Are collectibles going digital?

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Are collectibles going digital?

Are collectibles going digital?

With the increased move to virtual and augmented reality, what will happen to collectibles? 

Collectibles are here to stay

After 2020 it is definitely fair to say that collectibles are here to stay. We have not only seen a rampant increase in interest across social media for collectibles but we have seen some crazy   record breaking sales (i.e. Pokemon and baseball cards) with sales reaching over $3,000,000.

To me, this is a clear sign that owning a collectible which has a level of scarcity and meaning can eventually build a strong loyal community who, if are large enough and willing to spend money will push prices up.

With this,  more eyes have been brought into the collectibles world, companies are now looking into how they can capitalise on this.

Pokemon and Baseball cards have always been collectibles. But how can a new community be built in a way that is following trends, appealing to the audience and will push the level of collectibles to new heights?

The no-brainer to me would be bringing digital to collectibles.

Why is this a 'no-brainer'?

With the rise in money flowing into collectibles, inevitably, scammers also enter the space. Not only did we see record breaking sales, but also, some pretty shocking scams within the collectible world. One example is a $375,000 scam of a live streamer who purchased a fake set of Pokemon cards.

That is a lot of money to lose on collectibles!

New technology, namely Blockchain, can prevent this from  happening again. Let me explain:

Blockchain technology is a large ledger/account book that can not be tampered with. Combining this with a new asset class called 'Non-Fungible Tokens' also known as NFTs (Essentially, digital assets), a company can create a digital asset and it it to the Blockchain (adding it to the 'account book'). Essentially, allowing for the creation of a database that: Verifies who created an asset, who owns the asset, how many of this asset exists and more.

I assume now you are thinking, this sounds great, but actually, this seems like a farce for one benefit that has not exactly ruined the collectible industry to date.

Well, that is just one benefit, which is directly impacting collectibles today. Let me show you where this get's really interesting

Using collectibles to interact with real, and virtual life

Yes, you read that right - so, lets break this down really simply.

Remember PokemonGO? This was one of the first trials of using a digital collectible, whereby you interacted with different Pokemon in an augmented environment to catch and collect Pokemon. Since then, the use cases have been developing and evolving at a pretty quick speed and really starting to allow users to become more involved with their collectible. Let me provide a few examples:

1. Collect NFTs based on real life events::

Imagine if something happens in real life and this moment is then created into an NFT which you can buy and own. For example, your favourite player makes the winning shot in an important game. Either when that has been done, or shortly afterwards, this moment is available to purchase, own and display.

2. Use your NFT to interact with games: 

Or perhaps you can then use an NFT to interact with an online game. For example, if you own certain rare, scarce NFTs that you can gain through various means (i.e. rewards for loyalty, giveaways, purchasing) then you enable certain boosts,, unlocks or pieces within a game

3. Use your NFT to interact with virtual reality

One great thing about NFTs and digital collectibles is that you can also transfer these within virtual reality. For example, if you owned a collectable piece of clothing, you could wear that within virtual reality, or display a rare piece of art for example.

5. Use your NFT to interact and receive real life assets

Another, and my final application is using these NFTs for real life events. For example, imaging a celebrity was able to release tickets to a concert via an online digital competition that encouraged engagement and loyalty. A fan could collect a certain specified amount of NFTs which would then unlock a digital ticket which can be verified and swapped for a real ticket.

It's worth finally pointing out that these NFTs could all be freely traded across open marketplaces. No more eBay and waiting for delivery, hoping that the package isn't damaged, or even fake. It can all be transferred digitally and securely.

Also, let's not forget, you can just collect these NFTs for the fun of it! No need to go an extra step and add use cases to these. However, my recommendation would be, in order to stand out in an ever-growing industry, this will give you the edge!

Current Examples:

NBA Top Shot is a collectable platform for NBA moments. Currently you are able to buy packs, trade moments and earn rewards by owning certain moments. The platform is continually growing with new NBA players promoting the platform, a NBA Fantasy league being added (by and also, a game in the works to further the use cases of your Top Shot cards!

Lukso is a network committed to digital fashion. They want to be able to enable digital fashion to be freely tradable and accessible, and also, have ties within retail and virtual reality to really drive new trends in fashion. An industry that has been hammered down by COVID19 (mainly retail) and fast-fashion