In what marks something of a fresh foray for digital creator business endeavors, Logan Paul is diving headfirst into the cryptocurrency space with the launch of his very own non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.
NFTs are digital assets that can function as collectibles, like trading cards — which happens to be another nascent passion of Paul’s. Unlike cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, however, no two NFTs are the same — meaning they cannot be directly exchanged with one another, nor can they be divided up into smaller denominations. Additionally, the digital coding behind NFTs makes them irrefutably verifiable — an issue that plagues the traditional collectibles industry.
While NFTs can be anything — domain names, virtual gaming items, and even tweets — the most popular NFT category is digital art, including images, audio, and video clips. Paul’s NFTs, pictured above, showcase an anime character fashioned in his likeness, holding up trading cards and accented with the logo for his Maverick clothing brand.
Paul partnered to create and distribute the tokens with a company called Bondly — a peer-to-peer exchange that enables trading across any chain, and through any medium. The NFTs are built on the Ethereum (ETH) network.
The set of 3,000 NFTs dropped on Feb. 19, with each selling for 1 ETH. During their first day on the market, 1,772 NFTs were purchased — with ETH being valued at roughly $2,000 at the time — for a total of roughly $3.5 million in sales. Paul sold $1 million worth of NFTs 30 minutes after dropping them, noted venture capitalist and entrepreneur Tiffany Zhong. And yesterday, sales climbed to $5 million, with a total of 2,586 NFTs sold, and 414 left to purchase before Bondly burned the remaining supply, which will never be available again.
Demand was also driven by a contest whereby three buyers will receive a 1st edition pack of Pokémon cards valued at $40,000, as well a free trip to Los Angeles to attend a Pokémon card unboxing stream on Feb. 27. (After getting into the Pokémon card trading world last October, Paul hosted an auction earlier this month of 36 unopened first-edition packs, which he’ll unbox live this Saturday).
Though NFTs are a decidedly novel phenomenon — arguably less so after Paul’s splashy foray — advocates believe that they hold massive potential for digital artists and creators, including Peter Yang of the Creator Economy blog. This is because NFTs create a decentralized marketplace for creators without platform intermediaries taking a cut of earnings or ownership or controlling how the product is distributed.