scorecardThe Tokyo Olympics are a hive of NFT activity — from pins to moments to artwork
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The Tokyo Olympics are a hive of NFT activity — from pins to moments to artwork

The Tokyo Olympics are a hive of NFT activity — from pins to moments to artwork
CryptocurrencyCryptocurrency3 min read
Tokyo Olympics    Pixabay
  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has launched an official NFT marketplace for fans to collect Olympic memorabilia digitally.
  • Britain’s Team GB has also launched its own NFT marketplace.
  • In India, artists and influencers are making unique artworks themed around the games.
Olympic memorabilia has always been a big thing amongst collectors, but 2021 comes with a twist. The problem with most collectibles is that they require physical contact, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made this quite difficult — enter NFTs.

Over the past year, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been used by digital artists like Grimes and Beeple, and Tim Berners Lee to sell everything from digital art to the Internet’s source code. The first half of the year saw NFT sales worth $2.5 billion, a huge increase from the $13.7 million reported in the first half of 2020.

If fans can’t be at the Olympics, the Olympics will come to them

In June, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) struck a deal with game developer nWay, to run an official marketplace for NFT memorabilia. The deal aims to make NFTs out of Olympic pins, perhaps one of the most popular collectibles coming out of each of the games.

“Olympic pins started as a way to identify athletes, judges and officials, but over the past

125 years it has become an Olympic Games tradition, where everyone from athletes to

event staff, journalists and spectators all take part to collect and trade pins in the Olympic

Village and beyond,” said Timo Lumme, Managing Director of IOC Television and Marketing Services. He added that the deal was a “natural evolution” of the tradition.

NFT sales of Olympic pins will work in three ways — through, through other users who are selling items on the marketplace, and by playing an Olympic-themed game launched by nWay around the time the games started.

British Olympics team has its own NFTs

TeamGB, a name popularly used for the British Olympic team, announced their own plans to sell NFTs during the Olympics. It’s partnering with NFT marketplace Tokns to create a storefront of NFTs for fans to buy.

There will be new stuff up for sale every night and will remain live at least until the Beijing Winter Olympics next year.

“Following the announcement that there will be no fans or spectators present at the Games, we are delighted that we can provide moments digitally that will be available for fans and collectors,” said Tim Ellerton, Team GB commercial director.

Influencers and artists cash in

It’s not just teams that are piling onto the NFT trend, but also artists and influencers. They are using the opportunity to mint their own NFTs around the games.

Indian cartoonist Satish Acharya sold an artwork called ‘A Billion Dreams’ themed around the Olympics on the country’s WazirX NFT marketplace. Doodle artist Monika Paul also sold a digital card featuring Mirabai Chanu, who won the silver medal in weightlifting recently.

“The pandemic brought sports to a standstill for most of 2020. However, the Olympics this year have brought joy not just to the sports enthusiasts but also to our country as a whole. Not just a week into the event and women athletes are already making headlines with their wins. To salute and honour these athletes, artists have been creating NFTs which are now available on our platform, WazirX NFT Marketplace,” said Vishakha Singh, vice president, WazirX NFT marketplace.

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