• Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen is chasing a nonfungible trophy for the win

  • Meltwater Champions Chess Tour (MCCT), an international chess tournament, has announced that it will mint nonfungible token (NFT) trophies and collectibles for the indefinite preservation of the game’s most defining moments.

    The winner of the MCCT will receive an NFT trophy, signaling the international chess community’s first foray into crypto. Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen and nine other professional chess players, including Wesley So, will compete in the tournament’s finals.

    Chess Champs will mint two editions of the Champion’s Trophy NFT, according to the official statement, allowing fans to purchase a replica of the trophy through an online auction. In addition, the company will release a series of NFT collectibles based on the chess tour’s “moves, moments, and players.”

    Carlsen’s interest in cryptocurrency can be traced back to a recent chess tournament hosted by the FTX crypto exchange, in which the World Champion took home 0.6 Bitcoin (BTC) and a $60,000 cash prize.

    Aside from prizes, the chess community is looking into blockchain applications to prevent cheating in online tournaments due to COVID-19 restrictions. Parallel to the postponement of the 2020 Chess Candidates Tournament in Ekaterinburg, Russia, World Chess has previously looked into using blockchain technology to move matches online.

    According to a report from September, tokenized sport collectibles projects raised nearly $1 billion in funding in less than a week.

    Dapper Labs, the company behind NBA Top Shot, a tokenized basketball collectible, announced a $250 million funding round as well as a 30x growth forecast for 2021.

    Sorare, an NFT trading card marketplace, followed suit, raising $680 million in funding led by Japanese fintech behemoth SoftBank. Sorare plans to expand its portfolio of football player NFTs by increasing partnerships with football leagues and associations, with a revised valuation of $4.3 billion.

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