Collectors have always had a problem. The value of the items they collect depends on their rarity. If DaVinci had seen that people really liked his portrait of the Mona Lisa, for example, and knocked out a few thousand copies to cash in on the interest — the first buyer might have felt put out, and the picture in The Louvre would be worth a lot less.
Da Vinci can’t do that now, but if you’re collecting baseball cards or other trading cards, you always face the risk that the manufacturer will churn out more of the product and lower the value of your holdings. As long as someone else has the freedom to print copies of your collectibles, those collectibles face a risk to their value.
It’s similar to money. If the government prints more of it, the value of the dollar in your pocket will go down.
A burst of quantitative easing can’t unexpectedly lower the value of your digital currency. The number of Bitcoins that can circulate is pre-programmed, and the structure of the blockchain ensures that no fake coins can circulate.
The value of a Bitcoin, like the value of a work of art by a dead artist, is dependent entirely on the rise and fall of demand. The supply is fixed.
These tokens are digital items written into the blockchain that each represent a single unique object, such as a work of art. They function as a certificate of authenticity secured by the blockchain’s distributed ledgers.
It’s already happening. In May, WAX, a blockchain company, teamed up with collectible firm Topps to release a set of digital Garbage Pail Kids cards. All 12,000 packs, a total of 110,000 cards, sold out within 28 hours and quickly made their way to secondary markets.
William Shatner, the original captain of the Starship Enterprise, is releasing his collectible memorabilia on WAX’s blockchain. Shatner has now joined the WAX Advisory Council.
Considering the new functionality that the blockchain is bringing to the collectibles market, it’s not surprising that WAX is also working with the hosts of The Bad Crypto Podcast.
The Bad Crypto Podcast is set to produce a set of digital collectible trading cards featuring parodies of blockchain and cryptocurrency personalities.
Blockchain Heroes is shaping up to be another success as chatter on social channels would seem to indicate.
What’s happening here is that the collectibles market is undergoing a revolution. It’s possible now for anyone to fake anything. While you can find anything you want to buy on sites like eBay, you can never be sure that what you’re buying is genuine.
Blockchain technology has fraud-proof ledgers, and the use of non-fungible tokens ensures that you can always see the proof of ownership for an item you want to buy. You can even see the sales price so that you can track how the market is performing.
You’ll be confident that if someone tries to sell you a happier looking version of the Mona Lisa — merely ask to see the blockchain ledger!
Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.