Last year, a set of 30 cards called Curio cards, with the 17b misprint, were sold at $1.2M. The beguiling thing is, these high-priced cards were not physical. They were NFT cards that were digital. Reading till now, are you interested in knowing what NFT card is that is so costly? Do you want to know the reasons behind the hype about NFT cards? If yes, you are welcome to the journey to the fascinating world of NFT and NFT cards with me. Because experts are saying, NFT cards are the future.
Spending days in social media, gaming through VR, or online shopping are some examples of how extreme digital natives we have become. Just like them, the NFT card is another example of us fading away into virtual reality.
For decades, collectors have been spending money on physical collectible cards. But their interest now is turning into collecting digital cards, which means NFT cards.
What are NFT Cards?
NFT cards or NFT trading cards are the virtual representation of physical trading cards that are being bought, sold, and traded through NFT. An NFT card is created on the blockchain-based platform Ethereum called ETH. As NFT cards are digital and nontangible, you can own the card in reality. Instead, you can hold the digital trading card virtually. If this digital card contains value due to its uniqueness or rarity, the owner can sell it to others for cash.
To fully understand the concept of NFT cards, we have to understand the ideas of NFT, blockchain, and trading cards at first.
What is NFT?
NFT appears for non-fungible tokens. In easy words, it is a new way of digital transaction that allows people to buy and sell digital goods such as digital arts, video clips, audio clips, gifs, etc. NFT of a digital asset indicates that you are the only and ultimate owner of a digital good. NFT includes art pieces, videos, music, even tweets, and of course, trading cards.
Elaborately said, an NFT is a unique digital token, most using the Ethereum blockchain to record transactions digitally.
Some people make mistakes thinking it is a cryptocurrency like bitcoin, but they are wrong. Because cryptocurrencies are fungible, which means exchangeable, but NFT is non-fungible.
Now let’s try to understand what we mean by fungible and non-fungible.
When an item or asset can be replaceable or interchangeable by other objects or commodities simultaneously, it is fungible. For instance, dollars are fungible. You can buy a book for 20 dollars and give the bookseller a 50 dollars note. He can return you the money either with three 10 dollars notes or a 20 dollar and a 10 dollars note. Both options are alright for you because you need 30 dollars. The notes don’t serve any specific value that you will want any particular note. Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies are also fungible like dollars.
But think about an item like Vincent Van Gogh’s painting “The Starry Night.” This painting is only one piece because it holds criteria like antique value, emotional attachment, uniqueness, and the touch of the Van Gogh. There is nothing identical to the painting that can substitute it, and when a good owns such characteristic, it’s considered non-fungible.
We understand the terms when talking about physical components but find it difficult to understand when it’s about digital commodities as anyone can see or download them from the internet. You have a point. Of course, there can be a question why people buy a thing that anyone can see or download free from the internet. For understanding the reason behind it, you have to understand the collector’s feelings. Anyone can have a digital piece, for example, a picture, by downloading it from the internet. But then, you have just a copy of the picture, but you are not its owner. By NFT, a collector achieves the ownership of the image, and NFT works as proof they are the actual owner.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is a transaction system that records information digitally and securely, making it impossible to alter the system. It is a deconcentrated digital ledger of transactions technology that is copied and broadcasted to a Peer to peer network called nodes comprising computers. In blockchain technology, someone requests a transaction, and the nodes validate the transaction and the user’s status using known algorithms.
Once the transaction is verified, it gets combined with other trades to create a new data block for the ledger. The latest block is then added to the existing blockchain permanently and unalterably. This way, a transaction is completed. Blockchain was developed mainly for cryptocurrency transactions, but contracts, records, and other information can be transacted through blockchain also.
Conventional Trading cards Vs. NFT Trading Cards
Conventional trading cards that are tangible are being sold at millions of dollars for hundreds of years according to their uniqueness, scarcity, and rarity. These cards are basically cards with pictures of celebrities, game characters, or animation characters printed on thick paper or paperboard.
Most of the time, a superstar sportsman makes an appearance on trading cards. But gaming cards and cards on cinemas, comics, histories are also popular as trading cards along with sports cards. Tangible trading cards have been produced in giant printing presses for years. Companies print the same designs and images on large sheets in reasonable quantity and cut the sheets to distribute cards to the market.
Collecting trading cards has been one of the most popular hobbies for kids and adults for ages. But this hobby has reached a new dimension with NFT trading cards. Digital NFT trading cards are no different from conventional cards and just the digital version of tangible cards.
Interestingly, digital NFT cards will be more demanded and costly than physical ones as we are being converted into a more digital society day by day. Investors can consider NFT cards as an essential asset that can serve future financial profit.
The Most Popular NFT Trading Cards Available in the Market Now
We have discussed the definition of NFT cards and the technical sides of this technology until now. But this is the time we learned about the most costly and popular NFT trading cards available in the market right now. So, be ready to read about them.
1. NBA Top Shot
NBA Top Shot is the most valuable NFT card so far that is a digital sports card containing an NBA player’s best moments or highlights. These NFTs are highlighted clips replacing traditional trading cards and creating a new era in fandom.
NBA Top Shot trading cards NFT has sold more than around $500 million, and the most expensive moment sold for $1,000,000, which was when Derric Rose drove past the opposing team’s defenders using his fierce skills and jumped up to perform a reverse layup for the bucket. The second most expensive NBA Top Shot was sold for $535,000, which was a LeBron James dunk against the Houston Rockets.
If you want to purchase, sell, collect, or trade NFT cards of NBA highlights, you have to visit a marketplace called nbatopshot.com, where you can collect, trade, and consume officially licensed NBA and WNBA NFT cards.
2. Curio Cards
Curio Cards are one of the most valuable trading cards available on the Ethereum blockchain. These Cards created four years ago in 2017, are considered the first digital artwork in the NFT realm.
Curio Cards is a collection of 30 identical digital NFT trading cards featuring artwork from seven different artists. A whole set of Curio Cards is a set of 30 exclusive digital cards sold for more than $1.2 million last year. Due to their primitiveness and rarity, Curio cards have attracted digital citizens, and they are prodigal to collect the items. The artists made 29,700 cards, among which 4,000 cards were ruined. So, the supply of the cards is limited that increases its demand.
3. Candy Digital
Candy Digital, the official partner of Major League Baseball for NFTs and collectibles, is a place where fans and investors can buy, sell, and trade valuable digital sports trading cards. This is the platform you can purchase licensed MLB NFTs. Besides, Candy Digital gives licenses to 13 Nascar Cup Teams to create NFTs as well.
You will find not only baseball trading cards in this place but also sports memorabilia items such as jerseys, day’s best game, or your personal experience with the team you support.
SoRare is a popular fantasy soccer game famous for trading digital cards in the realm of NFTs. Users of this platform, aka managers of the teams, can collect, purchase, sell NFT cards of their favorite players, and operate their virtual teams that consist of five soccer players this way.
The Sorare team is rapidly growing and owns European giants’ rights, including Spanish Atletico Madrid, Italian Juventus, and German Bayern Munich. They also have the rights to MLS, Korean League, and Japanese League, giving the opportunity to its users to create teams with the players of these giants.
5. Axie Infinity
With 2 million daily active users, Axie Infinity provides several valuable cards in the blockchain-backed NFT world.
Vietnamese studio Sky Mavis developed this online game that allows gamers to build a virtual kingdom for their loved pets. Gamers can give their virtual world Axis extra efficiencies using more than 132 NFT cards available in the Axie Infinity Universe.
All cards are classified into six primary sections: Aqua, Beast, Plant, Bird, Bug, Reptile, and three secret areas. The cards are significant for gamers to acquire victory in the game’s arena mode and are used for defense, damage, buffing and debuffing. They can be more robust by being adjoined with other cards.
There is a record of single Axie getting sold for more than $800,000.
6. Gods Unchained
Gods Unchained is an NFT trading card game and the first free-to-play game that uses Ethereum based blockchain technology.
Creating decks of trading cards works as a weapon for users to defeat their opponents in the game. This platform allows the gamers to own NFT cards, and buy, sell, trade, use, or even create them, which is a rare opportunity a free-to-play game offers. Players can create and sell cards and earn cash through the game.
All Gods Unchained cards are sumptuous due to having rarity value, and you will recognize the value of each card by the image of colored crystals on both sides of a card. A Rare card has a pale blue crystal, an Epic card has a purple crystal, and a Common card has a gray crystal.
7. Crypto Strikers
Crypto Strikers is an online soccer game launched in 2018, keeping the 2018 Fifa World Cup in mind. It is the first sports NFT on Ethereum based blockchain that holds a collection of 10,261 digital trading cards presenting 100 soccer players in the 2018 Fifa World Cup. Among 100 players, 32 players were highlighted in the limited iconic set.
Crypto Strikers are also called Wrapper Strikers because these NFTs need to be “rapped for being compatible for the marketplaces like OpenSea due to the utilization of incomplete ERC-721.
Sports fans, especially soccer fans, must visit their official site, Strikers. Auction to collect these historical sports cards.
8. Rare Pepe
Matt Furie created the Pepe frog meme in 2005, and the first Rare Pepe NFT card was launched on the counterparty blockchain and kept trading as XCP assets. These NFT trading cards are a digital collection of popular Pepe memes that include 36 series with different scarcities and costs.
A card of Rare Pepe NFT cards was sold for $352,626.96, similar to 111.1 ETH last year.
Being one of the first-ever NFTs, some of these cards are valuable, but some are not because of oversupply.
Buying Rare Pepe trading cards is possible using Emblem Vault, a decentralized wallet token from the OpenSea platform, and every blockchain with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
9. Spells of Genesis (SoG)
Spells of Genesis (SoG) is a point-and-shoot mobile NFT game with trading card game features. Cards play an important role in this game as collecting and combining cards to make the most substantial deck helps the players battle the opponents.
You will primarily need a deck of four cards to initiate the game, and you have the chance to collect new cards and trade them with others. One of the oldest first blockchain-based NFT mobile games, SoG allows users to convert digital cards into NFTs and get cash.
10. Age of Chains
Age of Chains is another game where you need to build strong decks by collecting NFT cards. This bitcoin blockchain-based game that uses counterparty protocol tells a story of intergalactic battles of cultures from the future. You need the help of cards to defeat your enemies in one-to-one combat.
Age of Chains came to blockchain in 2016 with its first card Woodcoin’s Guardian. This platform offers valuable digital cards in the NFT world and allows users to store cards with any regular Bitcoin address.
Age of Chains is being developed by Stream stars UG, a Berlin-based company founded by Kilian Kunst.
This game has minor active users compared to other games on the list, but none can tell its future will not be prosperous. So, you can collect Age if Chains NFT cards now from their official site or OpenSea that may bring fortune for you in the future.
Bitcorns are an NFT game where you have to collect Bitcorn with the goal of being the wealthiest player, and you will need the trading cards of the game to get bitcoin from the peasants.
Bitcorns NFT trading card was first inaugurated in 2018 on the Counterparty protocol and being somewhat old in the NFT world, and collectors find the cards valuable. This game offers 278 Bitcoins NFT trading cards, around 15 harvest lots on the platform.
12. Force of Will
Force of Will is another NFT trading card game based on a Japanese fantasy story that has been in the marketplace since 2012. This game is enriched with 218 cards, among which 96 cards are unique, and a pack of 5 random premium foil versions of cards. Anime-style artwork gives the cards a premium feel that allures collectors to invest in these cards.
Force of Will NFT cards was created in 2016 on the XCP protocol operating on the Bitcoin blockchain. Each card of Force of Will is granted to be 1000 pieces. Among them, 500 have been burned that limited its quantity. This can be the reason for the rise of its price in future.
13. Ether Legends
Ether Legends is another Ethereum blockchain-backed NFT trading card game that became popular in 2018 after its release. This game allows its users to have actual ownership of their digital trading cards that are famous for iconic illustrative art and other digital goods. This opportunity makes this game stand out from other competitors in the market. The official release of Ether legends happened in 2019. The team of Ether Legends keeps offering quarterly updates if the digital version and their tangible NFT trading cards get released semi-annually.
You need three NFT cards elementarily to play the game. But, the number of trading cards is not a lot in Ether Legends Shop like other NFT card-based games.
VeeFriends is the last name of our NFT cards list. Gary Vaynerchuk started VeeFriends that contains 268 illustrated characters. You will not find the usual NFT trading cards in VeeFriends, but being an NFT, it is a trading card in one sense.
Except for these 14 cards of the list, there are many that are popular and valuable in the NFTs market. Sports cards, NFT trading cards-based games usually supply the most costly and demandable cards. In the future, we will see more cards that will rock the market.
Is it Wise to Invest in NFT Cards?
If an NFT trading card is unique and rare, its price will be high. All NFT goods are one piece already, and only one owner can own an NFT good. So, you can easily imagine, scarce NFT cards can hold high value and outstanding appeal for collectors. You can sell your card at million dollars that you maybe bought just by hundred dollars.
But investors, who are willing to invest in NFT cards, have to work hard and with intelligence to find something rare and sumptuous that will pay back their money, time, and energy. Besides, gaining knowledge about this new emerging marketplace will aid them to survive in the business for a long time because there is a chance you can’t make a profit with your NFT cards if you fail to understand its demand in the market.
DappRadar, a firm deals with sales, said that the market of NFTs hits $22bn in 2021, which was only about $100m in 2020, and digital cards are one of the most sold items in the market. So, investing in NFT cards will be the best decision a business person can take nowadays.
Some Famous NFT Marketplaces
There are some NFT marketplaces where you will find NFT trading cards to buy, sell, or collect. OpenSea, Larva Labs, Axie Marketplace, Nifty Gateway, NBA Top Shot Marketplace, SuperRare, etc., are considered as reliable and prominent NFT marketplaces. Search intelligently for valuable trading cards. It will be an excellent investment for the future.
In this digitalized era, our life has changed critically, and we are going towards alternative reality. NFT cards are one of the significant components of this digital life. We used to adorn our house with fancy items in the past, but we inaugurated to decorate our online world with expensive items as well.
Following this reality, NFT cards are at the peak point of popularity. People are buying sports cards and gaming cards for millions of dollars that are not even touchable. But these fancy digital items are helping them to feel good and proud about their digital life. And by the course of time, as we will become more addicted to digital life, the popularity and price of the NFT trading cards will increase. So, investors are finding a newly emerging business area in the NFT cards.