EBay is headquartered in San Jose, California.

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EBay gets into NFT – with the help of hockey legend Wayne Greek.

The company announced Monday that it is releasing 13 digital limited-edition collectibles in partnership with the Web3 OneOf platform, each containing a 3-D animated Greek image that makes one of its iconic movements on ice.

NFT is a type of digital asset created to track the ownership of a virtual item using blockchain technology. Such unique items can be works of art or sports cards. Each NFT is unique and cannot be reproduced and accumulates value on its own, stored in digital wallets as collectibles.

“Forty years ago I was grateful to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, it was a monumental moment in
my life, “Greek said in a statement.” I am honored to bring this collecting experience to my hockey fans who have followed my career for decades. “

Canadian professional hockey player Wayne Gretsky of the Edmonton Oilers played on ice in an away match in his 1979-80 opening season. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios / Getty Images)

B. Bennett Bruce Bennett Getty Images

There are 142 million eBay buyers worldwide. It is the second largest player in e-commerce, albeit remote after Amazon. Electronics and accessories are the most popular category of the company, which is liked by young consumers. Earlier this month, eBay acquired a 25% stake in toy maker Funko worth $ 263 million along with a consortium that includes former Disney CEO Bob Eiger, sports agent Rich Paul and Chernin Group.

“NFT and blockchain technology are revolutionizing the collecting space and are increasingly seen as an investment opportunity for enthusiasts,” said Don Block, vice president of collecting, electronics and home on eBay. “Through our partnership with OneOf, eBay now makes the coveted NFT more accessible to a new generation of collectors around the world.”

OneOf claims to be a “green” NFT platform that uses energy-efficient blockchain technology. The cryptocurrency mining process can use a lot of energy, in some cases as much as entire countries. OneOf, which uses the “proof of stake” blockchain network, claims to use more than 2 million times less energy than networks known as “proof-of-work” networks. In addition, the company – which to date has focused mainly on the music business – says more than 80% of the collections presented on its platform come from minority creators and women-led projects.

“Our software and eBay software will be integrated to provide consumers with a super-easy purchase of NFT,” OneOf CEO Lin Dai told CNBC last weekend at VeeCon’s Gary Weinerchuk, a four-day NFT and Web3 conference in Minneapolis. “Our goal is to bring in the next 100 million [currently] non-crypto-users, and I think this partnership is helping us in that. ”

About one-third of eBay’s total customer base each month uses the mobile app to shop, making it the third most popular app for shopping in the U.S. after Amazon and Walmart.

By the end of the year, OneOf plans to abandon additional NFT series in partnership with eBay featuring iconic athletes and “rethinking Sports Illustrated iconic covers in the Web3 era”.

The company says each NFT “cost for the everyday fan” starts at $ 10 each.

During the recent collectibles boom, Greek trading cards set records for hockey memorabilia: the novice card sold for $ 3.75 million in 2021. In 2020, another Greek card became the first hockey card to sell more than $ 1 million.

This month, NFT collections have declined significantly. In some of the most famous collections, such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Crypto Punks, prices fell 28% and 32% respectively, according to a CREBACO study.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency – the asset class that secures every NFT purchase in the blockchain network – has experienced a downturn. The price of etherium has recently fallen by as much as 60% since the peak of 2021, while last week bitcoin reached its lowest level since December 2020, less than $ 26,000.

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