Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar has moved on to new innings in his life. This time, the master blaster has entered the world of non-fungible tokens (NFT) through a store backed by Dream Sports, a Mumbai-based fantasy sports platform.
Based on blockchain technology, NFT acts as an authentication certificate for purchasing digital assets, including images and videos. Last year, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey's first tweet was converted to an NFT and sold for $2.9 million.
Rario, an NFT marketplace that focuses on cricket-themed collectibles of athletes globally, has received an equity investment from Tendulkar. The company has other investors, including Dream 11's venture investments arm, Dream Capital, Kingsway Capital and US-based Presight Capital.
According to a report in Livemint, the undisclosed strategic investment will also see Tendulkar's collectible NFTs available for trading in Rario's marketplace. It is expected to be listed under a section called 'The OGs,' which will feature other legendary cricketers like Kevin Pietersen, Jonty Rhodes, Shoaib Akhtar and others.
Rario is an NFT store on Rario Chain, an Ethereum blockchain based on the Polygon Edge framework. Polygon Studios is a partner in Rario, which claims to have sold over 1,50,000 cricket-themed NFTs since the last year.
The investment by the former Indian cricketer comes at a time when the global interest in NFTs has declined, after hitting a peak in the previous year. According to DappRadar, the third quarter of 2022 saw $3.4 billion in NFT sales, a massive drop from $8.4 billion in the previous quarter and $12.5 billion in the first quarter of the year.
The fledgling NFT market peaked in 2021, riding on the coattails of rising cryptocurrency price gains and higher risk appetite among investors. However, worsening geo-political situations worldwide, including the Ukraine war crisis, the tumult in the UK's political landscape and looming fears of recession, saw investors rethink their NFT asset purchase plans.
Earlier this month, Bitcoin was trading around $19,000, a massive drop from its November 2021 peak of $69,000.