Will NFTs change the lives of Pokémon card fans?

Pokémon is 25 years old, but it never stops reinventing itself. In 2016, the Pokémon Go craze captured little monsters in augmented reality and prompted a reissue of a pack of collectible cards. In 2022, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) advocated dematerialization of Pokémon cards or derivative products to be exchanged online. Even video games based on the Ethereum blockchain, such as Axie Infinity, are referred to as the equivalents of the Nintendo franchise. But basically, has NFT really changed anything for Pikachu followers?

crazy collectors

Since the start of confinement, collectors have gone crazy: on eBay, sales of Pokémon cards jumped by 574% between 2019 and 2020, while in March 2021, a Dragonfire card was sold for a modest amount of 418,000 euros. These transactions were widely talked about on YouTube, as creators began their quest and purchased rare cards. Last year, the French rapper Lorenzo, for example, sold fifteen years for 300,000 euros, while at the beginning of 2022 he was exposed to the American fraud Logan Paul for 3.5 million dollars for fake cards. Then he spent 5.3 million (4.5 million euros) to become the owner of the most expensive Pokemon card in the world.

Among fans of the franchise, not everyone looks favorably on this frenzy that drives up prices, fuels fraud, and even causes investors to empty stock in specialty stores at the expense of children. But it fits relatively well with the French’s passion for groups – 4 out of 5 have started one group in their lives – whether they were launched for fun or to speculate.

On the blockchain, speculation, creation, or both?

Based on these two uses—plural and guesswork—NFTs make it possible to change things up, KAZoArt founder Mathilde Le Roy believes. “NFTs are not necessarily within everyone’s reach, she admits, whether for technical reasons, because some – especially women – project themselves less…” but they still come to reshape markets, “reinventing the role of mediator between artist and buyer, allowing the transformation of Space for collectible cards. Until recently, Panini cards were old. Then Sorari arrived.”

The success of the French company, which makes it possible to exchange football player stamps via the blockchain, is something to dream about: having achieved a record (in France) of $680 million in September 2021, it is now being launched on US soil. But she doesn’t seem to have any plans to venture into pop culture just yet – she’s still specializing in sports. Hapsrow Publisher Magic: The GatheringOn the other hand, another legendary collectible card game has announced that it is interested in the possibility of investing in the world of NFTs. In terms of comics, Warner Bros. The set of “Bat Cowell” NFTs dedicated to Batman was unveiled on April 26. This may explain why Pokemon followers are petitioning them to be available and tradable on the blockchain.

Fraud risks and opportunities the games

While waiting to grant fans’ wishes, artists have begun offering their own interpretation of the universe – like the French Onemizer, which put Pokémon Lugia NFTs up for sale last December. If this initiative has been fairly well received, others, such as Project Pixelmon, have proven even more impressive. If this allows its author to collect $ 9,000, then it turns out to be composed … of very ugly and truncated works, far from the aesthetics of Bulbizari, Salamich and others.

Finally, perhaps the space in which NFTs are most likely to bring new things to the Pokémon world is where they came from: the video game. Axie Infinity and Illuvium, two titles installed on Ethereum, are regularly compared to the Nintendo franchise. qualified as play to earn, these make it possible to buy monsters, and then have them evolve and fight in the game. The phenomenon is that in the Philippines or in Venezuela, the number of players seeking to wrap up at the end of the month has exploded. It ended up attracting the attention of the Central Bank of the Philippines, which, after the $625 million Axie Infinitiy was stolen, reminds us of the risks inherent in any investment made on blockchain.

Nintendo as a monitor

If it warrants a follow-up on ongoing developments, Nintendo doesn’t advertise itself at the moment being completely unconvinced by the use of NFT. in conspiracy, the Pokémon publisher explained that it has yet to find “what joy it can bring” thanks to the metaverse and non-fungible tokens. All the same: Between the former CEO, who showed signs of interest in Play-to-Earn, and the passing of a former Pokémon Go player to publisher Axie Infitnity, nothing says it will ever be possible to catch up with Pokémon on the blockchain.

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