The NBA’s collectible NFT moments are about to jump from the virtual world to the physical world, almost like a sports trading card framed in Lucite. On Tuesday, the NBA and Infinite Objects, a startup that designs digital frames for NFTs, announced a new partnership that gives NBA Top Shot collectors a way to display a “video print” of their virtual cards.
Infinite Objects has a licensing deal with the NBA Players’ Association and NBA Lab, which is a technology incubator affiliated with the league. The move represents a twist on the NFT, or non-fungible token, marketplace, which deals in online virtual assets. It seems some owners still want a physical representation of their NFTs.
“Only the owner of a specific moment will be able to purchase” a video print of an NBA Top Shot card, according to Infinite Objects. The owners can sign into a website and order prints that are linked to their Top Shot collections. After creating Top Shot in 2020, the NBA became one of the early innovators in the growing NFT space. Since then MLB and NFL have entered the digital trading cards craze, too. The cards, which are basically GIFs of sports highlights, sell in “packs” online, and they can resell for even more money depending on the rarity of the moment.
As NFTs become more common as part of the art, sports and entertainment worlds, companies like Infinite Objects are developing ways for fans to display the collections. Non-fungible tokens are digital assets based on the same technology that underpins cryptocurrency. NFTs are minted on the blockchain, creating an asset that can’t be altered or technically copied. The digital goods could be important for how consumers shop in the virtual world known as the “metaverse.”
Frames from Infinite Objects cost between $79 and $329. The company did not share how much it would cost Top Shot owners to order a print and frame of their cards.
There are NFT critics who are skeptical of the marketplace, because of how much money it is generating, and they are questioning if a bubble has formed.
On Monday, CNBC reported that NFTs created a $10.7 billion market in the third quarter, which was up 38,000% year over year, according to DappRadar, an NFT tracking firm. Also, Budweiser sold out a collection of 1,936 NFTs within an hour, grabbing close to $1 million. Some of the rarer Bud NFTs were priced at $999.