card is graded only a 7 for the Auto. Plus, it’s only graded for the auto. Also, the sales price isn’t easy to find bring a Best Offer. So, assigning a value of $3,000 to the physical copy of this Blockchain card is reasonable to me. Even if you split the difference at about $2,500, due to being a raw card, this sale still feels light to me.
As an absolute hobby legend - thanks to his extremely rare T206 card - and one of the first all-time greats of baseball, any baseball card collector should be happy to have this in their collection. This is the first of the sales that I see as being much too light VS the value of both assets combined. This was a good buy for whoever purchased it.
2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain Damian Lillard NBA Logoman Patch Autograph 1/1
Initial Sale Price: $1,959.19
Best Comp: 2017-2018 Panini National Treasures Damian Lillard NBA Logoman Auto/Patch #1/1 (ebay link) sold for $4,600 with Best Offer on Oct. 31, 2019
Estimated Surplus Paid: -$2,640
Damian Lillard is certainly among the best players in the NBA. So, it’s not a surprise that his was the 5th overall sale. What is surprising is how low it sold for compared to its best comp. The physical card is probably worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $4,000 to $5,000 if you go by the comp we chose. Really any way you look at it, the physical card alone should be worth much more than $2,000.
With his great success in the 2019-20 season, Lillard’s card have been a hot item. So, his card market may cool before the physical card arrives to its buyer. We’ll know before then what’s happening with the blockchain card - if it’s immediately listed for sale or held for another hot stretch. This was one of the true bargains of the Blockchain auctions in my eyes.
2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain Coby White NBA Logoman Patch Autograph 1/1
Initial Sale Price: $1,959.19
Best Comp: Coby White 2019 Panini National Treasures Jordan Logoman 1/1 Tar Heels #7 (ebay link) listed for $3,500 or Best Offer as of 1/11/20
Estimated Surplus Paid: -$1,500
Selling for the same price as Damian Lillard’s card is good news for Coby White. Of course, the advantage of this card is that it could be considered a Rookie Patch Auto (RPA) which the Lillard certainly cannot. While the comp we found wasn’t perfect - it’s a college 1/1 - it’s about as close as you’ll get. Because the card hasn’t actually sold as of this writing, it’s even less of a perfect comp. However, that price isn’t absurd, especially when you’re averaging over 20 points and 10 rebounds a game as a rookie.
This is actually a pretty low price for a 1/1 of such a talented rookie. The physical card alone is going to be worth over $2,000. This was a major bargain, and being a rookie card, it’s probably even more of a relative bargain than Lillard’s card.
2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain Gleyber Torres MLB Logoman Patch Autograph 1/1
Initial Sale Price: $1,551.03
Best Comp: 2017 National Treasures Baseball Gleyber Torres Patch Auto 1/1 (ebay link) with Best Offer Sold at $425
Estimated Surplus Paid: $1,175
There are several notable things to say about the first Panini Blockchain baseball card to sell at auction. First off, it actually sold at a higher price than I expected, as good as Gleyber Torres is. However, that price may not be as high as the estimated surplus may suggest, as the comp is not nearly as attractive as this card. This price is probably fair considering that there are both the physical and digital counterparts to this sale.
However, the one drawback to this card is that it’s not a Rookie Patch Auto, as the 2017 National Treasures card is. But it’s a Logoman, which certainly helps its value. Torres is a very popular player and he had a spectacular 2019 season. He’ll have to keep up the same level of play for this combo of digital and physical card to turn a significant profit, though. However, being a Yankee, and one that’s extremely popular in the hobby at that, I would say that the surplus paid for the blockchain card over the physical one is going to be much smaller than $1100 - $1200. It’s just speculation, though. We’ll have to see if one or the other sells within the next few months to set the market.
2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain Christian McCaffrey NFL Shield Auto 1/1
Initial Sale Price: $1,306.13
Best Comp: 2017 National Treasures Christian McCaffrey 1/1 RC AUTO NFL SHIELD LOGO PSA 10 (ebay link) Sold for $5,500 on Nov. 29, 2019
Estimated Surplus Paid: -$4,200
The biggest difference between this card and its comp is that the 2017 National Treasures 1/1 is a true Rookie Patch Auto. This is not an RPA, so the estimated surplus number is a bit high. That being said, Christian McCaffrey is one of the most exciting players in the NFL today and if the Panthers are a better team in 2020, and he continues to perform, cards like this should be a solid investment. In any case, this sale was a bargain for its buyer.
2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain Peyton Manning NFL Shield Auto 1/1
Initial Sale Price: $1,224.50
Best Comp: 2010 Plates & Patches Peyton Manning NFL Shield Logo Patch AUTO 1/1 BGS 9.5 (ebay link) sold for $831 on Jan. 6, 2020
Estimate Surplus Paid: $400 or less
For all of his accomplishments, Peyton Manning cards are quite undervalued when compared to his peers. Part of that is likely due to retiring in 2016 after the Super Bowl win with the Denver Broncos. So, this sale, like those of many of his key cars, feels a bit light. The closest comp we could find was from 2010 Plates & Patches. His other one-of-ones don’t really compare. It’s far from a perfect comp, as it’s also graded gem mint by Beckett. This was still a relative bargain for the buyer.
2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain Luis Suarez Dual Patch Auto 1/1
Initial Sales Price: $571.44
Best Comp: 2018 Topps UEFA Museum Champions League Green Luis Suarez Logo Patch AUTO 1/1 (ebay link) sold for $280 on Jan. 9, 2020.
Expected Surplus Value: $250
Without even checking the eBay comps, I can tell you this card went much lower than it should have. There was at least one potential buyer who would’ve paid $1,000 for this auction. What I will say is that this was closer to the comps than I would have first thought - as soccer isn’t my forte.
The most similar card was actually a 2018 Topps card, and its sale price of $280 was about right in line with this sale. The most expensive recent sale for a 1/1 patch for Luis Suarez was actually from an even higher-end product in Immaculate and it sold at best offer for $350 (ebay link) on November 20th, 2019. For our purposes, I split the difference at $320 when factoring the surplus value of the blockchain card.
According to the comps, this was still a slight bargain. I will say that some feedback that I saw was that the patches weren’t as impressive as the others. While that’s true, this card should’ve performed better. Soccer cards are still not as popular as basketball, baseball, and football, but they are getting there. I expect this card to sell for significantly more than the initial sale would suggest.
Week One Analysis
The Kobe Bryant sale made headlines, but all ten of these sales were a landmark for trading cards as blockchain collectibles. At least three were clear bargains (Lillard, Coby White, and McCaffrey.) Only Kyler Murray and Gleyber Torres were clear overpays when compared to current comps and both have potential to be good buys as soon as next season.
Onto week two, the card lineup for the next ten cards looked like this:
DeAndre Hunter Logoman Patch Auto
Shohei Ohtani Button Patch Auto
Jerry Rice Patch Auto
Rui Hachimura Logoman Patch Auto
Patrick Mahomes Shield Patch Auto
Russell Wilson Shield Patch Auto
Ja Morant/RJ Barrett Dual Logoman Auto
Kevin Garnett Logoman Auto
Maradona Dual Patch Auto
Charles Woodson Patch Auto
Through Friday morning, no bids had been made. While this is a very strong group of guys, I don't think anyone thought we would top $10k at all in week 2. My pick for first to go was Patrick Mahomes, coming off that AFC divisional round blowout of the Texans. Soon to be Hall of famer Kevin Garnett I saw going second or third. Russell Wilson was knocked out by the 49ers but I saw him being one of the first to go, as well.
The week two auctions ended on January 17th with some interesting results. Here's the sale order and final sales tally:
Patrick Mahomes: $4979.60
Kevin Garnett: $4653.07
Ja Morant/RJ Barrett: $3918.38
Rui Hachimura: $3510.21
Russell Wilson: $1959.19
DeAndre Hunter: $1959.19
Jerry Rice: $1959.19
Shohei Ohtani: $1795.93
Charles Woodson: $653.07
As it turns out I got Mahomes and Garnett right on. A few of these seem like they went low right away. Let's take a look.
Panini National Treasures Blockchain Patrick Mahomes Patch Auto 1/1
Initial Sales Price: $4979.60
Best Comp: 2018 National Treasures NFL Shield Logo Patch AUTO 1/1 BGS 9 (eBay link) Sold for $5655 on Nov. 11, 2019
Estimated Surplus Paid: -$600
Mahomes rookie patch autos from 2017 have sold for five figures recently. Of course, this is not a rookie patch auto, so we instead compared it to his 2018. If we use that card as a touchpoint, then this is a fair bargain. If Mahomes goes to the Super Bowl, it will be moreso. If he wins it all, this was a major bargain.
Panini National Treasures Blockchain Kevin Garnett Patch Auto 1/1
Initial Sales Price: $4653.07
Best Comp: No recent comps
Estimated Surplus Paid: Unknown
There haven't been any similar one-of-one type cards recently sold for Kevin Garnett. But many low serial numbered Garnett patch autos have sold for as high as $5,000. So, this may end up being a bargain, especially after he's officially announced as a new member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Panini National Treasures Blockchain Ja Morant/RJ Barrett Patch Auto 1/1
Initial Sales Price: $3918.38
Best Comp: 2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain Ja Morant/Rui Hachimura, Sold for $3,591.85 in Week 1
Estimated Surplus Value: -$300
It did seem fair that the Morant/Barrett card would best the sale price of the Morant/Hachimura. It did do that by about $300. It really depends on who you like more: Barrett or Hachimura going forward. This price is just fine and probably a solid bargain.
Panini National Treasures Blockchain Rui Hachimura Patch Auto 1/1
Initial Sales Price: $3510.21
Best Comp: 2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain Ja Morant/Rui Hachimura, Sold for $3,591.85 in Week 1
Estimated Surplus Value: $100 or more
Considering that Hachimura's best comp when compared to the Dual Logoman Auto he shared with Ja Morant from week one was valued at just $800, this is an interesting development. But, of course, the best Comp for this card is the dual Logoman. A lot rides on how Hachimura develops, but this has the potential to be a fair price when you consider the value of the blockchain and physical assets combined.
Panini Blockchain National Treasures Blockchain Russell Wilson Patch Auto 1/1
Initial Sales Price: $1959.19
Best Comp: 2017 Immaculate Football Russell Wilson Patch Auto 1/1 NFL Shield BGS 9.5/10 (eBay link) sold for $1699 on Dec. 4, 2019
Estimated Surplus Paid: $400 or less
Were Russell Wilson playing on the NFC championship game, this card would've likely sold for more. The best Comp wasn't far off this card and other one of one patch auto cards of Wilson's sold for $2,000, $3,000, or more. So, this sale was probably a fair price for the physical copy alone. This is likely a bargain long-term.
Panini National Treasures Blockchain DeAndre Hunter Patch Auto 1/1
Initial Sales Price: $1959.19
Best Comps: 2019 Panini Blockchain National Treasures Damian Lillard & Coby White (Each sold for $1959.19 in Week 1)
Estimated Surplus Paid: $0
There wasn't a great comp for this card outside of two very similar Panini Blockchain NBA cards that sold in Week 1. That it sold for the exact same price as those two seems to suggest a fair market price for this type of card has been set.
Panini National Treasures Blockchain Jerry Rice Patch Auto 1/1
Initial Sales Price: $1959.19
Best Comp: 2015 Crown Royale Silhouettes Jerry Rice GU 75th NFL Shield Logo Patch AUTO 1/1 (eBay link) sold for $1030 on Dec. 23, 2019
Estimated Surplus Paid: $900
The closest comp to this card sold for a little over $1000. That suggests this sale was a slight bargain if you consider the block chain card to have about the same value. I would suggest the prestige of the National Treasures brand significantly eats into that surplus as I feel the physical copy of this card could fetch more at auction. This card is a definite wait and see.
Panini National Treasures Blockchain Shohei Ohtani Button Patch Auto 1/1
Initial Sales Price: $1795.93
Best Comp: 2018 National Treasures Rookie Patch Auto Platinum 1/1 BGS 8.5 (eBay link) Sold for $830 on Dec. 5, 2019
Estimated Surplus Paid: $900 or more
Ohtani is the lone baseball card in Week 2. While he hit fine in 2019, Ohtani's real value comes in being a true two-way player. His return to the mound will have a lot to do with his card market.
Our comp isn't perfect, but it's as close as we will get. Being a button patch makes this card unique much as the Authentic tag on the Platinum RPA is. At first glance the price seems high, but a strong year on both the mound and at the plate for Ohtani could make this a bargain as the 2020 MLB season progresses.
Panini National Treasures Blockchain Maradona Dual Patch Auto 1/1
Initial Sales Price: $979.60
Best Comp: 2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain Luis Suarez (Sold Week 1 for $571.44)
Estimated Surplus Paid: $400 or more
The Maradona was expected to beat last week's Luis Suarez sale. It did that rather handily, nearly breaking $1000. This may have been a slight overpay right now, but it's hard to say since this Maradona doesn't really have a comp. My opinion is that this is a nicer card. Also, with soccer cards still an emerging markets for Panini, this price I would say is fairer than it looks, especially for a retired legend.
Panini National Treasures Blockchain Charles Woodson Patch Auto
Initial Sales Price: $653.07
Best Comp: 2018 Panini Flawless Nike Swoosh Patch Auto 1/1 (eBay link) Sold for $322 on Nov. 11, 2019
Estimated Surplus Paid: $300 or more
While I would expect Woodson to be the lowest of the sales, this one isn't a crazy huge bargain. You can argue the comp isn't perfect, as Flawless is higher end than National Treasures. The Flawless card may be nicer. But this sale seems perfectly fair.
Week Two Analysis
The market definitely seems to have settled on prices for these cards. There weren't as many crazy overpays or clear bargains in Week 2. In fact, all these prices may end up being more than fair. What's very obvious is that Panini has no business starting these auctions at $100,000… but of course, they're going to keep up this stupid high starting point for their Dutch auctions for Weeks 3 through 10.
What do you think of these prices for these new Panini Blockchain cards? Do you agree or disagree with our analysis? Keep in mind that because this market is so new, our comps are going to be less than perfect. What I can easily say is that the market corrected after just a single week.
Really, we won't know what the true secondary market for these cards will be until the blockchain cards hit the Panini auction block. It will be a couple months before we know the fate of some of the physical cards, as well. The actual surplus paid for the blockchain card based on imperfect physical comps is likely to be very different.
Of course, for now we can only depend on the information we have available. I will say that Panini needs to be a lot more realistic with their starting bids, but there is definitely interest and a willingness to spend on these.
What do you think of the Panini Blockchain cards? We will be back to analyze the sales for Week 3!
Learn about the auction results of the ten Panini National Treasures Blockchain cards from the Week 1 release.
Panini America has set a major landmark by releasing ten sports cards that are unique one-of-one collectibles that come in two forms - a physical copy and a non-fungible token on a private Panini blockchain. In the first week, Panini released ten of these 2019 Panini National Treasures Blockchain cards. These cards were auctioned using the Dutch auction format. The bidding began at a whopping $100,000 for each card. This number was greatly criticized, although the Dutch auction format itself has been done for other unique blockchain collectibles before.
The first of these Panini Blockchain cards to sell was a Kobe Bryant One-of-One card styled after Panini’s highly popular National Treasures set. It features both an autograph and an NBA Logoman patch. The final sales price was $61,714 on January 8th, 2020! This is a much higher price than many collectors anticipated, and perhaps the trigger was pulled due to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
The next three sales came close together three other sales. But, the next three cards sold for a mere fraction of the Kobe Bryant card. The second card to sell was a dual auto/dual Logoman patch Ja Morant/Rui Hachimura card, for a final sales price of $3,591.85 on January 10th, 2020. That is a much more reasonable price it would seem for this one-of-one card, especially when compared to its physical counterparts.
The third sale was a Kyler Murray one-of-one NFL Shield logo patch auto. It sold for $3,183.68. Again, that’s much closer to what you would expect for a card like this. The fourth car to sell was actually one of the most initially hyped, a Honus Wagner cut autograph one-of-one. It sold for $3,102.05 on January 10th, 2020.
The next two sold shortly after the others on January 10th, 2020, together at the same price. They were both NBA players. The fifth and sixth of the week one sales were Damian Lillard and Coby White Logoman autos. Each sold for $1959.19. The seventh sale was a Gleyber Torres auto with Nike patch, which sold for $1551.03.
Shortly after the Torres car sold were two more sales, these ones NFL stars. The 8th sale was Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, another Logoman auto that sold for $1306.13. Not long after was legendary quarterback Peyton Manning and his Logoman auto which fetched $1224.50.
The 10th and final sale was a dual patch autograph of soccer star Luis Suarez. His card brought the lowest total of all, just $571.44. Not to say that’s not a substantial amount of money, but it’s easily the cheapest of the 10.
Do keep in mind that these sales come with two distinct assets. One is an actual physical card that will be shipped to the buyer. The other is a digital representation of that card as a non-fungible token on Panini’s private blockchain. This NFT can be sold on Panini’s blockchain marketplace. The physical copy is treated just like any ordinary one-of-one trading card. They are entirely separate and distinct assets. You can sell the digital asset and keep the physical card, keep the digital asset and sell the physical card as you would any other card, or sell both, or keep both.
What will be very interesting to watch now is what these blockchain NFT cards end up selling for on the Panini marketplace. It will also be interesting to find out what happens if any of these Panini National Treasures Blockchain cards end up on eBay. Since they are one-of-one cards, how the secondary market responds to these sales, and whether the initial buyer profits in the end, will be quite a story to follow.
More analysis to come. We’re excited to see what Week 2’s batch will bring. Will we see another $50,000-plus sale?
In our regular Roundup series, we’ll be sharing some of the latest news and insights about digital collectibles, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain tech from the past few days. We’ll also add some of our own commentary. If there’s a link you believe should be included in one of our Digital Collectibles Roundups, let us know!
Gods Unchained mythic card sold in $31,000 auction - Story from Nederob.nl
While it’s not Gods Unchained’s most expensive card ever sold at auction - that honor still belongs to Hyperion at around $60,000 - Atlas is the first one-of-a-kind mythic rare card that a player has sold at auction. The $31,000 sum - or 210 ETH at the time - was acquired by selling the card as a digital asset on OpenSea. Notably, this same buyer has purchased $14,000 worth of other Gods Unchained cards. The other Gods Unchained unique mythic cards - Hyperion, Teyhys, and Prometheus - remain with their original owners as of this writing. Clearly, the Gods Unchained trading card market is already thriving.
Speaking of blockchain trading card games…
‘Game Changer’: Trading Cards Head to Blockchain to Transform Gameplay - Story from CoinTelegraph
While Cryptomages is another blockchain trading card game, it’s very different in gameplay than Gods Unchained. It actually has multiple battle modes and many different characters in an EXP-based trading card system. What’s interesting about Transcemdence’s game is that it’s powered by two separate blockchain networks: the TELOS blockchain for payments and the BitcoinSubsidium blockchain for the storage of the cards (NFTs) themselves. It’s going to be available on many mainstream platforms: Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android. It’s a game worth watching.
Microsoft Validates Enjin’s Tech, Launches Azure Heroes - Story from AltCoinBuzz.io
Enjin gets their biggest partner yet, about as big as you can get in tech with Microsoft. Azure Heroes is Microsoft’s first official foray into digital collectibles, backed by ENJ - Enjin Coin. It’s a huge step forward for the Ethereum-based gaming platform, but Azure Heroes is more of a rewards system than an actual game, per se. People get stds from coaching, creating demos, and blogging about the Azure cloud computing service - essentially rewarding contributions to the tech community, But, what it does do is expose Enjin and its stable of games to a brand new and much larger audience thanks to Microsoft’s involvement. These rewards tokens could become nifty little digital collectibles investments as Enjin’s platform grows.
WAX (WAX) Launches Its Blockchain Gaming-Focused Cloud Wallet - Story From SludgeFeed
Wallets are the way to securely store all of your various cryptocurrencies and blockchain collectibles. But, there are so many to choose from, and to support all the various cryptocurrencies and tokens you acquire, you may end up having to keep track of many different wallets. While many companies are releasing innovations to crypto wallets all the time, the WAX blockchain network has launched one that’s focused towards blockchain gaming. It features two-click account creation and a simple interface to interact with the WAX dApps (decentralized Apps). This should go a long way towards WAX gaining popularity with a more mainstream audience than Ethereum or EOS.
Stryking opens auction for FC Bayern Munich crypto collectible NFTs - Story from @crypto_ninjas
In the wake of Sorare’s success with blockchain soccer trading cards, Stryking has now officially entered the fray with their FC Bayern Munich player card NFTs. However, these 18 player cards are one-of-a-kind. Stryking already has their [p[ular fantasy sports platform Football-Stars, but this is their first official foray into the blockchain collectibles market. There’s already plenty of bidding going on. It will be interesting to see what these initial one-of-ones will sell for auction’s end.
Any other blockchain or crypto news we should know about or any comments? Leave them below!
Soccer Trading Cards and Fantasy Soccer Come to Blockchain Gaming - Fantasy Football on the Blockchain!
by R.A. Rowell
Stryking and FC Bayern Munich have come into a partnership to create digital collectibles based on the top German football team’s star players. Stryking was recently purchased by Animoca Brands, who seems bent on acquiring licenses to create licensed digital collectibles from every major brand on the planet they can. In particular, stryking.io is eyeing other major sports leagues and clubs to create “a global platform for blockchain-based digital collectibles centered around popular sports licenses…”
While this is hardly the first partnership to create NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) on blockchain technology of star sports players, it’s one of the first to feature the world’s most popular sport of football (known to us Americans as soccer.) Already, American sports leagues such as Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) have licensed their own digital collectibles. Like with the MLB and NBA collectibles, these blockchain cards will be usable in a fantasy game called Football-Stars. Also, they will offer their owners true asset ownership and can be freely traded.
With the backing of one of the world’s top football clubs, Football-Stars appears poised for success. According to the CryptoNinja’s article on the Stryking football NFTs, players will create virtual lineups which they pit against other users. Then, based on either historical or real-time results, these blockchain cards can gain value based on the depicted players’ success. Then, these cards can be sold on the in-game marketplace. It’s like mainstream fantasy sports now, but you can profit from the results of your players right away.
Unsurprisingly, Stryking isn’t alone in bringing football trading cards and fantasy football to the blockchain. In fact, there’s already someone ahead of them..
Sorare’s Fantasy Football Game Backed by Gaming Giant Ubisoft
Gaming giant Ubisoft and DLT (blockchain) tech firm Sorare are working on their own official football cards, too. Like the Stryking game, these cards are usable in a fantasy football game, too. They are limited edition blockchain collectibles freely tradable among players. In fact, Sorare’s fantasy football game is already licensed by nearly 30 football clubs as of this writing. It’s in open beta and dozens of other football clubs are expected to join the game, too.
Sorare’s game is fairly simple. You build a team of five players and they earn you rewards based on their weekly performance. Also, players can earn bonus points based on the “power” of their individual blockchain cards. It appears to be a hit game already among football fans. With the worldwide appeal of football, there’s a chance for this game to be a massive mainstream success. That’s likely why Ubisoft got involved and brought Sorare into its Entrepreneur Labs program.
This author has believed from the beginning that fantasy sports built on blockchain trading cards would be a major key in helping blockchain gaming go mainstream. Stryking and Sorare look to be clear frontrunners in helping blockchain fantasy sports to become a worldwide phenomenon.
Sorare clearly has a leg up on the competition with their gaming giant backing. But with all of the major licenses that Animoca is buying up, you can’t count them out, either. These are going to be exciting projects to watch, especially with Stryking and its parent company Animoca Brands eyeing other major sports for their platform, too.
Are you a believer in blockchain fantasy sports? Which leagues or teams are you excited to see join the trend?
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Splinterlands is a Blockchain Trading Card Game Epitomizing What TCGs Must Become to Survive in a Changing World
by R.A. Rowell
As of yet, our team as not yet played Splinterlands, but I have played another extremely popular crypto trading card game, Gods Unchained. There are some things about Splinterlands, however, that I believe will give it enduring success. Why did I decide to write about Splinterlands before even getting a chance to play?
There are key aspects that make Splinterlands different than many other blockchain trading card games before it. These things are exactly what current Trading Card Games need to adopt to succeed in a changing world where crypto is going to become a part of everyday life. Blockchain trading card games are becoming one of the top genres in crypto gaming for several reasons, many of which I will cover right now.
Splinterlands Runs on the Steem Blockchain
Many current popular blockchain games use the Ethereum blockchain to store their more valuable assets. While Ethereum is great, its network is really not designed to keep up with the number of transactions that popular games require. Ethereum is known to have an average transaction speed of 25 per second. That doesn’t sound like that many, and really, it isn’t.
Steem is a blockchain known to perform over 1,000 transactions per second. Tron is another blockchain often used for gaming applications that has boasted over 3,000 transactions per second. Gods Unchained has done OK simply because it hasn’t yet reached the number of transactions as far as cards being bought and sold to congest the Ethereum network on a regular basis.
But for a truly popular trading card game - think of Magic the Gathering - to succeed on a blockchain, it needs a network that can perform thousands of transactions per second. That’s part of why Steem has so much potential, especially when you consider how inflated transaction costs can become on Ethereum when it becomes congested.
However, in January 2020, Splinterlands DID create the ability to send Splinterlands cards to the Ethereum blockchain so that you can trade them freely as ERC-721 NFTs on marketplaces such as OpenSea. Cards can be purchased with ETH and sent back to Splinterlands, too. It’s created a brand new potential avenue for interested gamers to get into Splinterlands. You’ll have to pay the associated Ethereum GAS fees, but for those already invested in ETH, it’s a great opportunity.
Splinterlands Has Its Own In-Game Currency
Even more interesting about Splinterlands is that it has its own in-game currency. Many games use their own tokens that can be bought and sold on the marketplace of the blockchain that game belongs to. But, Splinterlands literally has DEC (Dark Energy Crystals), and while they exist as tokens on the Steem blockchain, their value will always remain the same and have no monetary value. Players can earn this currency just by winning ranked matches in the game, or by destroying unused cards, allowing players to earn enough to buy booster packs. .
In its beta, Gods Unchained has a similar play-to-earn system where you can play for free but earn raffle tickets with each win that can then be traded for Ethereum. Of course, these tickets have values that can fluctuate wildly, and of course lose value as more are put into the ecosystem. This can’t happen with DEC, which is Splinterlands’ own stable currency.
Even better, like the game’s cards, Spinterlands DEC can now also be transferred to the Ethereum blockchain and traded as an ERC-20 token. This gives those invested in Ethereum another opportunity to buy into Splinterlands. It’s also now tradeable on the TRON blockchain.
Splinterlands Sold Out 1.2 Million Packs Very Quickly Due to Proven Scarcity
Splinterlands has been wildly successful in selling cards, with 300,000 alpha packs sold out and 900.000 beta packs just recently selling out. How has this little crypto trading card game made over 1 million US dollars in marketplace sales already? First of all, the cards in these packs will never be made available again. Plus, because players can acquire in-game DEC currency from destroying cards they don’t need, many of these cards will be lost forever. Also, rarer cards can be acquired by leveling up other cards of the same type. So, now that these packs are sold out, these Alpha and Beta cards can only be acquired from other players.
Provable scarcity is perhaps the most important thing when it comes to blockchain trading card games. Even if a card is “reprinted” in a game, in that it’s functionally the same, it’s still not the same card. However, it does seem that blockchain trading card games are shying away from reprints - something that has plagued the secondary market value of cards in trading card games such as Magic the Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh.
Why Blockchain Trading Card Games Over Traditional Trading Card Games?
With popular trading card games like Magic the Gathering, the secondary market is sometimes hard to gauge. Cards that see substantial play competitively can see crazy price spikes. Then, there’s a lot of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) due to perceived scarcity, leading to wild price swings for certain cards. So, why doesn’t this happen in blockchain trading card games? Here’s why.
Right on the Splinterlands home page is a section entitled “Why Blockchain?” We’ve already mentioned provable scarcity, but what does that mean? Blockchains have ledgers with full transparency, so you can see exactly how many of each different card exist in the game. The comparison that Splinterlands makes is Hearthstone, which is a good example - since in that game you don’t know exactly how rare (or valuable) each of your cards actually is.
Another big upside to blockchain trading cards is true asset ownership. This is the major upside to digital blockchain collectibles in general. In games like Magic the Gathering Online or Hearthstone, your cards actually belong to the game. But on the blockchain, your cards actually belong to you. The only way they can be traded is with private keys, like with any other blockchain asset as with cryptocurrency. Even the game creators can’t take them from you. Like with physical trading cards, you actually own them. The difference is that you actually know the full chain of custody of that exact card and how many exist.
Also, blockchain trading card games have yet another upside that even physical trading card games can’t compete with: absolutely no tampering is possible. Every battle result and cards contained in packs are randomly generated by a published algorithm. That algorithm comes from unpredictable data on the blockchain itself. No one, not even the game creators, can tamper with any battle result or the contents of any pack. That means Splinterlands and other similar blockchain trading card games such as Gods Unchained are 100 percent provably fair.
Can Digital Trading Card Games Survive Without Moving Assets to the Blockchain?
One of the major issues I have with Magic the Gathering Arena, and the reason I don’t currently play it, is that you can’t trade your in-game cards with other players or sell them outside of the game. Even the much-maligned Magic the Gathering Online allows you to trade cards and even sell them in the game for event tickets which can be sold for cash to outside vendors. Hearthstone has a similar problem, in that the cards you acquire are bound to your account.
So, what if you don’t want to play Arena or Hearthstone anymore? Just either leave your cards there or go through the hassle of trying to sell your account. Basically, every dollar you put into the game is a dollar that’s forever gone. Sure, paying for entertainment is fine. But, I’ve never liked the idea of playing for cards that I don’t actually own. What if I lose access to my account? I have to start all over again. But with blockchain trading cards, you own the cards, even if the game ceases to exist!
The reason that MTGO still exists and I’ll still play with it from time to time is that I have successfully made a profit from the cards I’ve used in the game. It’s the main reason people used to play, because if you were good enough at drafting the right cards and really good at winning tournaments, you could actually grind out a ton of event tickets and other prizes. The prize structure makes it a bit harder to profit now, but it’s still possible.
Of course, MTGO’s business model is extremely antiquated. But, you can still trade cards. Still, most digital trading card games bind the cards you acquire to your account. They have no value outside of that particular application. But, blockchain trading cards are not just tradeable, they actually exist independent of the game. That means they remain as collectibles that you own. It’s even possible for those cards to eventually end up in some other game should the original game cease to be active.
The Future of Blockchain Trading Card Games is Bright
Blockchain trading card games are going to eventually unseat these other trading card giants. It would seem to be a prudent step for the owners of Magic the Gathering (Wizards of the Coast & Hasbro), Yu-Gi-Oh (Konami), Pokemon (Nintendo), and other trading card games to consider creating assets on the blockchain that they can introduce to their existing games over time. Gamers would love to own more of the things that they love. I know I’m not the only one who feels like these digital trading card games are just a cash grab for the sake of our entertainment.
Splinterlands, Gods Unchained, and similar crypto trading card games are the future of the genre. Heck, they may even supplant the TCGs of today as crypto gaming becomes more mainstream. I love Magic the Gathering, but their recent behavior of price gouging in the physical card market (no more MSRP) and the cash grab of Arena (cards bound to your individual account), I simply can’t support that game anymore. That’s why my focus has shifted to blockchain gaming, where the power and value really goes into the hands of the gamers and indie developers - where those things truly belong! Big gaming companies have to adapt or be left in the dust wondering why they didn’t see it coming.
Back to Splinterlands, the game does require that you purchase a starter pack (only $10 USD or equivalent crypto or other fiat currency) or have a promo code to get started. After that, it’s very possible to play to earn, just like I have with a Gods Unchained beta key.
Have you played Splinterlands, Gods Unchained, or other blockchain trading card games? What are your experiences with them? Do you think that blockchain TCGs will eventually make physical and other digital TCGs obsolete?
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by R.A. Rowell
In 2017, Thomas Hunt, also known as “Mad Bitcoins,” launched his blockchain collectibles project, Curio Cards. These limited edition blockchain collectibles followed the success of blockchain trading card game Spells of Genesis and Rare Pepe blockchain trading cards based on the meme Pepe the Frog (today it’s Rare Pepe Wallet). In 2019, Curio Cards are still being created and released - often limited to under 1000 copies, and sometimes limited to even just 200 to 400 copies each.RSS Feed
The creator of the digital trading cards project has long been himself a collector. Per the CurioCards website, he created this platform for artists and collectors that actually benefits artists. At the time, Curio Cards were very innovative, as these were among the very first ERC20 tokens purposely created to be limited edition and provably rare. Best of all, the entire chain of custody of each individual token is easily verified. Since then, there have been many collectibles created in this way, but Curio Cards was a pioneer in blockchain collectibles
Thomas Hunt was correct that blockchain collectibles would grow. The launch of the Enjin Marketplace, backed by the Enjin Coin and the Unity 3D powered games that use the related ERC20 tokens - has certainly helped Ethereum-based blockchain collectibles. But, other crypto collectibles marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rare Bits already existed. There’s definitely a healthy market for blockchain collectibles and it’s only growing.
Rare digital art has become a reality thanks to blockchain technology. But, so far, the trick is not only selling the initial offerings, but then creating a stable market afterwards. When new blockchain collectibles hit the market, hype usually causes a bunch to sell quickly, but the market quickly wanes afterward. Most recently, the most traded items are blockchain trading cards and collectibles that can be used in popular blockchain games.
So, the question facing the blockchain collectibles market for static items like digital art has been this: “How do we create or find new audiences to buy blockchain art?” The good news is that this question has a potential good answer. There seem to be a new wave of savvy investors who aren’t only into cryptocurrency itself, but also the tokens related to digital art and gaming projects, as well as the art and collectibles themselves. Of course, the tokens that investors are most interested in are those used in popular blockchain games, such as the trading cards in Gods Unchained.
However, people do like digital art. From an investment standpoint, because of the extremely limited nature of many of these blockchain collectibles, the scarcity creates opportnity, Of course, traditional art is seen as a valuable asset class. With digital art stored on the blockchain, pieces are still able to be enjoyed by the masses, but the holder of the token has true ownership. Also, blockchain collectibles can’t be counterfeited, a major drawback of traditional art. Who doesn’t want ot invest in something that’s counterfeit-proof and far less expensive than the traditional counterpart? Plus, it can’t easily be stolen and chain of custody is easily verified - so you know exactly where it’s been.
Also, for investors who don’t have a place to safely and securely store art, digital blockchain art is the perfect alternative. Best of all, artists get to benefit more than ever, since they can literally create art at will. The artists still retain their rights to the intellectual property and can issue “reprints” if they wish, since the originals are still proven originals as unique tokens..
Curio Cards will likely be one of a few current blockchain collectibles that will benefit from a new wave of blockchain collectible investors. The question isn’t if it will happen, it’s all a matter of when. When more people realize that they can own a piece of fine art that is a great place to store value just as with traditional artwork - but that can be easily bought and sold digitally - the digital art community will forever be transformed.
What do you think of the future of digital art as blockchain collectibles?
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R.A. Rowell is a collectibles enthusiast who comes from a long history of collecting trading cards in both sports and in Trading Card Games. He is passionate about educating the world about the future promise and benefits of digital collectibles, both on the blockchain and off.