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Trading Cards Are Booming And Growing On The Blockchain, But Are They A Bubble About To Burst? Panini VP Says No.

Image of a Patrick Mahomes trading card with blockchain technology, courtesy of Panini America. The physical and digital trading card market is exploding. A Kobe Bryant 1996-97 Topps Chrome Refractor card recently sold for $1.79 million and, in January 2021, a 1952 Topps Micky Mantle card sold for $5.2 million, which is currently the most expensive sports trading card to be sold on the secondary market. One person who does not believe that the boom in trading cards is close to being a bubble is Jason Howarth, Vice President at Panini America. He says that people are purchasing rare trading cards like the 1-of-1 Luka Doncic that went for $4.6 million this year as an alternative asset and justifying acquisitions as another form of investment. In fact, Howarth proudly makes the claim that trading cards have historically outperformed the S&P 500, which is something commonly heard from people in the industry. On the latest episode of the How to Play the Game podcast (Apple/Spotify), I spoke with Howarth about Panini America’s commitment to digital trading cards and building on the blockchain, how he views the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFT) like NBA Top Shot, what makes him most optimistic about […]

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Written by Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner is the founder of Heitner Legal. He is the author of How to Play the Game: What Every Sports Attorney Needs to Know, published by the American Bar Association, and is an adjunct professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. You can reach him by email at heitner@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at @DarrenHeitner.