Pro athletes have been entering into both buying and launching non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in an effort to join the wave of investing into cryptocurrency and also to authenticate ownership and legitimacy of digital items.
According to Highsnobiety, tennis player Naomi Osaka came into the NFT space last month by auctioning off original artwork signed by her and her sister, Mari Osaka, in which partial proceeds went to her charity, Play Academy.
Now, Complex reports Cleveland Browns’ Odell Beckham Jr. has also recently stepped into the NFT world after purchasing a CryptoPunk 3365.
Each of the 8-bit style pixelated digital characters have their own unique types, attributes, and accessories. Beckham Jr.’s Punk’s features includes a shadow beard, “wild hair,” and a smile. Plus, the wide receiver has changed his profile image across all of his social media accounts to reflect his new Punk.
CryptoPunk 3365 was originally owned by NFT and Crypto Founder Soby Life. On Aug. 19 he tweeted, “I’ll miss you Punk #3365, I’m glad you found a new loving home.”
ill miss you punk #3365, im glad you found a new loving home https://t.co/oSUcWLuxWY
— soby !nova (@sobylife) August 19, 2021
Within the wide receiver’s exploring and venturing into cryptocurrency and investing, it has been imperative for him to thoroughly research with his team and find a balance between taking risks and making smart moves — especially ones that ensure authenticity.
In an interview with UpOnly, he shared what pushed him to get into CryptoPunk.
“Part of my team, part of the ones that are ahead of the curve and looking out for what is to be next were saying that, ‘This is going to be it. This is pretty big in the [NFT] space,'” said Beckham Jr. “When you put those people in that position and you trust them you rock out with them and their decisions and you come together as a team.”
CryptoPunks is one of the first NFTs that released on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain in June 2017 by Larva Labs and what initially started as an experiment has become a hot commodity ever since. CryptoPunks are rare collectibles as only 10,000 exist and due to its exclusivity, owners have their hands on remarkably valuable NFTs that are worth millions. Earlier this year in June, the rare “Covid Alien” CryptoPunk was sold at a Sotheby’s auction for over $11.7 million, according to Complex.