Mobile gaming app creators GreenPark Sports and NFT Layer 2 protocol Immutable X have announced a partnership. The aim is to offer “secure, carbon-neutral, and gas-less passage for sports fans to spring into the thriving non-fungible token (NFT) industry.”
So what exactly does this mean? In lay terms, the deal significantly expands on the current GreenPark offering because Immutable X will now allow non-blockchain users to convert assets into tradable NFTs. All of which may not mean much if you don’t already know what GreenPark does.
GreenPark Sports and sports NFTs right now
GreenPark Sports is a virtual experience for fans to meet and compete. People sign up for their favourite team, and face off against other players in mini-games and betting-style competitions. Points are earned, and these can be spent on collectibles inside the playable environment. NBA basketball and LCS esport franchises are represented, as are teams from Spain’s La Liga, with more real world leagues expected to join soon.
“This [new] partnership will showcase the power of Layer-2 in bridging the gap for non-blockchain sports users and allowing them to enjoy Ethereum’s best features,” Robbie Ferguson, Immutable X co-founder, told BeinCrypto.
A key aspect of the Immutable X and GreenPark Sports deal is environmental. The blockchain and NFTs have come under heavy fire for their energy demands, and we have previously explained why the record urgently needs to be set straight. If this latest development delivers on promises to be carbon-neutral and gas free, it could help more people understand there are ways around the green issue.
Sports NFTs and economics
Sports NFTs also have some reputation damage to repair. Or at least the NBA Top Shot marketplace does, which allows collectors to buy video reels of action from the basketball court. Earlier this month, owner Dapper Labs found itself asked to defend a two-pronged law suit that raises some crucial questions. Namely, are NFTs collectibles, investments or both? And, how well managed is this industry?
Firstly, the plaintiff claims NBA Top Shot marketplace created an expectation of profit from users. In the US at least, this means transactions are considered investments and must be registered with appropriate authorities. If the court rules NFTs fall into this category, Top Shot has sold “unregistered securities”.
More so, the allegations go on to suggest deliberate attempts to artificially prop up the platform’s market value. Users experienced significant difficulties in withdrawing funds earlier this year, raising serious questions about how successful the platform has been. Tellingly, after widespread reports of a problem, in April NBA Top Shot marketplace saw its profits plummet, despite unique buyer numbers remaining buoyant.
But this controversy has done little to put off sports fans and teams from experimenting with NFTs. Just last week, English Premier League Champions Manchester City dropped a series of non-fungible tokens backed by the NEM blockchain. Meanwhile, in the US Major League Soccer teams have also been quick to move on the trend. A recent match between Portland Timbers and LA Galaxy had a connected NFT. And another fixture, Seattle Sounders versus Atlanta United, also minted a token.