Dubai-based technology company ColossalBit, focusing on non-fungible tokens (NFTs), has purchased the NFT of the ST DuPont pen used by football legend Diego Maradona to sign a contract with Napoli in 1984.
ColossalBit, a Dubai-based consulting, design, and development company specializing in blockchain, cryptocurrencies, DeFi, and NFTs, made the winning bid for the S.T. DuPont pen that football legend Diego Maradona used in 1984 when he signed the contract for Italian football team Napoli.
EX Sports Starz and partners organized the auction for the original pen and its NFT on October 30, which would have been the late star’s 60th birthday.
“Legends do not come bigger than Diego Armando Maradona. Every football fan, across age groups, remembers him for the finesse he brought to the pitch and the charm he exuded off it. The NFTs of his memorabilia will immortalize him and keep his legacy alive. For the love of football and “the Golden Boy” Maradona, we pulled all stops to secure the pen he used to sign for Napoli — a team in which he recorded his highest goal tally,” said Ciro Arianna, Co-Founder and CEO of ColossalBit.
Nearly a year after Maradona’s passing, his estate had tokenized ten items from the Argentine star’s illustrious career. These included the S.T. DuPont pen, a signed shirt from the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, a signed freestyle football, and Maradona’s best-player trophy from the FIFA Youth World Cup in 1979. All items were certified as official by World Soccer Treasurers, and Maradona’s estate legally authorized their name and usage rights.
The S.T. DuPont pen and its NFT garnered the highest bid among the four platinum-tier memorabilia auctioned at the VIP-only, pre-launch event. The NFTs in the platinum tier were sold alongside their original, physical memorabilia, while the remaining six gold-tier ones were made available to the general public after the launch on November 14.
Miroslav Neceda purchased the three other platinum-tier NFTs, Co-owner of Czech digital marketing agency Avedeo.ae and CEO of Blockchain Universe. Miroslav is also the CEO of the Dubai-based World Blockchain Union, which handles marketing for various blockchain-centric businesses worldwide.
The auctioneer EX Sports Starz specializes in digital sports collectibles, enabling fans to buy, trade, and sell. EX Sports collaborated with CV Labs and the World Football Collection for the Diego Armando Maradona NFT auction.
The soft launch later held at the Billionaires Dubai recently was hosted by Ralf Glabischnig and his team, who also rebranded their association as Crypto Oasis while unveiling their early-stage token investment arm CO Sentio.
Crypto Oasis brought together 175 selected guests from the crypto, blockchain, and NFT space. Board member Sam Katiela was the event’s emcee, which celebrated achievements from this year and set the stage for greater growth in 2022 and beyond.
Investor Matthies Mende bought a unique Diego Armando Maradona NFT for $40,000, and an exquisite Lionel Messi special-edition Jacob & Co watch. Among the total 36 pieces created, the “number 10” version was purchased for $196,000 by Evan Klassen, who was also felicitated for his contribution to the crypto industry.
“It is the platforms like EX Sports Starz and enthusiasts such as Matthies Mende, Ralf Glabischnig, Miroslav Neceda, and Evan Klassen who make the world of NFTs fun and meaningful. We are all joined in our shared belief of an inclusive, transparent, and lucrative marketplace. NFTs have also found an admirer in Dubai, where we are mobilizing a blockchain movement. ColossalBit will continue to lead the NFT charge in the region,” added Ciro Arianna.
The NFT market is booming in the wake of Covid-19 as investors seek alternate and more profitable avenues to channel excess liquidity. For example, Mike Winkelmann, the digital artist who goes by the name Beeple, made headlines in March this year when he sold an NFT for $69 million.
Besides art, people are also spending millions of dollars on NFT collectibles that include sports trading cards, digital houses, augmented reality trainers, music, and video games. For instance, an NFT of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first tweet sold for about $3 million.
NFT sales volume surged more than eight-fold to $10.7 billion in the third quarter of this year, up 704% over the previous three-month period to the end of June, according to data from market tracker DappRadar.