eBay is entering the NFT marketplace — and it’s doing it its own way. The ecommerce giant is partnering with web3 NFT platform OneOf and launching 13 limited edition collectibles — but the company is taking an interesting approach to coveted NFT collectibles: lowering the barrier to entry. While NFT collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club gained global traction for their exclusivity — and subsequent steep prices — eBay is taking the alternative route, and entering the NFT marketplace to bring unique collectibles to the “everyday fan.”
eBay, which has 142 million buyers worldwide, is the second largest ecommerce giant. While a distant second to Amazon, eBay’s platform is a thriving hub for enthusiasts who are passionate about buying and selling unique collectibles — which, in retrospect, makes the eBay community a perfect player in the NFT marketplace.
“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.”
Interestingly, eBay's digital market debut comes at a time when coveted NFT collections have slipped in value. The more exclusive and once sought-after collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club and Crypto Punks saw significant drops of 28% and 32% this month — which could be the perfect time for eBay to swoop in with its collection that presents a more approachable investment opportunity.
eBay’s first NFT collection features beloved Canadian hockey star Wayne Gretzky, who played 20 seasons in the NHL and won four Stanley Cups. The digital collectibles come in four tiers — green, gold, platinum and diamond tier — and each contains a one-of-a-kind animation of Gretzky doing a signature move on the ice. The limited editon NFTs start at $10.
“Forty years ago, I was grateful to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, it was a monumental moment in my life,” Gretzky said in a statement. “I’m honored to bring this collectible experience to my hockey fans who have followed my career for decades.”
The company’s partnership with OneOf is also particularly exciting, as it’s one of the more eco-conscious NFT platforms. OneOf uses energy efficient blockchain technology and is mindful of just how much energy is used in the cryptocurrency mining process. OneOf uses a “proof of stake” blockchain network, as opposed to a “proof-of-work” network, and claims to use more than 2 million times less energy than the latter.