NFT market 'reminiscent of the tech bubble' from the early 2000s: L’Atelier BNP Paribas CEO
National Basketball Association player and recent crypto convert Stephen Curry released a collection of 2,974 non-fungible tokens featuring digital replicas of the shoes he wore when he broke the 3-point scoring record this month, allowing owners to show them off across three different metaverses.
Priced at US$333 and already sold out, the NFT drop entitles buyers to sport the shoes across a trio of Ethereum-based metaverse platforms: Eric Schiermeyer’s Gala Games, Animoca Brands’ The Sandbox and Decentraland. Net proceeds from the sale will be donated to organizations supporting access to sport, according to the dedicated website set up in collaboration with Curry’s real-world sneaker brand, Under Armour Inc.
NFTs exploded in popularity this year, aided in part by celebrity endorsements and stratospheric prices paid for the most in-demand examples, triggering a speculative rush. The virtual Genesis Curry Flows sneakers are an early attempt at one of the promises of NFTs: allowing a person to buy a digital good once and then use it across various games or virtual experiences. One feature they’ve inherited from the gaming realm is the loot box mechanic: there are five variants of the shoes with increasing scarcity and each owner doesn’t know which they’ll get in advance.
The website points interested parties to the OpenSea secondary market, where much of the NFT speculative frenzy has taken place. Fans of Curry and his nearly 3,000 NBA 3-pointers may thus have to contend with others trading on the scarcity of the sneakers, but for all the enthusiasm around this developing sphere, a recent Chainalysis study found that only a small group of insiders is reaping most of the gains on NFTs.