Logan Paul is no stranger to headlines. Neither is the Pokémon franchise, especially its headline mascot, Pikachu. And today, these three viral juggernauts have come together in a very unexpected way. And, like all modern internet news, NFTs are involved.
Those who watched Paul’s wrestling debut at WWE’s Wrestlemania event would have seen Logan Paul wearing a Pokémon card around his neck. This card, called ‘Illustrator’ depicts Pikachu playing with a pen and a brush. It is considered the world’s most expensive Pokémon card, and in a video, Paul explained that he paid $5,275,000 for the object.
According to grading service PSA, the card Paul owns is the only ‘mint condition’ version of the card. On top of this, it is believed that only 39 of the Illustrator cards were ever made, as, unlike other Pokémon cards, this one was only given to those involved in 1998’s Corocoro Comic “Pokemon Card Game Illustration Contest.” Paul’s purchase of the collectible got him a Guinness World Record for “Most Expensive Pokémon Card Sold In A Private auction.”
However, Paul doesn’t simply plan to wear the card to future wrestling events; despite the infamous internet influencer signing a contract with the WWE, Paul has announced that he is turning the card into an NFT.
According to Paul, the collectible will be officially turned into an NFT on July 9 at 3 p.m. EST. Rather than using other, better-known marketplaces, Paul will list it on Liquid Marketplace. Liquid Marketplace is a platform that Paul co-owns along with Ryan Bahadori and Amin Nikdel.
The site will take actual, real, and tangible collectibles and store them in a vault and then sell NFT tokens of ownership, allowing people to effectively buy shares in an object.
The site describes itself by saying:
“We offer collectors the opportunity to co-own physical and digital assets through the power of tokenization.
We want to make high-valued collectibles accessible to anyone interested in building their collection. To create a level playing field where those who truly appreciate these unique items can own something legendary.”
However, even if you buy a token, Paul will retain 49% ownership of the card. Because of this, he will be able to continue wearing it to wrestling events, provided the card’s majority shareholders don’t block him from doing so via a vote. And this pseudo-boardroom democracy is Liquid Marketplace’s major selling point, offering owners the chance to vote on the future of the object they partly own. Liquid Marketplace describes this concept by saying:
“You have the power to cast votes that decide the future of the assets you own tokens of, specifically whether it goes to auction or not. Liquid MarketPlace also gives collectors the opportunity to collect with friends as well as join our Discord.”
Of course, it is currently unknown if Paul will continue to wear the card post-NFT transformation, because WWE rings are infamously not a safe place for objects and furnishings.
It should also be noted that Liquid Marketplace is incredibly new. So it isn’t clear how some elements of mass ownership will work, especially what happens if all the owners are unable to agree, or if something happens to the vault the object is stored in, or if Paul and his co-owners pull the plug on the marketplace. So those who sign up early may get a Pikachu-like shock down the line, and it won’t be because of Team Rocket.