Cryptocurrencies and sport have continued to collide in 2021 with synergies between the two proving to be fruitful on a number of fronts.
The relationship between the sports world and the various applications of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology has slowly been expanding over the past few years. Humble beginnings of simple sponsorships building early brand awareness for exchanges and payment platforms have snowballed into worldwide recognition and collaboration between the sectors, with 2021 seeing a variety of different use cases come to the fore.
From the basketball courts of the NBA to the soccer fields of Europe, crypto continues to build exposure to new users and markets. In this New Years Special, Cointelegraph highlights the ever-growing relationship between crypto and sport through 2021.
Here comes the NFTs
Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have become a household word over the past 12 months. The entertainment industry has been at the forefront of this expansion with artists, musicians, celebrities, brands, institutions and content creators diving headfirst into the NFT craze to serve fans and collectors their own unique digital collectibles.
Sports have always been a mainstay of the entertainment industry, serving up unrivaled and unscripted moments that leave an indelible mark on fans around the world.
In the past, one-of-a-kind collectibles and memorabilia gave lucky fans bragging rights over their friends and family. The emergence of NFTs has converted this to a digital domain where fans can acquire, trade and flaunt valuable NFTs on blockchain-powered marketplaces and platforms.
The NBA has blazed the trail in this regard, turning video highlights from season games into NFT collectibles that have generated hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue through the NBA Top Shot platform. The most expensive NBA Top Shot NFT, a legendary card featuring a dunk from Lebron James, sold for a mind-boggling $230,000 back in October 2020. Those numbers are not to be scoffed at. And it only got better in 2021.