Panini America says it will offer the first officially licensed trading cards featuring blockchain technology in early 2020. The release includes current and former players in a variety of sports and will be designed in the mode of its popular National Treasures line.
The 1/1 cards will launch January 6 and will be sold in an auction format in U.S. dollars as opposed to a digital currency. Ten new cards will be released each week through the platform.
Blockchain involves the creation of a database for certain assets. Transactions result in blocks of information supplied by owners including the date and time of sale and the amount. When the card changes hands again, another “block” of information is created that’s chained to the previous transaction, essentially creating a permanent record of the card’s history.
Panini says each card will be a blockchain digital asset but will be accompanied by a physical version of the card that includes an autograph and/or a piece of memorabilia of the respective player. The blockchain asset will be maintained on a Panini platform where collectors can buy, sell and store their assets. The blockchain asset will be an exact representation of the physical version of the card.
A total of 100 athletes will be featured including Honus Wagner, Mickey Mantle, Aaron Judge, Shohei Ohtani, Mariano Rivera, Kobe Bryant, Zion Williamson, Charles Barkley, Stephen Curry, Allen Iverson, Shaquille O’Neal, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson, Drew Brees, Barry Sanders, Peyton Manning, Emmitt Smith, Christian Pulisic, Neymar, Diego Maradona, Gareth Bale and Kaapo Kakko.
“We were very thorough and a number of factors were considered in selecting the players that will be released in our Panini trading cards that utilize blockchain technology,” said Mark Warsop, CEO of Panini America. “There is not a more iconic trading card than the rare 1909-11 Honus Wagner T206 baseball card. To be able to produce the first ever Honus Wagner blockchain card, along with all of these other players utilizing blockchain technology and ensuring that these cards will now live forever in the digital realm, is truly an honor.”
Panini says it will also release blockchain versions of cards in upcoming Panini physical trading card products in the NFL, NBA and MLBPA. Panini says the blockchain technology “also ensures another level of authentication for Panini’s products and high-value cards.
“We have spent years researching and exploring the best possible way to incorporate blockchain into our trading cards as another level of authentication – as well as the best way to introduce blockchain to sports fans and collectors,” Warsop said. “We believe our platform and the fact that the cards will be sold in U.S. dollars rather than a digital currency will help fans and collectors have a better understanding, knowing that their cards utilize blockchain as another level of authenticity.”