From auction houses that deal with millions of dollars of art to the pack of stickers bought from newsstands, from online exchanges to trade fairs, collecting involves millions of people all over the world. But how much is this market actually worth?
Let’s start with a little story. At the time of the Roman Empire, collecting was a form of self – celebration of generals, who exhibited trophies and spoils of war as a symbol of power. Subsequently, collecting became a passion for aesthetic taste with the spread of works of art. However, keeping in itself the symbolic element of exclusivity.
Since then, collecting has come a long way and has involved millions of people. Speaking of numbers, we want to mention the 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card. A single piece was auctioned for more than $ 3 million.
Speaking of more recent collectibles, it is worth mentioning the Black Lotus card of the well-known game Magic The Gathering, of which an Alpha specimen has been sold for $ 166,000.
Even in the recent digital collection market, it is possible to find exchange values that are not within everyone’s reach. For example, the Dragon Lore sniper rifle from the Counter Strike video game sold for $ 60,000. The Fortnite skins market is also climbing this ranking fast.
These are just some significant examples of a market, that of collecting, which at least once in our lives has involved us as well.
What are the numbers related to the collectors market? How much is this “hobby” worth and what will be the trend in the coming years? Let’s find out.
The various forms of collecting in the world
It is difficult to quantify the number of collectors in the world and even more complicated to estimate the overall value of the sector. According to research from a few years ago, there are over 75 million people in the world who fall into this category. But taking into account the growth of new technologies in all areas of this hobby, it is easy to imagine that there are many more. With a growing trend.
Let’s start for example from Sneakers, one of the latest fashions in terms of collecting. The sports shoes market has had considerable growth in recent years, thanks to the notoriety of famous people from the world of sport and music who have linked their image to special editions of a few products. Today alongside the shoes that maintain their functional value, that is to protect our feet, limited edition specimens have gradually appeared, which are cared for and unused to preserve their value as a collectible.
The Stockx.com portal, defined by many as the “stock exchange” of sneakers, has recently reached a capitalization of 1 billion dollars thanks to a round of financing of 110 million dollars by prominent investment funds. The model of sneakers that has reached the highest exchange value to date is the Nike MAG model which replicates those used by the characters of the well-known movie “Back to the future”, which was sold for $ 25,000.
According to a report from Grand View Research Inc, the sports footwear market is expected to reach more than $ 95 billion by 2025, with the resale market expected to be worth 6 billions of dollars a year by 2025 according to Cowen & Co. estimates.
To be able to understand the real weight of these numbers and the acceleration that the world of collecting seems to be experiencing, it is necessary to mention some of the traditional examples of this sector.
The collectible car market was estimated at around $ 1 billion a year, the comic book market at around $ 5 billion a year, and the stamps market at around $ 12 billion a year, the same figure estimated for ancient coins.
It clearly emerges that millennials are much more interested than their predecessors in owning limited edition objects that can be shown or even worn. Does this remind you of something? We will get there later.
Digital collecting, a fast growing market
What about digital collecting? The data represent it as the market with the highest growth possibilities ever, because it is perfectly shaped around the needs expressed by the new generations.
According to LendEDU reports, 70% of Fortnite players spend an average of $ 58 a year to customize their character with exclusive skins or moves. We are talking about a population of 350 million players based on May 2020 data. Which means that to date, the digital skin market, for the Fortnite video game only, is already worth 14 billion dollars a year.
Relating them to the numbers of physical collecting, it is therefore even more immediate to understand the potential of the entirely digital content sector and the change taking place.
NonFungible’s 2019 report shows that digital collecting has grown by more than 50% over the previous year. We are talking about a potential market that Forbes has estimated at 200 billion dollars in the coming years.
If these estimates were confirmed in the coming years, we would speak of figures three times higher than those of the art market. Which would make the digital collecting market the most important of all time.
Collectibles and Blockchains: when technology can help
One of the problems of physical collecting has always been the risk of counterfeiting. The topic was fully addressed in the following article.
For some years, companies have been using Blockchain technology to trace the changes in ownership of physical collectibles, including works of art. But, the big limit is still to be able to certify, not only the passages of the good, but the fact that it has not been altered in quality or worse replaced with a fake.
At the moment, the sector in which it is possible to make the most of the potential of this new technology seems to be the one destined to have the greatest growth over time, digital collecting. Objects that are born and live within the network, whose non-replicable characteristics are traced on a database that cannot be altered because it is decentralized, the Blockchain infact. Thus offering the maximum guarantee of authenticity, rarity and properties of a collectible.
In recent years, several companies have launched proposals for digital collectibles based on this technology.
The first project to have worldwide visibility were the Cryptokitties. Digital figurines with the appearance of a cat, based on NFT technology, which made it possible to create a new specimen by combining the characteristics of two “parents”. This pyramidal mechanism, powered by the users themselves, has allowed 2 million digital kittens to be born in the world over time. How many cats were actually generated and sold by the company that owns the project? 50,000 within 12 months. Hold this number in mind because it is important.
The great Cryptokitties project is correctly recognized for having been the forerunner of the sector and for having shown that a totally digital collectible could contain “elements of value” superior to those of a physical collectible. Elements we talked about in the following article. At the time, the fact that the first cat had been sold for 111 thousand dollars made great news. In 2018, another 10 digital collectibles were sold for more than $ 100,000 each.
Over time, several clones of this project were born, with various aesthetic characteristics, without however being able to replicate the success of the original project. Probably for not having introduced the same breaking elements compared to the past.
In January 2019 the Bitmonds project launched on the market, with the aim of becoming a point of reference in the sector and seeking solutions to the problems highlighted by previous projects.
By specific choice of the creator team, Bitmonds are configured as 3D digital diamonds and:
- They are not an NFT, technology that would link the fate of the entire project and all the collectors who are part of it to the life of a specific Blockchain network
- They are not linked in their use to cryptocurrencies, with the aim of being a project that is truly within everyone’s reach
- Add a third dimension to the collectible, allowing you to interact with it and rotate it in “touch” mode
- They provide the possibility of actually using them, wearing them on a smartwatch and freely showing the precious pieces of each collection.
These are some of the differentiating features of the Bitmonds project that make it unique and a break with the past.
In the first 12 months of life 45,000 Bitmonds belonging to the First Collection were generated. This places the project on the same level as Cryptokitties, certifying the new elements brought onto the market compared to previous projects.
Another element to underline in relation to the Bitmonds project concerns the extreme attention to exclusivity.
Remember the Honus Wagner baseball card sold for $ 3 million? Of the initial 200 pieces, 57 are still in circulation today. Remember the Alpha Series Magic Black Lotus card sold for $ 166,000? 1100 pieces of the world exist.
Let’s see now the circulation of the Bitmonds. There is no copy of the First Collection produced in more than 235 pieces worldwide. There are even only 73 Bitmonds of the model called “Ramen”, the most sought after by collectors.
Pretty exclusive, don’t you think?
Digital collectibles are configured as the inevitable and necessary evolution of the collectors market, in response to the needs of a very demanding new public that requires guaranteed authenticity, verifiable rarity and availability of their collectibles continues without geographical limits. An audience that sees uniqueness as an element of extreme value, which allows it to differentiate itself within its community and represent its way of being.
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Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.in/sneaker-resale-could-be-a-6-billion-marketby-2025-as-the-shoes-cement-their-place-among-the-most-popular-footwear-in-america/articleshow/70436072.cms
Business of Apps: https://www.businessofapps.com/data/fortnite-statistics/