The e-commerce giant, Ebay Inc. announced on Tuesday, 11 May 2021 that it has allowed the sale of Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its platform. These digital collectibles include cards, images or video clips. By taking this step, in line with the evolving ecommerce business, EBay becomes the first e-commerce company to allow trade in NFTs.
NFTs are one of the latest developments on the blockchain as they confirm a copyright for a piece of art, music or video cameo. There is no doubt that Ebay will benefit immensely as millions of artists look for lucrative deals involving NFTs.
A few recent transactions relating to NFTs point to the rapid growth of the digital collectible business. For instance, a popular artist’s piece of art, Banksy’s “Love is in The Air” is on sale on Sotheby’s with a bidding range of between $3 million and $5 million. Another case is that of Kurt Cobain’s photo-shoot of the historic moments from NBA games, purchased at a very high price.
What makes NFTs a hot class of digital assets are their scarcity and uniqueness. Each NFT is completely different from the other. This is a contrast to fungible assets like Bitcoin which are exactly the same, making them interchangeable.
According to Reuters, Ebay allows only sellers of NFTs who meet its standard to sell the NFTs on its platform. However, sellers will choose from a broad array of categories which Ebay will avail to them. Jordan Sweetnam, the senior vice president and general manager for eBay’s North America market, says that eBay will add capabilities that bring blockchain-driven collectibles to their platform.
Ebay has already invested in the required infrastructure for physical collectibles such as trading cards, sneakers and watches. Although buyers can use fiat currencies to purchase the NFTS, it is most likely they will use prominent cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and Ether.
Ebay has taken the issue of digital currencies and assets seriously, something that analysts have always expected. For instance, in the week ending 10 May 2021, Ebay announced the possibility of accepting cryptocurrencies on its trading platform.
EBay’s move makes it a competitor for top marketplaces for NTFTs which include Opensea, Rarible, Superare, Foundation and Enjin, among others.
Notably, Opensea is one of the best NFT marketplace, dealing with a wide range of NFTs like art, censorship-resistant domain names, virtual worlds, trading cards, sports, and collectibles. As it stands, we wait to find if Ebay will encompass most of these categories.
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