Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, have already proven to be an overwhelmingly valuable concept. However, there’s quite a bit to NFT value, far and beyond the underlying art the token represents. 

The fact is that NFTs are a utilitarian asset, offering a wide range of uses both invented and yet to come. These unique pieces of art are being used to generate rental income, incentivise real estate sales, and act as tickets that provide access to unique content and events. 

Moreover, as NFT utility continues to grow, so too will their value. 

To that end, history was made in the space today when a digital trophy was awarded to Chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen.   

First NFT Trophy in Chess History Was Awarded to Magnus Carlsen

On Monday, Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, or MCCT, made history by awarding grandmaster Magnus Carlsen with the first ever NFT chess trophy for winning an international chess tournament. 

The trophy was part of several NFT trophies and collectibles minted by MCCT to indefinitely preserve the game’s most defining moments. Not only did MCCT give Carlsen an NFT trophy, the recent partnership between the chess tour and FTX crypto gave professional players the ability to compete for 2.1825 Bitcoin, working out to a value of more than $80,000. 

The NFTs Minted by MCCT

As mentioned above, the trophy awarded to Carlsen was one of a collection of multiple NFTs minted by MCCT. The trophy was one of two identical editions of the Champion’s Trophy NFT, both of which are hosted on the Ethereum blockchain. 

While Carlsen earned the first through his work as a professional chess player, the second copy of the NFT was auctioned off for 6.88 Ether, which at the time of purchase, worked out to about $24,700. Following the deadline of the auction, bids continued to pile in with the top bid coming in at 11 Ether. 

Aside from the two trophies minted by MCCT, the chess tour also minted several other NFTs dedicated to various chess pieces like the pawn and bishop, which currently live on the blockchain. 

Carlsen’s Reaction to the NFT Win

In a statement made to CoinTelegraph, Carlsen pointed to the value NFTs are creating for the chess community as a whole. Here’s what he had to offer: 


“NFTs help the chess community celebrate great moments and possibly also reward those that have already invested so much time in growing the game. With Chess Champs, this is just getting started and I look forward to seeing it evolve. It feels great to share the trophy with a passionate fan. It will be interesting to play a match with him and meeting him during the next season’s Champions Chess Tour Final.”

Another Feather in the NFT Utility Cap

As mentioned above, NFTs are already overwhelmingly popular and trading for eye-opening prices. However, chances are that we’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to the growing value of these assets that merge the finance, gaming, and art communities in a way never seen before. 

With NFTs being used as incentives in tournaments and sales, ways to trace the validity of artworks, and more, their adoption will continue to climb. Of course, as with any other asset, the values of NFTs are based on supply and demand, with their finite value being one of the primary sources of significant prices seen in the space. 

As utility continues to grow and adoption continues to follow, demand for these digital assets will only continue to climb as well, setting the stage for significant growth in the industrya head.