Magnus Carlsen wins first-ever NFT trophy in international chess


TL;DR Breakdown

  • Norwegian chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen wins the first-ever NFT trophy awarded in an international chess tournament.
  • Carles auctioned a replica of this NFT trophy to a fan for 6.88 ETH. 
  • NFT Marketplace by crypto exchange FTX aunched in the background of sports events.

The current World Chess Champion, Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen, has been awarded the first-ever NFT trophy in international Chess after winning the virtual Meltwater Champions Chess Tour (MCCT). The NFT award came in addition to the $1.5 million prize money.

This came as a result of MCCT’s recent partnership with the FTX crypto exchange. Carlsen praised this collaboration saying that the crypto and NFT industry allows the chess community to celebrate significant moments with such great rewards. 

While Carlsen’s name is undoubtedly engraved on the history books of Chess with this win, he wasn’t the only one who got his hands on the NFT trophy. The NFT marketplace Chess Champs created an identical edition of Carlsen’s NFT trophy on the Ethereum blockchain, which was auctioned off to one of his passionate fans for 6.88 ETH. The replica NFT trophy had already gone up to 11 ETH in value within a couple of hours of the bidding deadline. Talk about one lucky fan! 

Are NFTs the future of sports? 

Since earlier in the year, there has been a surge of NFT and crypto involvement in major sports events and tournaments. Crypto exchanges have found excellent marketing value in partnering with sports competitions. In June, Chinese blockchain company AntChain became the official partner of the Euro 2020, a contest that saw the first-ever NFT trophy awarded in football’s history. 

Cristiano Ronaldo won the NFT as the competition’s top scorer. It was indeed a unique addition to his never-ending list of ‘first-ever awards and records.’ However, football wasn’t the only popular sport to jump on the NFT train this year. 

Formula 1 also signed a sponsorship deal worth $100M with the Hong-Kong based exchange Soon after the collaboration, F1 team Aston Martin sold over $2 million worth of NFTs on 

The NFL has also joined the NFT hype by partnering with Dapper Labs to create exclusive digital highlight NFTs. Several teams like the New York Giants have been signing sponsorship deals with new cryptocurrency platforms. So, we might be seeing NFT trophies being introduced in the NFL very soon. 

Over $350 Million on sports partnerships

The popular crypto exchange platform FTX has spent over $350 Million on sports partnerships alone. They’ve also recently launched an NFT marketplace for only selling sports and entertainment tokens. 

NFT has undoubtedly accelerated mainstream crypto adoption in the sports industry. Collectables were always a big part of sports, and the trend has continued to the digital era thanks to NFT. 

Meanwhile, top crypto exchange firm FTX has announced that it would launch an NFT marketplace centered on selling only sports and entertainment tokens. The marketplace will focus on film, television, music, gaming, eSports, culinary, lifestyle, and charity industries.

Soon, we might be seeing a new era in sports, where crypto takes over fiat currencies, and prize money becomes ‘prize coins.’ It might sound a little dreamy, but all the recent collaborations and deals suggest that we might be headed in that direction.

Sales of digital collectibles known as non-fungible tokens have fallen dramatically in the last few weeks in September. It marks a significant reversal from the first quarter of 2021, which saw $2 billion in total sales of NFTs. Over the last seven-day period, the sales volume on OpenSea dropped by almost 50% to $792 million from a pool of 156,811 traders. Something is brewing, but what is it? NFT investing is like playing a game of chess.

What’s your perspective about NFT marketplaces and NFTs in general? Please tell us know in your comments below.

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