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Amazon could sell NFTs

Ecommerce giant Amazon could enter the NFT space. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have caught on big time, with almost every other big company either already tapping into the digital assets, or looking to do so. The UK government is one of those looking to create an NFT in 2022.

Will Amazon enter the NFT space?

So it might not be surprising that Amazon could start selling NFTs. NFT sales account for billions of dollars worth of trades, with this year likely to eclipse the $17.6 billion recorded last year.

According to Jassy, the sector could see even more growth and it is possible for Amazon to explore the business of selling NFTs. Amazon’s online retail business competitor eBay already sells NFTs on its platform.

I think it’s possible down the road on the platform,” he told CNBC.

What challenges / risks exist for adoption of non-fungible tokens?

If Amazon does get into the NFT space these are some of the challenges that face the ecommerce giant.

i) Complexity: The technology and tooling behind non-fungible tokens and the decentralized applications (dapps) that underpin them are still nascent despite the increasing adoption amongst startups and enterprises alike; Many of the complexities associated with building NFT-related solutions are not yet abstracted by quality tooling.

ii) Regulatory/Legal Implications: With the introduction of new and innovative technologies, particularly ones that involve speculative or high-value assets, come distinct regulatory and legal considerations including but not limited to know your customer procedures, anti money laundering mechanisms, and securities law compliance.

iii) Rapid Innovation: The rapid pace of innovation in the NFT ecosystem and the blockchain networks on which they are issued presents challenges for those adopting the technology in the form of consistent change; agility and modularity are critical.

iv) Concerns Regarding Ecological Impact: Controversy continues in regard to the impact that energy-intensive blockchain networks that utilize the Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism have on climate change, and NFT-focused products have been a target for such criticism. However, solutions already exist to ameliorate this concern, such as the adoption of less energy-intensive consensus mechanisms and the use of “Layer 2” or L2 networks where transactions that mint NFTs can be validated more rapidly and efficiently outside of the main blockchain network. For example, the Ethereum blockchain network is well on its way to shifting towards the more energy-efficient Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism in its Ethereum 2.0 launch, and Layer 2 solutions like Polygon and ImmutableX are already helping reduce the load today.

Not if but when Amazon will enter the NFT space.

The e-commerce giant has been hiring crypto experts for various divisions of the company. In November last year, AWS posted a job listing for a principal digital asset specialist who can “help drive adoption across the global digital asset community.”

Amazon also posted a job offer for a digital currency and blockchain expert for its Payment Acceptance & Customer Experience team in June last year with the aim to develop the company’s digital currency and blockchain strategy as well as a product roadmap.

Amazon invests in Dibbs for fractional sports collectibles as NFTs

Dibbs uses the Ethereum, Flow and WAX blockchains to conduct transactions. Basically Dibbs business is Iconic Collectibles. Collectors list the most coveted collectibles across sports, Pokémon & comic books on one platform you can access instantly.

Amazon has entered the sports collectibles space through an investment in Dibbs, a startup that created a marketplace for fractional interests in physical sports trading cards. The card is represented by non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which is fractionalized. Details of the investment were not disclosed, but Dibbs raised a $13 million Series A investment in July.

As the market for sports collectibles evolves, the prices of many coveted cards are beyond the reach of the average collector. Dibbs is attempting to solve this through a platform that holds the physical cards in storage and sells fractions of NFTs that can be traded in its marketplace.

The platform emphasizes giving power back to fans. It recently launched a new feature in the marketplace, “Sell with Dibbs”, which enables card owners to sell fractions directly to other users. They have to submit the physical card to Dibbs, which stores it in a vault.

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NFT ownership in digital sports collectibles

Despite the growth in digital sports collectibles in the past year, NFT ownership is still somewhat abstract. For some people not engaged in blockchain and crypto it is hard to sell the concept of spending money on a screen image. In contrast, Dibbs is selling a share in a physical item.

What does the future hold for NFT sports collectibles?

Meanwhile, an array of sports NFT platforms are developing new functionality around NFTs. SportsIcon launched its platform with documentary-like NFTs, GreenPark is looking to use NFTs for social gaming, and DraftKings will launch digital fantasy football with the NFLPA.