NFT sales explode: A boon for Gap, the latest retailer to venture there

NFT technology, for “non-fungible token”, is now more than ever in the spotlight. The American retailer Gap is the latest brand to venture there. Gap launched NFTs of its iconic hoodies on Thursday. This follows similar moves by global brands, such as Nike, which last month announced the acquisition of start-up RTFKT.

Gap announced that the price of its NFTs will range from $8.30 to $415 for a collector’s item that comes with a physical hoodie. The company is collaborating with Brandon Sines, the artist behind the Frank Ape cartoon, for a limited NFT collection hosted on the Tezos blockchain.

To put a number on this trend, NFT sales globally brought in $25 billion in 2021, up from $94.9 million the previous year, according to recent data shared by DappRadar, which collects data across 10 different blockchains.

From dematerialized works of art to digital archives

Beyond the world of retailers, the digital art market sees in the use of these non-fungible tokens a way to solve the thorny question of art in the digital age, by replacing in an automated way the precious certificate of authenticity of a work of art.

Last year, a digital work by the artist Beeple notably reached the record amount of $69.3 million in cryptocurrency during an auction at Christie’s.

Work of art or digital archive, tech figures also try their hand at it. Jack Dorsey notably sold his very first tweet for the sum of 2.9 million dollars. Even more recently, the Associated Press news agency announced the creation of an NFT marketplace dedicated to the work of its photojournalists. Worldwide NFT collectors of photographs will be able to access this platform from next January 31st.

Examples of this are on the rise, and across the board, the most common price range is between $100 and $1,000. Several specialized platforms have opened up in particular to exploit this vein. They allow artists to put their virtual works online and generate a non-fungible token corresponding to the physical (or digital) work. The video game world is also very fond of this technology, as is the sports world, like the start-up Sorare, which markets virtual football thumbnails. With the support of SoftBank, the French start-up raised in series B 680 million dollars (580 million euros). A record in 2021.

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