THE DIGITAL COLLECTIBLE

BY ANDREW FRANCIS,

DIRECTOR, THE SIGNATURE STORE

The question being asked in the collectibles market right now is, should I be adding NFT’s to my portfolio. That sounds like a market trader talking, and that is how many see NFT’s currently – so are they collectibles, investments or just a passing phase or gimmick and should you invest?

 

Let’s start with the basics, what is an NFT? An NFT (non-fungible token – fungible being something you can copy) is effectively a secure and non-transferable digital certificate of authenticity and ownership, stored on a blockchain (unregulated, digital database), which enables video, imagery or any other type of digital item to be bought and sold (with real money, or digital currency; crypto-currency).

 

This is all very complicated for the motor sport fan, so what does it actually allow you to do? Well, several motorsport teams are offering exclusive content as NFTs – like Aston Martin who released exclusive video footage and images for their 2021 F1 car launch. The way NFTs are created allows an them to be a key to a limited or even unique item, experience or reward, even access to exclusive online auctions, many motor sport teams are exploring the possibilities.

 

The difference in this arena is access rather than investment – would you pay to have exclusive access to your favourite team car launch or own an exclusive team poster? You might. But does it replace the physical experience of being at the race or hanging the poster on your wall? Probably not, but it might enhance your engagement with the team and be fun, but you can’t get a digital poster signed by the driver, or get it framed!

 

Formula 1 even has a game based on NFTs called Delta Time. Through NFTs, F1 Delta Time players are able not only to create and personalise their cars, but then trade them on platforms like OpenSea.

 

There are other things to consider too, NFTs aren’t particularly environmentally friendly – they are digital, and that requires resources to make, power and store. Then there’s the question of technology – will the computer or phone you use to access your NFTs be working in 25 or 50 years time, will the digital platforms still be accessible, nobody really knows. These days even cash seems old fashioned, and whatever happened to BetaMax.

 

It is an interesting space though, there are animations, digital video, art and even trading opportunities that are suited to the NFT marketplace. Remember trading Topps football cards at school? Your kids might be doing that with cards (or tokens) stored on their phone soon. But a word of warning, much of the NFT and Cryto space in unregulated and not well understood, but there’s no doubt we will see it spread further into sport, and it’s already firmly in Formula 1 with big sponsorship packages.

 

Will Signature Store be creating NFTs? Not now, but never say never.

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 09.16.23.png

F1 DeltaTime has subsequently shiut down,

after this article was published

BY ANDREW FRANCIS,

DIRECTOR, THE SIGNATURE STORE

ARTICLE FIRST PUBLISHED, MARCH 2021, MOTORSPORT MAGAZINE