Deep Dive #4 - Rise of the Crypto Collectibles
The NBA, Logan Paul, and historic art are getting on the blockchain
Startup Exchange Deep Dive is a newsletter sharing interesting links and resources we find about various topics in the startup world. We also hope to provide opportunities for people looking to break into startups and tech.
If you have any feedback or suggestions let us know!
This week we will be diving into the new wave of consumer social products and creator-led products.
What is crypto? 💭
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have gained immense popularity thanks to their decentralized, secure and anonymous nature, which supports the peer-to-peer architecture and makes it possible to transfer funds and other digital assets between two different individuals without a central authority.
Too many big words. We’ve got you covered. Read the TLDR version below👇🏻
Crypto seems hard. The mechanism of its working seems weirdly complex for a technology that is meant to be “people-centric”. And who better to approach than cryptocurrency’s largest wallet provider - Co - Founder and CEO of Coinbase Brian Armstrong.
Here is his say on how digital currency is and will revolutionize the world.
Are you even into crypto if you haven’t heard of Naval Ravikant 👀 ? The founder and former CEO of AngelList is the person you want to hear from if you want to know crypto better. Here’s one of his blogs explaining in detail how Bitcoin (arguably the most popular cryptocurrency out there) works.
However, we do know that some of you out there are tech geeks and like to get into the finer details of things. We have just the guide explaining the finer details of the working of crypto.
Crypto on the Court 🏀
Interest and enthusiasm in crypto, usually limited to just Silicon Valley tech bros and other tech savvy individuals, has gone mainstream thanks to NBA Top Shot.
NBA Top Shot, a collaboration between the NBA and Dapper Labs, allowing users to own NBA moments and highlights. It’s like buying sports cards and collectibles but in digital form. Unlike trading cards, no one can replicate or steal moments. This is due to Top Shot highlights being built on a blockchain, which ensures no two moments are alike.
In just some months of being functional the Top Shot marketplace has generated $205M in total sales. Mind you, sports memorabilia is a $5B market.
But this is ridiculous, why are people buying highlights like Lebron dunking for $200K when they can just watch it on YouTube? The main reason is NBA Top Shot acts as a pseudo-cryptocurrency, one accessible to us who still don’t understand the inner workings of crypto. If you’ve witnessed an amazing dunk or game-winning shot, you understand how rare those moments are. So saying you have ownership of the only such digital moment matters.
Furthermore, with every highlight guaranteed to be unique it increases scarcity in the marketplace. So as demand goes up to own these collectibles, the price will only go up, taking NBA Top Shot to the moon.
Logan Paul and Mean Girls ride the NFT train 🥊
So what NBA Top Shot moments really are, are something called Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs).
NFTs are not to be confused with regular crypto-assets such as Bitcoin or Dogecoin because unlike a Bitcoin, each NFT is unique. NFTs are distinct and easily verifiable digital assets which make them perfect for representing collectibles.
So now with NFTs you can own a piece of the internet, whether be owning a meme, music albums, or digital art. This concept has gotten so much traction that Christie’s, an auction house founded in 1766, is getting behind the NFT craze.
And now even celebrities are cashing in on the opportunity.
Logan Paul made $3.5M off of NFTs last week. Lindsay Lohan made $50K off an NFT the week before. We could go on and on about Tyga, Soulja Boy, and others getting into the NFT game. But why does this matter?
This matters because NFTs have been around for some time now. But only now do we see prominent individuals getting involved. These individuals can appeal to their fan bases to further accelerate the widespread adoption of NFTs as collectibles, and the adoption of crypto technologies in general.
And if enough of the general public gets behind crypto, we could see every asset and transaction living on the blockchain.
Crypto x Picasso? 🎨
Our history has always been documented well. Da Vinci painted the “Last Supper”. William Sadler painted the “Battle of Waterloo”. These moments are historic. Paintings and artwork record such moments in time. Similarly, there are some iconic events in the world of cryptocurrency too. Think about the billionth Ethereum transaction or the first transaction in 2021.
To record such moments, POB.studio has come up with an innovative way of marking transactions with digital artwork that you exclusively own. For any of your transactions, you get to create a custom artwork with POB.studio and like any other piece of art, the value of your crypto related art work can be appreciated too.
As seen below, everyone can create their own crypto art which is in turn backed by a cryptocurrency called $HASH. Just like your Warhol or Picasso’s price goes up, your custom crypto art’s value rises too.