The e-commerce giant is going into NFTs, and hockey star Wayne Gretzky is included in the inaugural collection.
On Monday, the firm announced the release of 13 limited-edition digital artefacts in collaboration with Web3 platform OneOf, each of which features a 3-D animated representation of Gretzky doing one of his trademark manoeuvres on the ice.
“NFTs and blockchain technology are revolutionizing the collectibles space, and are increasingly viewed as an investment opportunity for enthusiasts,” said Dawn Block, vice president of collectibles, electronics and home at eBay. “Through our partnership with OneOf, eBay is now making coveted NFTs more accessible to a new generation of collectors everywhere.”
OneOf bills itself as a “green” NFT platform that makes use of energy-saving blockchain technology. The bitcoin mining process consumes a lot of energy, often even more than whole countries. OneOf promises to consume more than 2 million times less energy than “proof-of-work” networks because it employs a “proof of stake” blockchain network. Furthermore, the firm, which has mostly concentrated on the music industry to date, claims that more than 80% of the collections showcased on its site are from minority creators and women-led enterprises.
“Our software and eBay’s software will be integrated to provide a super easy NFT purchase experience for the consumer,” OneOf CEO Lin Dai told CNBC this past weekend at Gary Vaynerchuk’s “VeeCon” — a four-day NFT and Web3 conference hosted in Minneapolis. “Our goal is to bring on the next 100 million [currently] non-crypto users and I think this partnership helps us do that.”
eBay said last year that it will accept NFTs and develop new technologies that would bring blockchain-driven collectibles to its platform, so today’s debut isn’t exactly surprising. eBay has a strong presence in online commerce, but it will face stiff competition from the hundreds of crypto native NFT marketplaces already available.
eBay is now one of a growing number of online organisations that are incorporating NFTs into their platforms. Instagram has stated that it will begin testing NFTs with a small group of American creators. Spotify also announced last week that it is testing a new tool that allows musicians to advertise their NFTs on their profiles.
NFT Market In Decline
The recent Crypto Crash has had a significant impact on NFT sales, which have dropped by more than 90%.
The search traffic for the keyword “NFT” has decreased since its peak, according to the most recent Google Trends data, indicating declining interest in the industry.
It’ll be interesting to see if eBay’s new collection can create enough interest to indicate that NFTs aren’t a fad.