eBay is taking a more direct role in the sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its platform, starting with collectible images of NHL legend Wayne Gretzky.
The e-commerce marketplace, which initially gave the green light to the purchase and sale of NFTs in May 2021, is now launching of a series of exclusive NFTs through a strategic partnership with OneOf, a sustainable NFT platform.
eBay's first-ever "Genesis" NFT collection will feature 3D and animated images of athletes featured on Sports Illustrated covers over the years, the first of which – available beginning Monday, May 23 at eBay.com/oneofgretzkynft – features Hall of Fame hockey player Wayne Gretzky.
The collection includes 13 limited-edition digital collectibles priced at varying tiers, starting at $10. Each NFT contains a 3D rendering or animation of Gretzky making a signature move on the ice. Throughout 2022, additional drops of OneOf's sports legends NFT series will take place in partnership with eBay.
According to eBay, a surge in the collectibles market has fueled this first-ever collaboration between eBay and an NFT seller. NFTs are unique digital assets stored on a blockchain ledger that certifies the owner. There is no way for an NFT to have more than one owner, and only the certified owner can sell it.
At the time it first entered the NFT market, eBay said it would launch programs, policies and tools that will allow customers to buy and sell NFTs with greater ease and confidence, across a broader range of categories. eBay also plans to add new capabilities to bring blockchain-driven collectibles to its platform.
Collectibles, digital and otherwise, represent an increasingly important product category for eBay. The company recently launched a new authenticity guarantee service for trading cards in January 2022, which it has since built upon through a new strategic partnership with PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator), a trading card authentication and grading company.
"NFTs and blockchain technology are revolutionizing the collectibles space, and are increasingly viewed as an investment opportunity for enthusiasts," said Dawn Block, VP collectibles, electronics and home at eBay. "Through our partnership with OneOf, eBay is now making coveted NFTs more accessible to a new generation of collectors everywhere. This builds upon our commitment to deliver high passion, high-value items to the eBay community of buyers and sellers."
"Forty years ago, I was grateful to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, it was a monumental moment in my life," said Wayne Gretzky. "I'm honored to bring this collectible experience to my hockey fans who have followed my career for decades."
"We are excited to partner with eBay, the largest and most trusted e-commerce platform in the world, to introduce NFTs and the power of the blockchain to eBay's community of enthusiasts through a dynamic, user-friendly experience," said Lin Dai, CEO, OneOf. "You don't have to be a crypto expert to buy, sell, and collect NFTs. OneOf and eBay are bringing transformative Web3 technology to the next 100M non-crypto-native mass consumers."