The complex relationship between boxing and NFT’s

Over the last few years Cryptocurrency continuously revolutionized the way we use currency, becoming one of the most lucrative industries in the world along the way. The price of digital currency has been sent into orbit with 1 bitcoin now equivalent to over $40,000. Whilst bitcoin is the original and so far, most profitable digital currency, we have now begun to see the inception of other coins as more people have come to understand the blockchain technology behind it. Now, in 2022 there are over 6000 digital coins available to buy and trade with. However, cryptocurrency is not the only way blockchain is being used with the advent of NFTs in recent years.

Boxing is the latest sport to pounce on the ever-growing popularity of NFTs and fans could not be happier to collect them, showing support for some of their favourite fighters. For sports fans, there is no better place to collect NFTs than with DraftKings’ very own NFT Marketplace. Collecting them could not be simpler. There are five drops on DraftKings’ scheduled drop day and users must join the queue to purchase one. If you are successful in your bid you can then view all of your tokens in the DraftKings Marketplace portfolio. It really is that easy. It is almost the natural progression for those who collected sports cards. Like other marketplaces, you can also sell your purchased NFTs to other DraftKings Marketplace customers. DraftKings is free to sign up for making it very easy to start browsing and building your portfolio.

But what exactly are NFTs?

As Crypto and digital coins became more widely used, we started to see the technology behind it become more innovative. So much so that artists have now utilized it to create digital assets.

NFT stands for ‘Non-Fungible Token’, and its name is a big clue as to just why they are so popular and why many are going for prices in the millions. Non-fungible essentially means they are not exchangeable. They cannot be copied, substituted, or subdivided for an identical token. This is where they differ to Cryptocurrency, in that one Bitcoin for example can always be traded for another bitcoin.

The token itself holds ‘totally unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a digital ledger that uses blockchain technology to establish proof of ownership’. They are digital pieces of art that hold value, just like physical art. They could come in the form of an image, a gif, a video or even a piece of music. In simpler terms; they are Crypto-baseball cards that are made to be collected. A one-of-a-kind card is Non-Fungible as you cannot trade it for an identical card, just like an NFT.

The first NFT as we know it was created by Kevin McCoy. He minted “Quantumn”, a digital image of a fluorescent, pulsing octagon, in 2014 and in 2021 it went on sale for an eye-watering seven-million dollars. The technology used to create that image has come a long way since and we are now seeing incredibly feats of digital artistry being accomplished every day.

It seemed only a matter of time until they appeared in the world of sport with a whole host of world-famous athletes getting involved in the fun since the pop culture phenomenon arose. In 2021, lineal World Heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury became the first boxer to launch an exclusive NFT collection. It has not taken long for some of his compatriots to follow and we are now seeing some of the biggest names in the sport foray into the world of blockchain tech along with the Gypsy King.

In April 2021, global over-the-top sports subscription video streaming service DAZN launched a series of NFTs to celebrate and commemorate Canelo Alvarez's clash with Billy Joe Saunders. The Super-Middleweight bout for the WBA, WBC and WBO was one of the biggest of the year, making it a great launching point for DAZN. There was an auction for a single, gold 'Tale of the Tape' for Canelo, and another for Saunders along with another 50 silver Tale of the Tape NFTs for each fighter along with tens more, all for fans.

Later on in the year, in the build up to his historic heavyweight championship win over Anthony Joshua, Ukranian boxer Olexander Usyk released his own NFT collection. The unbeaten Southpaw fighter’s collection featured a series of NFT collectible cards spotlighting the best moments of Usyk’s career with 5 different series: Steel, Titanium, Gold, Platinum and the one-and-only Diamond.

NFTs are clearly here to stay and it seems this is only the start of their appearance in the world of boxing. Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather has announced already that his next fight will integrate the blockchain technology in the event. Keep your eyes peeled for more releases on Draftkings and score yourself a piece of sporting history!

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