Online marketplace eBay is now letting users buy and sell collectible cryptographic assets like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) amidst what is becoming a mainstream adoption of public blockchains.
The soft announcement came via Reuters to whom eBay VP and GM of North America, Jordan Sweetnam, said the company “will add new capabilities that bring blockchain-driven collectibles to our platform”.
Ebay is treading carefully into the crypto-asset space and will only give access to NFT sales for certain sellers.
Cryptocurrencies are especially notorious for scammers who use popular trends to trick people into parting with their money.
Users will be able to buy the digital collectibles directly from these verified sellers with fiat currency, potentially opening the secondary NFT market to people less familiar with cryptocurrencies and the various decentralised exchanges sometimes needed for buying certain coins and tokens.
NFT sellers on eBay are currently offering digital goods like unopened packs of NBA Top Shop cards, cute collectible monsters, and photographs of William Shatner, each of which happens to be part of separate projects stored on different blockchains.
NFTs have exploded in popularity this year with first issuances of the assets selling out almost instantly, paving the way for secondary markets like OpenSea and now globally recognised brands like eBay.
In case NFTs weren't strange enough, they've now been adopted by William Shatner. Image: eBay
That popularity has helped fuel an entire ecosystem of NFTs, apps and games that interact with NFTs, and marketplaces for NFTs all built on various blockchains.
One of the many blockchains carving its niche in Web 3.0 is WAX.
It is already host to over 40 decentralised apps (dApps) that offer a glimpse into the future of the internet – whether it be through hosting official William Shatner’s NFTs, comic books, art stores, or video games that feature tradeable assets which can be turned into bitcoin.
Alien Worlds is one of those games. Still in its early stages, Alien Worlds players use NFTs – limited run cards with certain corresponding statistics – to ‘mine’ planets for the Trillium token (which can itself be traded for other cryptocurrencies).
The potential for gamers to turn Trilium into cash has meant rare NFTs with high yields are listed on secondary markets like Atomic Hub for hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
When combined with virtual and augmented reality, these spaces have the potential to redefine social interaction and the way we view the digital world.
But if you want to get into NFTs be warned – it is expensive.
The mad dash to be an early adopter has meant most primary distributors run out of their minted pop culture collectibles almost instantly, leaving would-be buyers to fend for themselves on secondary markets, like eBay, often at largely inflated prices.