Wimbledon 2021: Andy Murray creates non-fungible token of 2013 Wimbledon triumph (and here's what that actually means)

Scottish tennis star Andy Murray has turned his backhand to the blockchain, serving up an image of his 2013 win as a non-fungible token (NFT) on crypto artist and millionaire Mike Winkelmann’s new ‘iconic moments’ platform.

Murray has teamed up with Wimbledon ahead of this year’s coming tournament and WENEW, a new NFT platform launched by American crypto artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, to make the iconic footage of his 2013 landmark win available to win at its inaugural auction.

The Scot’s Grand Slam triumph marked a historic moment for Scottish sport and ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a male singles winner.

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The auction will take place from July 2-5.

"The Wimbledon final in 2013 was such a big moment in my life,” Murray said in a statement.

"I decided to work with WENEW and Wimbledon to turn this moment into an NFT so that fans can share in that memorable day."

He added: "Working with the platform made sense given their focus on legacy.

"It's a new and exciting space and one I am looking forward to being involved in.”

Wimbledon 2021: Andy Murray, pictured above at the Olympic Games in Rio 2016, creates non-fungible token of 2013 Wimbledon triumph. (Image: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Wimbledon 2021: Andy Murray, pictured above at the Olympic Games in Rio 2016, creates non-fungible token of 2013 Wimbledon triumph. (Image: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Whoever wins Murray's landmark NFT in the upcoming auction will also get two tickets to Centre Court for the 2022 men's Wimbledon finals, a chance to play tennis with the 34-year-old and signed souvenirs.

Also up for grabs at WENEW’s auction will be 20 NFTs of the moment Murray lifted his trophy at $4,999 [£3,594] each, 50 of his post-win interview for $499 [£359] each, 100 of his interview after his 2012 Wimbledon loss for $99 each [£71], and 500 of a video of 2013 Murray highlights at $49 [£35] each.

What are NFTs?

Non-fungible tokens, known as NFTs, are crypto assets which record ownership of a digital item, such as an image, video or text, on blockchain.

Andy Murray and Wimbledon will be auctioning a single-edition NFT of the moment he won the Wimbledon 2013 tournament. (Image : Tim Hans/WENEW)

While anyone can view or download the asset in question, only the buyer can claim the status of being its official owner.

So the buyer of Murray's Wimbledon NFT will not own the copyright of the video footage, but rather a crypto asset that refers to a video of the moment the Scottish ace first won the coveted lawn tennis title.

NFTs exploded in popularity early this year, attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in investments and prompting concerns of a bubble as prices soared.

The buying frenzy continued even after cryptocurrency prices plunged last month.

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Who is Mike Winkelmann, or Beeple?

Winkelmann is a digital artist who, in March, made headlines across the globe when an NFT of one of his artworks sold for $69.3 million [£49.8m] at Christie's, putting him in the top three most valuable living artists.

Beeple's new platform, which runs on the Ethereum blockchain, will sell short video clips in the form of tradable NFTs.

Buyers get a small physical screen for displaying the video and in some cases perks such as celebrity access.

The artist has billed the platform as "the memory palace of the metaverse".

"NFTs represent a new paradigm, not just in how people can invest their money, but in how we conceive of our shared experience and how we celebrate remarkable achievements," said Beeple.

"They give people a way to meaningfully engage with the memories and moments that matter to them — maybe even inspired them or shaped who they are in some way.

"WENEW exists to facilitate and make concrete these once-abstract connections."

From today, the platform is accepting member signups at http://WE.NEW.

The Andy Murray and Wimbledon NFT auction will take place from July 2-5, with buyers able to pay either in the cryptocurrency Ether or with dollars.

Additional reporting by Reuters journalist Elizabeth Howcroft

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