“How Students At Northeastern University Are DISRUPTING the NFT MARKET”

The NFT Memorabilia Gap

According to recent pricing data from Parse Hub, most pokemon cards sell on the lower side for $1.30 but the median price sits over $20. After recent popularity spikes with the collector's item, some Pokemon cards have sold for prices as high as $100,000. (Chris Miranda, How Much are Your Pokemon Cards Worth? We Scraped over 1000 cards on eBay to find out, 2020). Pokemon and sports cards have not been large profitability opportunities but depending on the collection, the possibility of fortune is limitless.

Technological advancement certainly doesn’t encourage the sale of a $1.30 card, yet it has not completely left the collector's items of the past in the dust. So how might one be able to bridge this gap of old school and new school memorabilia?

Viridian Exchange

Founded by Northeastern University students Krish Moran and Blake Hatch, Viridian Exchange is the premiere digital marketplace enabling users to buy, sell, and trade physically-backed collectibles as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) on the Ethereum blockchain. Users and sellers can collect and sell NFTs on digital marketplaces such as OpenSea and NBA Top Shot.

Viridian Exchange has its eyes set to “Bringing physical collectibles to the digital world,” with the help of blockchain technology.

Collectors, traders, and NFT enthusiasts have continued to divulge the issues and setbacks to the NFT marketplace. ArtStation, a marketplace designed for digital artists, canceled its platform launch after talks that crypto art is environmentally unethical (Justine Calma, The Climate Controversy Swirling around NFTs, 2021). Twitter users report hesitations of security and high susceptibility to theft and hacks. Additionally, amongst the general discussion of the collectibles market, there is a general consensus that the current processes of trading & selling are inefficient, untrustworthy, and still require a more stringent set of guidelines to mitigate risk in a potentially large investment.

Viridian Exchange has curated a mechanism that will solve these issues for collectibles, as well as disrupt the NFT space. Starting with a highly transparent authentication process based on the Professional Sports Authenticator grading (PSA) standardizations and database, to a temperature-controlled and securitized vault for all collectibles, Viridian Exchange will begin to demonstrate the immense capabilities and opportunities from NFT engagement.

The Platform

On the platform, users can buy, sell, and trade NFTs that are backed by an underlying physical collectible (starting with rare Pokémon and Sportscards). The exchange will also feature a proprietary live auction/trading system that allows users to trade NFTs to each other directly, as well as add cryptocurrency atop of trade offers for increased value add. Not only can users exchange cards, but they can also show off their cards in a curated digital portfolio that other users can follow, like, and interact with — like a form of social media for collectors. The collectibles are stored and insured in a vault-like, temperature-controlled facility and can be withdrawn and shipped out at any time (at which point the NFT is burned). With this model, users can experience the tangibility of physical collectibles with the security, transparency, and efficiency of blockchain-backed transactions. Furthermore, additional methods of collecting real, physical cards via NFTs will be available in the form of “Viridian Packs,” which aim to emulate the thrill of real-life pack openings and the search for earning rare cards.

Preview of the Marketplace’s online UI

Viridian Exchange plans to launch its beta platform within the next month, where users will be able to experience Viridian Packs, cards, and profiles along with their unique trading/offers system. During the initial launch, these features will be utilized to gain a follower’s base and demonstrate the growth potential of the platform, as well as develop the foundations for a circular economy. Grab your rare collectors cards from your old childhood days and join the fortune of tomorrow. Sign up for the whitelist on their website to be the first to get access to the beta when it’s released!

Written by Stephen Jimenez, 3rd year student at Northeastern University pursuing a double concentration in Finance and Financial Technology and a minor in Data Science.

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Disrupt is a student-led organization that aims to create a community which drives advancement, education, and engagement in FinTech at Northeastern University.

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