Cryptocurrency Set to Change Sports, Arts, and Pop Culture
March 23, 2021
It has been said for many years now that blockchain holds the secret to the future of the digital realms. We are finally beginning to see that hypothesis unfold before us in the world today.
Everywhere you look, there are captivating headlines about Bitcoin in the news space. Other blockchain-associated products seem to be hot news too. Non-fungible tokens and digital asset sales are popular at the moment and have introduced a profitable craze that has turned hundreds of millions of dollars over the last few months alone.
Fun Fact: A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unique digital asset (intangible asset). The NFT is essentially a digital certificate connected to a piece of digital artwork/product. The data is held on a blockchain network, like Ethereum, where it is transferrable from one owner to another.
The key to blockchain’s current success is the now broader understanding that the ledger’s technology is not simply the vehicle of virtual currency but has several convenient uses for the transferring of digital IDs, assets, and more.
The decentralised nature of the technology is one of its biggest selling points, helping ordinary people obtain a universal reach without the need for middle-men and agents. As such, the digital phenomenon of cryptocurrency and blockchain is catching on and is making positive waves in sporting circles, in the arts, and among other pop-culture circles.
The Evolution of the Sporting World
Both cryptocurrency and NFT technology are making massive inroads into the sporting industry. Two of the most notable areas in sports most recently involved with this sort of innovation are the National League Basketball (NBA) and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
NBA’s Progressive Approach
In October last year, the NBA partnered with blockchain wizards, Dapper Labs, to release NFT collectables for the sport. Known as ‘Hot Shots’, the subsidiary company began selling digital images of famous basketball players on the blockchain. In only four months, the venture had made more than $230 million.
One of the biggest challenges to collectors of physical memorabilia is where to store the valuable trinkets. Collectors of NFTs don’t have that issue, as the digital assets find their home on a blockchain behind some of the best cybersecurity in the world.
With the current digital climate, several NBA team owners and shareholders have united to form a blockchain advisory committee to plot the course forward for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology’s involvement in the framework of the league.
The innovation that cryptocurrency and blockchain could bring to the league is immeasurable. The technology can leverage its powers to streamline ticket sales, raffles, giveaways, the sale of non-fungible tokens and other sporting memorabilia, and much more.
Upward and Onward for the MMA
Crypto platform, MMAON, is seeking various avenues to bring digitisation to the fighting industry, where a majority of the pro fighters need some help earning a decent living. MMA is one of the fastest-growing sports at the moment and is gaining international traction, however, only several athletes earn well. This physically demanding sport should be able to offer its dedicated participants a better payoff for their efforts.
By digitising the sport, the athletes will have access to decentralised portfolios that put them in direct contact with their fan base. This way, they can benefit from donations from their loyal fans while they interact personally with their following, releasing exclusive collectables and NFTS for their subscribers. They can even leverage their skills to provide paid-for services like training videos and much more across the platform.
Renowned sports marketer, Tomaž Ambrožič backs MMAON’s innovative idea. He commented on the platform’s practical application:
“Each fighter will have their profile set up in one place, with the platform giving fans the opportunity to interact with the fighters, including in the form of a dedicated social media channel and even with the option to reward the fighters directly through the fans.”
We have seen how the video gaming world has benefited wonderfully from digital platforms like Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook, where players can entertain their following in real-time. The concept is transferrable to the sporting world to increase the repour between stars and their fans.
Of course, the decentralised nature of the blockchain is a great motivator for direct peer-to-peer services and conveniently cuts out mediation costs from a third-party platform, putting more money where it belongs – in the pockets of the sportsmen and woman.
The Digital Arts
One of the most notable areas of influence when it comes to NFT sales is the art industry, and by art, we mean both music and artistic pieces. Blockchain is revolutionising how artists can earn money in a market that is inundated with agents and middlemen looking for their slice of the pie.
Artwork Sales via Decentralised Auctions
The NFT market is thriving in art sales. Prominent artists are creating one-of-a-kind jpegs of their work and selling them for a decent profit. With the current trends in NFT sales, some works of art have drawn huge interest from buyers of late.
A classic example of the potential in the NFT artwork business has been rammed home with the latest auction of one of ‘Beeples’ digital montage pieces, called “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days”. It sold on a Christie’s auction for $69.3 million, setting a world record for being the highest valued digital art piece in existence. It also ranks as the third most valuable art piece ever sold by a living artist.
Digital protagonists have clearly identified the value of NFT artwork. In a bid to drive up the auction price of a prominent painting by satirical artist, Banksy, his piece called ‘’Morons’’ was destroyed on live internet stream and then tokenised. The painting, which was originally bought for $32,500, should sell for a lot more at a charity auction in its digital form.
Once again, buyers purchasing incredibly expensive artwork can safeguard their assets on the blockchain. Of course, if they enjoy displaying fine art, there is nothing stopping them from making prints of the images and hanging them up on the wall.
The transfer of assets via the digital ledger is the fastest and most secure way of delivering expensive art pieces and bodes well for insurance costs associated with owning a valuable work. If an original painting burns in a fire, it is lost forever, but NFTs live on in the safety of the blockchain.
Currently, the digital realm is bridging the gap between the artists and their respective marketplace, providing the best platform to get work sold. Online galleries provide a user-friendly showcase for such NFTs and allow for instant peer-to-peer trade facilitation.
New Music Media Platforms Put Musicians Directly in Touch with Buyers
One of the greatest conundrums for music artists is the trade aspect of the industry. Record labels cash in on their investments while artists reap what is left. Of course, the perks of label backing include sales streamlining through music stores, etc, but the ideal situation would be to present musicians with the chance to market their own content effectively.
Thankfully, modern platforms like iTunes and Spotify have addressed these issues nicely, allowing musical artists to market their music to the right people. The decentralised blockchain market is geared to take it a step further, providing the perfect platform to generate support for your music production without bowing to the terms and conditions laid out by the recording labels.
A Luxembourg-based start-up is heading in the right direction and will soon be showcasing how the decentralised markets can benefit music production. ANote Music announced that its blockchain platform will raise production capital for artists by allowing its users to invest in music royalties.
So, while others may coin a percentage of your profits, as a musician, you still have carte blanche in the decision-making processes and can manage the direction you want your record to take without investor pressure. The co-founder and CEO of ANote Music explained the company’s goal:
“Our goal is to unlock the hidden value in music for both investors and artists by creating a stock-exchange platform for music investments.”
There are also other cutting-edge platforms, like Opus, which provide a viable marketing opportunity for artists to sell their work directly through peer-to-peer-based mechanisms. The company facilitates this on the Ethereum blockchain without paying excessive hosting fees.
The decentralised nature of the blockchain is the key factor to keeping the control of the marketed products in the hands of the people. Brokering music deals may be a thing of the past with these new innovative and artist-friendly trends arising.
The Effects on Other Areas of Pop-Culture
There is an increasing following of well-known celebrities and popular brands looking to jump on the NFT bandwagon to big money. While physical memorabilia attached to famous people and brands holds high value, in this modern internet world, so do digital tokens.
Interesting Note: DC Comics hopes to capitalise on blockchain interests by tokenising both old and new digital comic images on a grand scale. Already, icons attached to the brand have managed to sell for big money, with a collection of Wonder Woman-themed NFTs selling for $1.85 million the other week.
Sports icons, famous actors, and musicians can all personally market themselves directly to their fan-bases, offering signed images and iconic digital media for a great payday.
In the latest news, NFT marketplace, ‘Makersplace’, has announced that they will be dropping a collection of NFTs tied to Patrick Mahomes of the NFL Kansas City Chiefs team. He is currently the number one player in the league, which will make all digital assets released in his name both popular and pricey.
The Digital Tomorrow
A few years back, cryptocurrency was the laughingstock of the investment world, but today Bitcoin and other altcoins carry serious clout in financial circles. More than anything, the platform behind the concept is the chief winner here. The blockchain’s decentralised mechanic has the power to carry whole industries into a new and improved digital world.
Already, some prominent markets are moving the way of the crypto web, so it won’t be long before other subsidiary industries decide to follow suit, which in turn will dramatically change the way we all view business in the long term.
The up-and-coming generation is technologically savvy and understands the value of digitisation, which means that this popular digital asset and cryptocurrency trend is most probably here to stay for the long haul.