This ultimate guide about NFT Sports Cards will go into detail into the specific features, play-to-earn games, and platforms they can be traded.
Going digital and converting your brand or avatar to NFTs have been all the rage since the start of 2022. Moreover, famous sporting brands see this NFT technology as an opportunity to store value or intellectual property on the blockchain.
NFTs stand for non-fungible tokens. These non-fungible tokens are different from other cryptocurrencies or crypto tokens in the market that are also based upon blockchain technology. The main difference is related to the fact that these are tokens that are unique. That means that there are no two tokens that are the same.
Nowadays, when we handle Bitcoin, each BTC looks the same. The same happens with a $10 US dollar bill. They all look the same. Instead, NFTs are unique and there are no copies of the same NFT in the market.
Moreover, when collecting NFT sports cards you are in search of digital cards that are stored on a blockchain network. Additionally, these cards can then be traded with anyone all over the globe.
What is NFT Sports Cards?
NFT Sports Cards, are digital collector’s items also called NFTs that are using a blockchain network to store digital ownership. In other words, you can buy digital sports cards with cryptocurrency and store them in a crypto wallet. Also, because NFT sports cards come within limited collections, you can trade them on several NFT marketplaces all over the world.
Specifically, most NFT sports cards are using the Ethereum network which validates and handles all related transactions. Ethereum is by far the largest NFT network in the world and is therefore used by many NFT traders to get digital collectibles.
However, it is good to know that the Ethereum network can be quite busy and that makes trading NFTs very expensive. For example, every transaction you want to make on a blockchain network will cost you some gas fees. Also, when dealing with NFTs there are different types of transactions:
- Transfer ETH(Cost about $3.75)
- NFT transfer(Will cost about $7,70)
- Swap NFT(Buy or sell NFT: about $20)
- Sign up at NFT marketplace(Cost about $60)
Remember that the amounts mentioned above are an average calculation when it comes to trading NFTs. Moreover, don’t be surprised if you have to pay $100 to $150 for swapping NFTs when the network is very busy.
All in all, when you want to start trading NFT sports cards it is good to know that using the network is costly. Instead, you can use other cheaper(less popular) blockchain networks as well. Good examples are Solana or the Polygon network.
NFT Sports Cards vs Trading Sports Cards
The most significant difference between NFT sports cards and trading real-world sports cards are:
- Exclusivity and collectability
- Storing the cards
- Maintenance of the cards
- Cost for trading cards
These elements make trading NFT sports cards drastically different from trading physical sports cards the traditional way.
Collecting Physical Sports Cards
Trading sports cards the physical way is a very exclusive activity primarily for monetary reasons.
First of all trading sports cards is an activity that has been taking place for decades. In the previous century when you wanted to buy or sell specific sports cards you had to meet other people at exchanges.
With time passing by and the introduction of the internet, trading sports cards has more and more become an online activity. Additionally, there are several websites that offer to trade in cases, packs, or sets including baseball cards, football cards, basketball cards, and hockey cards. Examples of popular sports cards websites are Dacarworld, Amazon, or Topps.
Even though trading sports cards has become an online activity, you still have to take care of and maintain your precious collector’s items. Moreover, to make sure that your physical collection remains in good condition you can use several products for maintenance:
- Card sleeves
- Index tabs
- Card storage boxes
Finally, if you are a sports cards trader and have found a buyer you have to send the package by mail. Also, if you are sending a whole collection of 50 cards or more it can become a complicated and costly activity.
NFT Sports Cards
As mentioned earlier sports NFTs are completely digital that use blockchain technology to store ownership. On top of that, to store and send the digital collectibles you need a cryptocurrency wallet for it.
Therefore, to start trading or collecting NFT sports cards make sure you set up a cryptocurrency wallet first. By far, the most popular one is Metamask which works as a browser plug-in. It allows users to make transactions using ETH.
Furthermore, it is very important that you deposit some ETH cryptocurrency in the wallet first to be able to pay for the gas fees. Again, when trading NFT sports cards you need to pay fees for transactions, swap NFTs and sign up for the NFT marketplaces.
Also, it is good to know that NFT Sports Cards are created on the blockchain by a process that is called minting. Moreover, minting NFTs gives the original creator special rights before they sell it on the open market. A good example of these rights are royalties which in short will reward the creator a fee(e.g. 5%) for every sale that takes place in the existence of the NFT.
The differences between NFT Sports Cards and trading Sports Cards should be clear now. However, there is one thing that makes them similar: you can make a significant sum of money from both NFT sports cards and trading sports cards. It all depends on your knowledge and maybe some luck to get in early.
What is an NFT pack?
An NFT pack usually comes within a collection of related NFTs that are minted at the same time. For example, NFT sports projects like Sorare, Candy MLB Baseball, or Panini America allow the trading of different NFT packs.
NFT sports packs can be a collection of 50 NFT baseball sets or a set of 5 football players like the Sorare platform uses. For instance, the 2021 Panini Select Baseball NFT pack contains 5 Select Base NFTs and 1 Select Parallel.
Besides, it is currently very popular among sports NFTs to sell packs by showing a preview of the pack on the marketplace. The way this works is that you decide to buy the preview and afterward will be revealed what collection item you actually bought. For example, if you decide to buy a preview of a baseball pack, a randomized baseball NFT will be given to you out of a collection of 50.
Are NFT Sports Cards Valuable?
In general, sport NFTs gain value through the founder of the brand behind creating the NFTs. NFTs have limited supply and with a growing community backing the collection, the supply and demand factor comes into play. When the popularity of the digital collectible rises, the demand rises and this causes a rise in value as well.
For example, if you pick the popular football fantasy game Sorare that uses sports NFTs. When you play Sorare and start collecting players’ cards or NFTs you #OwnYourGame with it 😀. Owning your game with NFTs is based upon the following concepts:
- True ownership – blockchain technology makes your cards scare which gives your cards superpowers
- Usability – the NFTs gives you the right to play tournaments, scout new players or build a team competing against players all over the world
- Portability – the cards are on the blockchain which gives you the possibility to trade or use in other games like Ubisoft joining the party
The NFT sports cards used in Sorare represent real football players that can be collected on the open market. However, cards have different characteristics which make them rare(Common, Limited, Rare, Super Rare).
Meaning, the more rare your collection of NFT cards is the higher league you can play, and the more money you can earn.
Where to Buy NFT Sports Cards?
As mentioned earlier, sports NFTs are living on a blockchain network and can be bought with cryptocurrency and stored within crypto wallets. What are the best places to buy these NFTs?
OpenSea is a peer-to-peer marketplace for buying, selling, and trading any kind of NFT. Although it’s not specialized to sports card-related NFTs, they can be traded on the platform. Moreover, OpenSea is the most popular NFT trading platform in the world.
In addition, to find Sports NFTs you can use the menu item ‘Sports‘ to filter them out. In order to use the OpenSea marketplace, you’ll need a digital wallet that will be linked with your account. Ethereum is the default cryptocurrency used on OpenSea.
In the fantasy football game Sorare, players collect and trade digital trading cards that represent real players. Moreover, you can join famous leagues all over the world or even play the EUFA Champions League. The more rare your collected cards are the higher competitions you can join and the more money you can make.
The platform uses the Ethereum blockchain, and an existing digital wallet can be integrated with an account to purchase cards on the platform. You can also use the normal currency to buy cards on Sorare.
Topps is a big name in the sports card manufacturing space and has also moved into the digital collectibles market. The platform has a store to buy ‘packs’ of the digital assets, and a marketplace where collectors can buy and sell to each other. However, transactions are done using the US Dollar.
In general, NFT sports collectors can buy Soccer and Baseball NFTs here but the selection of different sports NFTs is more limited. Finally, to handle all transactions the platform runs on the Avalanche blockchain, which is compatible with Ethereum.
Panini is obviously already a well-known and popular sports card manufacturer. They’ve now also moved into the digital era with their blockchain store which offers ‘the highest degree of legitimacy for a digital collectible and proof of ownership.
Panini’s blockchain store has something for most sports card collectors, with collectibles available for Soccer, Football, Baseball, UFC, Hockey, and more. Finally, to buy and sell Sport NFT packs you can do this without using a crypto wallet and use a US dollar account instead.
NBA Top Shot
NBA Top Shot is a popular digital asset platform, which runs on the Flow blockchain, that sells officially licensed NBA NFTs, called ‘moments’. Buying sports NFT cards gives you two options. The first one is buying NFT packs that are a random collection of ‘moments’. The next option is the marketplace where you can buy the sport NFTs from other traders. All NFTs on the platform can be bought in US Dollar.
Play to Earn
Play to earn is a very popular concept in online games that are supporting NFTs. Particularly, players can collect specific items or NFTs that will help them further in the game. As a result of the performance of your NFT collection whether it is a football team or a racing car, you can earn new crypto or money with it. Examples of very popular play to earn NFT Sports games:
- Sorare(Use your NFT card collection to build a football team)
- Zed Run(Collect NFTs and breed horses that can join a real horse race)
- F1 Delta Time(Use your NFTs to assemble a car, choose a driver and start racing F1 tracks)
In summary, NFT sports cards aren’t only supposed to be collector’s items that can be used for NFT trading. On top of that, the Sorare and Zed Run games show us that you can also use your collections to grow, make progress and join actual competitions. Finally, by using the best strategy and playing the game right, you have the possibility to build a crypto portfolio as well.
Are sports NFTs a good investment?
If you are new to NFTs, cryptocurrency, and blockchain then starting investment into sports NFTs can be a real challenge. First of all, you have to deal with installing a proper crypto wallet, next thing will be to get some cryptocurrency(ETH) and finally connect to an NFT marketplace.
Are all these steps worth it to build a proper NFT sports collection? Unfortunately, I can’t give you a clear answer on this and it totally depends on your knowledge and ability to learn something new.
However, what I do know is that NFTs and digital collectibles are here to stay and will grow in popularity in the near future. For example, the Candy MLB marketplace, a platform for collecting NFT baseball cards, has been launched at the end of 2021.
Moreover, since the start of 2022 trading volume on the Candy marketplace has been increasing at a steady pace. According to their blog in January, they ‘have broken history with more than 26000 sales in just three weeks‘. In fact, two of their biggest sales were Shohei Ohtani(Legendary) for $100,000 and Shohei Ohtani(Epic) for $36,000.
Trading NFTs and sports NFTs, in particular, is a serious business at the moment where you can earn life-changing money. Similar to cryptocurrencies in the early days. Of course, you need some luck and find the best projects to get in early.
Ultimately, we are already living in a digital world, and technology is progressing at speeds never experienced before. NFTs, blockchain technology and Ethereum didn’t exist 10 years ago but are changing the world at a rapid speed at the moment.
With this guide, that explains all there is surrounding sport NFTs, NFT games, and NFT marketplaces, I hope I have given you a more clear view of the upcoming NFT sports card collections.
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