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Marvel Comics in high demand on NFT marketplaces

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Roar writer Anna Reig Caballeria on how Marvel Comics strips are emerging as the hottest new NFTs

Enric Aulinas, a business student from Barcelona, recently bought a Marvel comic fragment for $6.99 that is now already valued at about $31,000. However, he did not find it among the hidden gems at Camden Town market nor at a prestigious art gallery, ​​but among the depths of the internet. In fact, his vignette is not even touchable, it is an NFT, or Non Fungible Token. An NFT is a unique and irreplaceable digital asset that creates an encrypted code (blockchain) to bestow ownership of digital art to an individual with the same technology as bitcoin.

Specifically, the Barcelona student bought a drawing that depicted the superhero character the Human Torch’s first appearance in in Marvel Comics, at the time known as “Timely Comics”. The Human Torch has recently been portrayed by Chris Evans and Michael B. Jordan in live action films. How many Marvel fans would go crazy for a copy of this cartoon on paper? An NFT would be the same but in digital format. As much as anyone can make a Google search and see the image of this famous Marvel hero, only Aulinas can say he has the real NFT.

Funnily enough, Aulinas is not particularly a fan of Marvel, more someone who wants to find success in the emerging digital economy. He became interested in cryptocurrencies about a year ago, encouraged by a friend of his who told him that he had been investing for a while. “First I started with bitcoins, then I slowly discovered the cryptocurrency ecosystem and in January I found out about the existence of NFTs”.

The main difference between cryptocurrencies and NFTs is that the former are expendable and therefore comparable to physical money. We can exchange one pound for another and it will still have the same value. In contrast, NFTs are non-fungible assets and therefore non-exchangeable. In other words, a painting or drawing is unique and cannot simply be traded for another.

Aulinas was autonomously learning all these concepts, through Youtubers like Gary Ve, who has more than 3.2 million followers. “With a lot of patience, I managed to be in the right place at the right time.” On August 19, Marvel released about 60,000 of its first comics, all for $6.99. There were five different vignettes classes, and Aulinas was very lucky: he got the “true believer variant”, the most exclusive rarity, of which there are only 600 units worldwide.

In the secondary market, comic book cartoons like his have sold for $31,000, but he will wait to sell them. Marvel launched these NFTs in a small market called Veve, where there is a limited number of potential buyers. However, the company has announced that soon its members will be able to sell their assets in the world’s largest NFT market, OpenSea. “Its value will still increase, after all, the value is the one people are willing to pay”, he said. He also points out another possibility for NFTs: “For example, Marvel, as a company, could host a physical or digital event where only the 600 exclusive NFTs users could access. NFTs have great potential, they can create digital or physical communities through their use.”

Many economists have warned about the speculative bubble posed by cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Aulinas is aware of this, remarking “there is a big problem with the offer, because hundreds of NFT projects arise every day, and at some point, the demand will stick. I think 97% of the projects will end up with a null value in the coming years.” He compares today’s situation to the “dot-com bubble” of the late 1990s, when many entrepreneurs went bankrupt, but also notes that “the companies that dominate the today’s economy emerged.” In fact, Aulinas believes that “both cryptocurrencies and NFTs will be the financial assets that will bring the most innovation in the next decade.” These assets have “the potential to transform thousands of industries,” he declared. Aulinas will have time to think about it with an asset worth $31,000 in his pocket.

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