Global payment technology provider Mastercard announced a sweepstake for its cardholders in the United Kingdom to win the first ever Non-Fungible Token (NFT) created by the company in partnership with football coach Jose Mourinho.
The NFT is an animated digital football with Mourinho’s signature on one of the panels.
This marks Mastercard’s first major announcement in the NFT space, soon after rival Visa announced buying NFT-based digital avatar CryptoPunk for $150,000 in August.
NFTs are unique digital assets which represent the ownership of a virtual item and cannot be exchanged for other NFTs.
The ownership information is stored over blockchain to maintain integrity and denote single ownership of an item. This makes NFT comparable to collectibles.
NFTs represent real-world objects like art, music, in-game items and videos and are frequently bought and sold with cryptocurrency.
Globally, NFT sales surged to $2.5 billion till June 2021 owing to its popularity, up from $13.7 million sales for the first half of 2020.
So far, the most expensive meme NFT is a picture of cryptocurrency Dogecoin’s mascot Shiba Inu, called Kabuso.
The NFT which sold for $4 million in June was fractionalised into 17 billion pieces for community ownership and is now valued at $220 million.
In 2021, the record for the most NFT ever sold was digital artist Mike ‘Beeple’ Winkelmann’s work which sold for $69.3 million.
NFTs can be stored, displayed and traded or minted on NFT marketplaces. These marketplaces allow digital collectors to also create their own tokens.
Listing and creating NFTs on a marketplace also incurs a blockchain fee.
Recently, Amitabh Bachchan became the first Bollywood actor to roll out his NFT collection.