The sports memorabilia obsession has gone digital. Athletes and organisations all around the world are developing NFTs — blockchain-based new digital collectibles with a simple motto: scarcity creates value — to capitalise on their major triumphs and stunning moments. And the more unusual the victory, the better. Who better to ask than Andy Murray, whose “moment” in 2013 when he ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s champion fetched Rs 1.32 crore on Monday.

The buyer received a video clip of Murray’s match-winning point for that sum. Pins, posters, and highlights are among the other sports memorabilia available from NFT. These limited-edition NFT pictures, films, and artwork are exclusively accessible as a digital asset, unlike tangible memorabilia like jerseys, trading cards, balls, and bats that may be exhibited in a showcase. Even though numerous versions of the same clip or image are accessible online, those who purchase might claim ownership.

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What are NFTs?

NFT stands for a non-fungible token, which implies non-replaceable, and is essentially a digital collectible. Unlike cash or bitcoin, which are fungible assets that may be exchanged for something of equivalent value, such as other currencies, an NFT is a one-of-a-kind item that cannot be traded.

Consider it a one-of-a-kind trading card that can only be traded for money or another card. An artwork, for example. It’s gone once you sell it. You can photograph or print a replica of the painting, but it will not be the original.

They are digital assets with no physical form that may be purchased and traded. While digital media files (‘jpeg’ photographs or animated ‘gifs’) may be stored and reproduced indefinitely, purchasing an NFT ensures that you possess the original artwork.

Despite the fact that they have been available since 2014, NFTs exploded in popularity last year as a result of the crypto frenzy, with their market value doubling to $250 million. NFT sales exceeded over $2 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

In February, an animated meme known as “Nyan Cat” was purchased for $590,000. Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, sold his first tweet as an NFT for $2,915,835.47 in March. The concept of  NFT has been embraced by artists, musicians, film companies, and even academics. The original source code for the internet was sold as an NFT for $5.4 million earlier this month.

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Andy Murray’s “moment”

The “moment” of Andy Murray’s 2013 Wimbledon victory was auctioned for $177,777 on Monday, according to Reuters, with an NFT fan known as “Pranksy” claimed to be the winning bidder. Despite not owning the rights to the video clip they purchased, the buyer will receive a tiny digital screen on which to view the film, two tickets to the 2022 men’s Wimbledon finals on Centre Court, an opportunity to play tennis with Murray, and autographed souvenirs as benefits.

WENEW sold around 600 limited-edition NFT souvenirs recording additional short footage including his trophy hoist, interview, 2012 runner-up speech, and shot highlights, priced between $49 and $4,999, in addition to the primary “moment.”

“I’m still learning about NFTs but it feels like an exciting area and one I’m sure more athletes and content creators will be getting involved in,” the former world No. 1 told Reuters.