NFT Mania Ropes in Football Star Lionel Messi, Swapping and Fractionalization Gains Traction

Argentine football star Lionel Messi is now launching his own collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) after joining PSG that included being paid in some of the French club’s fan tokens.

The crypto art is created by digital designer BossLogic, who is known for his work with Disney and Marvel Studios, and will go on sale this week. The art celebrates Messi’s career highlights by portraying him as king, superhero, and Greek titan in works entitled “Man from the Future,” “Worth the Weight,” and “The King Piece.”

“Art is like football. Eternal,” tweeted Messi earlier this month, announcing the launch.

The collection is called “Messiverse” and will be available on the Ethernity Chain platform.

As we reported, NFT mania has exploded over the past few months, now surpassing the all-time highs hit in March. Trading volumes on the a16z-backed NFT marketplace OpenSea have soared this month, already surpassing a billion dollars.

The newest Ethereum-based NFT collection, GenerativeMasks, recently got sold out in a matter of hours. 10,000 unique NFTs generated over $6 million in volume on its launch day.

In the NFT world, lately, NFT swapping, an old phenomenon that refers to the process of buying an NFT and quickly selling it for a larger amount, is becoming a new trend as it turns out to be exponentially more lucrative for some, noted Dapp Radar.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has also opened an NFT marketplace called “Blockchain Digital Copyright and Asset-Trade” on its auction platform.

Amidst the NFT mania, Fractional, which, as the name suggests, allows the fractional ownership of NFTs completed a $7.9 million seed finance round led by Paradigm and participation from Robot Ventures, Delphi Digital, Variant Fund, Divergence Ventures, Flamingo DAO, Mechanism Capital, and others.

The platform noted that over the last month, they recorded a major rise in activity on its protocol, with over 700 MNFTs being fractionalized.

Given that NFTs are being sold for millions of dollars apiece, it makes sense that their fractionalization is gaining traction.

“What attracted us was Fractional's unique buy-out mechanism, the vision and network of its founder, and the new realm of possibilities that NFT shards unlock. Own part of the best, not one of the rest,” said Tom Shaughnessy, co-founder of Delphi Digital.

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