Cryptocurrency trader known as “westcoastnft” has been involved in the industry since 2014. Mostly buying and selling Bitcoin over the years. More recently, he has been collecting NFT (non-fungible tokens) digital art. With his first purchase being a Kobe Bryant artwork titled “Forever Mamba” on Nifty Gateway.
The piece, created by artist Boss Logic, was a tribute to Bryant. Who tragically passed away last year in a helicopter crash. In the portrait, Bryant is taking one of his patented jump shots with a halo over his head. He also appears to be floating in a cloud that’s continuously moving behind him.
Artwork drops on Nifty Gateway only last minutes so potential buyers must be ready to act quickly. Only 429 editions of the Forever Mamba artwork were sold.
Westcoastnft, a huge Los Angeles Lakers fan from Canada, paid $824 for the piece — the 8 and 24 being Bryant’s jersey numbers during his NBA career.
Westcoastnft planned to purchase several editions of the artwork. But used almost all of his money to buy the one. It turned out to be a worthwhile investment as he has received several offers from collectors. Looking to buy the piece for anywhere between $15,000-$20,000.
Westcoastnft revealed that he will hold on to the artwork for now. And hasn’t set a price that would make him comfortable parting with the piece.
Interest in NBA Top Shot surging
The NFT digital art market has exploded in recent months as high-rolling whales look to add pieces to their collection. NBA Top Shot, a relatively new website that allows fans to buy virtual cards with highlights attached to them, is perhaps the best example of how popular NFT has become.
The cards are sold through blockchain technology, and some have already been scooped up for six-figure prices. A rare LeBron James card minted only 49 times that shows him dunking over Nemanja Bjelica was recently purchased by NBA Top Shot user “jesse” for $208,000.
As of Wednesday, NBA Top Shot had more than 350,000 active users and 100,000 purchasing users.
The website raked in more than $37 million in sales over a 24-hour period Monday, with actual players getting in on the action as well.