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The lack of identity and provenance haunts most existing NFT platforms. In what world can anybody anonymously claim to own anything? When items are minted under the control of a system (like bitcoin is) or by an entity that controls the asset (like companies do), then the only two major issues remaining are the proper identification of marketplace participants and the credibility and security of the marketplace itself. This article describes how the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) company will utilize NFTs to maintain the provenance and profit from resales of its merchandise, accessories, apparel, trading cards and create new digital collectibles. This will enable the WWE to profit from the resale of its original physical goods and digital content forever. Nike, Disney, the NFL, and every other major brand are jumping into this with both feet. It is unclear, however, if they are aware of how improperly managed NFT platforms enable large scale criminal activity. If not, the brands better be ready to take a major hit to the brand, and depending how badly it is managed, perhaps even face legal consequences:

“Fanatics will be the exclusive provider of NFTs/digital collectibles as well as trading cards. Michael Rubin – who owns Fanatics – recently acquired trading card company Topps for $500 million. An acquisition that was a key component in this deal.

“We believe this multi-platform partnership will set a new standard for WWE e-commerce, apparel and merchandise while providing our fans globally with more ways than ever to engage with WWE and our superstars,” said Vince McMahon, chairman and chief executive of WWE.

Rubin added: “WWE is one of the most widely admired sports and entertainment properties worldwide, and it made perfect sense to activate many parts of our Fanatics global platform to create a first-of-its-kind, all-in fan experience.”

Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group