Collecting sports memorabilia is more than a hobby these days. The U.S. sports memorabilia market amounts to $5.4 billion annually, while the global market is currently valued at $412 billion and expected to reach close to $700 billion by 2032, yet fraud is prevalent throughout the industry. Sportafi’s multi-patented platform brings a new level of truth, transparency, and value to the industry that will essentially eliminate fraud in the market and create a safer marketplace for all.
The Future of Sport Memorabilia
Sportafi’s patented software and hardware platform connects real-world sports memorabilia and collectibles with digital assets (NFTs) that are then immutably stored on the blockchain and become the “token” or key for the verification of the object. The token and the physical object are inextricably linked. Sellers must have both in order to complete a transaction – one without the other nullifying the transaction in addition to devaluing the item. At the initial event, when the physical item is paired with the digital asset, it’s the data that is collected to create the “triangles of truth” that makes Sportafi’s system so secure.
Whether a baseball is caught on the field or passed down father-to-son, every fan has the opportunity to register their piece of sports history at a Sportafi kiosk. The kiosk is equipped with key features to capture the data that makes up the “triangles of truth”: who/what, where, when.
Who → Biometric registration (retina or fingerprint) of the owner, league officials, and/or players
What → Unique identification, like an RFID tag on footballs
Where → Kiosk is GPS-anchored (stadium or authenticator)
When → Exact time taken from blockchain
Newly created digital token of the physical item is immutably stored on the blockchain and can be accessed by owners in their digital wallets. The digital asset record contains the genesis creation record, history of transactions and owners, wallet location changes, and any changes in value over time while continuing to confirm its authenticity, creating more transparency in the marketplace.
Currently, sports leagues and manufacturers make a profit from the initial sale, but miss out on any additional compensation from future sales. With Sportafi, when an item is transferred (bought or sold) and the token (NFT) moves to a new wallet, the platform automatically pays the corresponding identified stakeholders, including the league, team, and players associated with the memorabilia, creating a transparent, autonomous, recurring residual income stream.
Preventing fraud with technology
Fraud has historically run rampant in the sports memorabilia industry. Ahead of Super Bowl LVI, Homeland Security seized nearly $100 million worth of counterfeit sports memorabilia items (jerseys, championship rings, and COVID-19 masks)--just one example of how big of a problem fraud has become in the market. The FBI estimates that anywhere from 50-80% of sports memorabilia is counterfeit.
Sportafi’s system prevents new counterfeit items by requiring verification of the time, location, biometrics, and digital identifier. Currently, the burden is on the buyer to research the seller and prove authenticity before engaging in the purchase of a collectible. At Sportafi, we value truth over trust. Now, any potential buyer can see the complete record of any item so that collectors (from amateurs to veterans) can feel confident that anything they purchase is the real deal.
Additionally, by pairing collectibles with a digital token, there is no question of its authenticity or ownership. Collectors still maintain ownership, even if the item is lost or stolen. This added level of security will bring a new standard of transparency and truth to the world of sports memorabilia, creating a safer marketplace and increasing the value of truly authentic items.
With the added level of security tying physical objects to an immutable record of the time, location, biometrics of the official, owner, and/or player, it will be nearly impossible for fakes to be created.
Currently, the burden is on the buyer to do their own research to determine if the seller is trustworthy and the item they are selling is authentic. Sportafi brings truth and transparency to a marketplace that has for far too long been overrun with fraud.
Sellers must have the digital key along with the physical asset in order to prove authentication and receive payment otherwise the transaction cannot proceed. Meaning that even if an item is stolen or lost, the true owners still maintains ownership.
From the digital asset “genesis” or creation data to the current ownership, every change of hands is immutably recorded on the blockchain, and available to be viewed by any prospective buyer.