Dani Alves, the Brazilian footballer best known for his time at FC Barcelona, will be launching a line of luxury watch non-fungible tokens at Dubai's MetaTerrace, blockchain consultancy ColossalBit said.
The Alves Trophy Collection NFTs, which will be launched on June 28, were created in collaboration with British watchmaker Backes & Strauss.
The collection comprises 43 virtual timepieces that commemorate each trophy Alves won in his career, ColossalBit, which owns MetaTerrace, said in a statement on Thursday.
"We are honoured to collaborate with him and Backes & Strauss ... as they kick off their NFT journey at MetaTerrace. It’s an exciting moment for the world of crypto and Dubai as a launchpad,” said Christian Chalfoun, co-founder and chief technology officer of ColossalBit.
Celebrities have joined the hype surrounding NFTs, which are unique digital properties in the form of art or media bought using blockchain technology.
Actors Gwyneth Paltrow and Brie Larson, singer Justin Bieber, talk-show host Jimmy Fallon, model Emily Ratajkowski and socialite Paris Hilton have all gone public with their own NFTs.
NFTs are also receiving increasing attention in Dubai, which is focusing on developing future technologies as part of its move towards the digital economy.
On Saturday, the inaugural Global Titans Fight Series — the first sporting event offering NFT-enabled livestream access — at Dubai's Burj Al Arab will be headlined by undefeated five-division boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The market is on pace for a record year: NFT collectors have sent more than $37 billion worth of digital assets to NFT marketplaces so far in 2022, nearing the $40bn recorded for all of last year, blockchain platform Chainalysis said in a report last week.
ColossalBit's collaboration with Alves is its latest partnership with an sports personality. In December, it bought the NFT of the ST DuPont pen used by football legend Diego Maradona to sign a contract with Napoli in 1984 for $26,000.
Alves, whose professional career started in 2001, also played in the top tier leagues of Italy and France for Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, respectively. His 43 trophies exceed even those of seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi.
The Alves Trophy Collection will be sold in three variants: premium, a sole NFT that will grant ownership of the real watch; fractionalised, where five of the 43 watches will be sold in fractions; and regular, where 1,482 NFTs will provide its holders benefits such as signed merchandise and the opportunity to meet Alves.
MetaTerrace, where the event will be held, is a lounge based on the concept of the metaverse, the emerging digital space in which people, represented by avatars or three-dimensional likenesses, can interact in virtual worlds.
The restaurant aims to converge the physical and digital worlds by having its own virtual reality room where VR glasses will enable people to access “alternative worlds" and engage in NFT and cryptocurrency discussions.