Investor Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and husband to tennis legend Serena Williams, is among the latest of high-profile names to support NFTs, or non-fungible tokens.
“I’ve invested big in women’s sports, but the rise of NFTs and trading card boom is going to be HUGE for women’s sports,” Ohanian tweeted on Saturday.
“Save this tweet,” he added, noting that women investing in the market for NFTs and other digital assets “will change the game,” especially as the user experience and interface for the platforms improve over time “and the market gets more efficient [and] liquid.”
NFTs are unique cryptocurrency tokens used to represent digital assets, including works of art, sports collectibles and video clips, to name a few. NFTs can be bought and sold, just like physical assets. And, since they run on blockchain, a decentralized digital ledger that documents transactions, ownership and validity of the asset the NFTs represent can be tracked.
In February, an NFT highlight clip showing a LeBron James dunk sold for more than $200,000 through Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot, an online platform that sells NFT collectible “moments” of popular players. And that wasn’t just a one-off situation — NBA Top Shot has generated more than $230 million in sales so far, CNBC reported.
Although the collectibles have so far been centered mostly around men’s sports, Ohanian predicts the NFT market for women’s sports collectibles will be even larger.
“These markets are male-dominated right now. Women are undervalued, just as they are in other markets, despite actually having much more influence on dollars,” Ohanian tweeted, also pointing out that women control a greater portion of consumer spending than men.
For example, he said, “you’ve already seen the mimetic strength” of Megan Rapinoe, a legendary American professional soccer player.
“[W]hat happens when anyone in the U.S. can invest in ‘Megan Rapinoe’ stock?” Ohanian asked. “Spoiler: it’s going to the moon.”
Ohanian continued to note that “the billions we’ve seen so far in trading cards” transactions on platforms like NBA Top Shot and the soccer digital collectible platform Sorare “is ignoring half the world (for now)” by not yet selling collectibles from women’s sports.
Indeed, Dapper Labs is “actively building out experiences for women’s sports,” a spokesperson for the company tells CNBC Make It, “including the WNBA.”
Sorare also has similar plans. Ohanian is an angel investor at Sorare, and one of “the big projects” he is working on with the company is to get women’s soccer on the platform, a spokesperson at Sorare tells CNBC Make It. Right now, 18% of Sorare users are women, despite the platform not yet offering any collectibles of women athletes, the company says.
Like Ohanian, investor Mark Cuban also predicts the NFT market will disrupt the sports collectible market, along with the art, music and movie industries.
“This generation knows that a smart contract and the digital good it reflects or a CryptoAsset are a better investment than old school see, touch or feel uses,” Cuban wrote in a January blog post.
Those buying NFT-based collectibles bet that the market will appreciate as physical trading cards have. After all, “people WANT to celebrate their Super Heroes, men and women alike, and missing this opportunity is going to look idiotic in 20 [years],” Ohanian tweeted.
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Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”