MLB trading cards will now be available as NFTs, in partnership with card maker Topps and blockchain marketplace WAX.
The move comes after the success of the NBA's Top Shot online collectible marketplace.
There's a new way to trade baseball cards, and it doesn't involve physical cards at all.
This week, Topps, the card company that issues baseball trading cards, will be launching a line of digital-only trading cards of Major League Baseball players as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The launch will take place on Worldwide Asset Exchange (WAX) later this month. An announcement on WAX showed that customers can choose between a $5 "standard pack" of six cards and a $100 "premium pack" of 45 cards. The packs have random mixes of cards with different levels of rarity.
This move marks an entrance into the digital-only space for the traditional baseball collectibles, and the unique digital signatures particular to each NFT mean that the cards cannot be faked or replicated, and that a record of their ownership is "signed" into the blockchain in order to ensure uniqueness.
The launch will take place on April 20 and will be on the WAX platform for blockchain-based token sales. The New York Times DealBook newsletter reported that Wax "minted more than a million NFTs for 75,000 digital card packs." The co-founder of WAX, William Quigley, told the Times that the endeavor is expected to generate millions of dollars in primary sales.
The MLB is taking after its basketball counterparts in the launch of blockchain-based trading cards. The NBA was an early adopter of this NFT-based model, with its Top Shot marketplace in partnership with the blockchain-based Dapper Labs. In March, Insider reported that Dapper Labs, a startup that has been bolstered by its successful partnership with the NBA, closed a $305 million funding round. A source close to the deal told Insider that the new round put the company's valuation at around $2.6 billion.
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