In a previous article we talked about the enormous potential of the digital collecting market, comparing it with the numbers reached by traditional collecting.
The result is that we are facing an unprecedented revolution. The collectible that was previously hidden and carefully preserved, today becomes something that accompanies the collector. Thanks to digital devices that today represent a natural extension of our body.
But if the total market has been estimated at $ 200 Bln, which are the digital collectibles that hold the record for sales value? Let’s find out!
In the beginning there were Videogames
As in any revolution, the path that led today to the most recent expression of digital collecting, the Bitmonds, started a long time ago.
We like to ideally place it in 1985, with the launch of the first version of Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros video game on the market.
We are not just talking about the moment when the videogame defined as the “best of all time” was born and sold in 40 million copies, but also about the moment when digital goes from being something shared in arcades, to something personal.
Videogames are now something to play with, but also something to collect.
Recently,an intact box of that Super Mario Bros was auctioned for $ 114,000, making it the highest-value game in history.
Who occupies the second position? Another copy of the same game, sold at auction for $ 100,000!
For the first time, a collectible is a physical object, but can only be used digitally.
As is often the case with physical collectibles, copies of Super Mario Bros are unused, for fear of decay or theft.
I can’t touch it, so it’s worthless!
We have often read this sentence in the comments to our posts. Generally we do not answer, because we think that changes require different times in different people to be assimilated. After all, this phrase comes from an obsolete concept that has been inculcated in our minds for centuries.
Probably, the same people who see the value of a collectible in its physicality actually pay for their coffees with payment apps or enter the subway using a simple QR code.
In many areas our brain has already accepted that digital can be an expression of value. It’s just a matter of time.
Let’s try to think for a second on the concept of the value of a collectible.
Let’s take two cards from the famous Magic The Gathering game. One is the 1994 Black Lotus card, sold for $ 166,000, the other is a card from the same year but worth a few cents.
What creates this huge difference in value? It cannot be the “physical” component since the material with which they are produced is the same.
The value of a collectible is given by something that cannot be touched, it is the intangible perception of rarity and exclusivity that is associated with it. Owning a 1994 Black Lotus provides the perception of being one of the 1100 collectors in the world to have it.
Why do we talk about perception? Because as we have described extensively in this article, today there is no physical collectible that cannot be counterfeited. There is no longer the guarantee of what gives the real value to a collectible.
So the game stops.
A new trust is returned by the digitization of collecting and registration on the blockchain. There will never be two Bitmonds number 45987 in the world. No portal or app functionality can ever be used with a fake Bitmonds.
And this, for a collector, has a much higher value than wanting to touch a few cents of paper.
The era of virtual worlds
Where we arrived? Super Mario Bros. A physical object for a digital experience.
The next step was that of the so-called virtual worlds, in which digital was no longer just a gaming experience, but in some extreme cases the alternative existence of a person.
Among the best known examples is Second Life, the virtual world born in 2003 which currently has about a million residents. Within it, a real alternative economic system has been developed.
In our ranking it is necessary to remember that in 2007 on Ebay the virtual city of Amsterdam was sold for the price of 50,000 $. As in the real world, its red light district is very busy.
But the highest figure ever achieved by a digital collectible was recorded in the virtual universe of Entropia. Born in 2003, in this last period became famous due to the hypothesis of integrating dead people, characterized by memory and character close to those of the real person. If it will be the real evolution of the project or simply the plot for an episode of Black Mirror we will find out in the future.
What has been spent on some places in Entropia is certainly real. Club Neverdie, the most popular club for virtual residents, was purchased in 2005 for $ 100,000. The buyer then resold it in 2010 for $ 635,000! Good or bad operation? From unofficial sources it seems that the club makes around $ 250,000 a year.
But the absolute record belongs to the entire planet Calypso, which was bought in 2011 by an online games company for $ 6 million.
There are two recent projects based on Blockchain technology: Decentraland and Sandbox. At the moment they do not seem to be able to achieve the success of the previous ones. Although a land near Genesis Plaza, where the traffic of all the new Decentraland characters passes, was sold in 2018 for $ 179,000. But currently its market value is around $ 20,000.
In recent years, virtual worlds seem to have lost appeal, perhaps because the evolution of social media has allowed many people to build a sort of alternative life on them, while maintaining their physical appearance.
Multiplayer Games and the invasion of skins
A part of the virtual worlds seems to still grow unabated. The part where you play together with the other virtual inhabitants.
The growth of online multiplayer games like Fortnite seems to have no end. To date, there are approximately 350 million players worldwide, who spend nearly $ 14 Bln a year to customize their characters with special edition skins or weapons. And these are digital collectibles!
The record in this sense was achieved by the Dragon Lore skin for the sniper rifle of the Counter Strike video game, which sold for an incredible$ 60,000.
The unstoppable growth of Multiplayer Games and Esports seems to confirm the hypothesis relating to the decline of virtual worlds.
Why try to become famous using a virtual character, if it is now possible to become famous in the real world by playing within a virtual world?
And with this in mind, we expect that the market for those distinctive collectibles of video players will be increasing.
Here comes a Blockchain full of… cats!
It was the end of 2017 and a new form of digital collecting based on Blockchain technology was born with the Cryptokitties project.
Our opinion on the project has been expressed several times and we do not deny that the Bitmonds project was born even after a careful study of the weaknesses of Cryptokitties.
Returning to the figures achieved by the sale of some Cryptokitties, they certainly represent a turning point in the history of digital collectibles on Blockchain.
The famous Genesis Kitty, the first of its kind, sold for $ 114,000. Over time, several pieces have exceeded $ 100,000 in sales value, reaching the record with the Dragon cat, sold for $ 171,000 in September 2018 and which represents the record for NFT projects.
In the Blockchain field we also remember the Atlas and Prometheus cards of the virtual card game Gods Unchained, sold respectively for $ 30,000 and $ 34,000, and the Formula 1 1-1-1 car of the Delta Time game, sold in March 2019 for the sum of $ 116,000.
This represents the highest amount ever spent on a digital collectible, relating to a project not yet formally launched.
And the Bitmonds?
The Bitmonds project was born with the desire to introduce many more variables to influence the exchange value of a collectible, in addition to rarity.
We refer, for example, to the concept of purity or the concept of seniority, represented by the number id, which can be associated with logics linked to numerologies with particular meanings. Then there are elements related to the passion that a certain name or color can represent, and allow you to show in public wearing that Bitmonds.
The project is a subsequent step compared to those described in the article, giving greater power to the collector, in defining in each negotiation which is the predominant element of value.
Focusing on rarity for a second, the Bitmonds “Ramen” from the First Collection remains one of the most sought after. We have seen the sale of some of the 73 existing pieces at over 1000 euros.
Compared to the projects we talked about in the article, may it seem little? Or a lot?
This is the beauty of collecting. To date no one knows whether in a few years the Bitmonds of the First Collection will be unavailable or at what amounts they will be exchanged. One thing is certain, the law of the market will always win!
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Rolling Stone: https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/super-mario-bros-video-game-auction-record-1027416/
BBC News: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-11795098