Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen, the current World Chess Champion, was presented with the first-ever NFT trophy in international chess after winning the virtual Meltwater Champions Chess Tour (MCCT). In addition to the $1.5 million prizes, the NFT award was given.
This was due to MCCT’s recent collaboration with the FTX cryptocurrency exchange. Carlsen applauded the collaboration, stating that the crypto and NFT industries enable the chess community to commemorate big events with such large sums of money.
While Carlsen’s name will surely go down in chess history as the winner, he wasn’t the only one who took home the NFT trophy. On the Ethereum blockchain, the NFT marketplace Chess Champs developed an identical edition of Carlsen’s NFT trophy, which was auctioned off to one of his ardent followers for 6.88 ETH. Within a few hours after the bidding deadline, the replica NFT trophy had already risen to 11 ETH in value. What a lucky fan you are!
Is the future of sports NFTs?
Since the beginning of the year, there has been an increase in the use of NFT and crypto in major sporting events and tournaments. Partnering with sports contests has proven to be a lucrative marketing strategy for cryptocurrency exchanges. For example, AntChain, a Chinese blockchain business, was named the official partner of Euro 2020 in June, a tournament that featured the first-ever NFT trophy in football history.
Cristiano Ronaldo was the competition’s highest scorer, winning the NFT. It was a one-of-a-kind addition to his long list of ‘first-ever accolades and records.’ Football, however, was not the only popular sport to join the NFT this year.
F1 recently secured a $100 million sponsorship deal with Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com. Aston Martin, the F1 team, sold approximately $2 million worth of NFTs on Crypto.com shortly after the agreement.
The NFL has also jumped on the NFT bandwagon, collaborating with Dapper Labs to create unique digital highlight NFTs. In addition, several clubs, like the New York Giants, have agreed to endorse new bitcoin systems. As a result, NFT prizes may be introduced in the NFL very soon.
We may soon see a new era in sports, in which crypto replaces fiat currencies, and prize money is replaced by ‘prize coins.’ It may sound a little far-fetched, but all of the recent cooperation and agreements indicate that we are moving in that direction.