When the NFTs came to the roller derby, the roller derby struggled

When you think about the roller derby, you probably think about the tough guys on the bikes being stuck around a road and hitting each other. You probably don’t think about the blockchain. But crypto has entered the arena, whether the roller derby is ready for it or not.

Three roller derby skaters – Lady Trample (real name: Samara Pepperell), Miss Tea Maven (Jennifer Dean), and Sharon Tacos (Cailin Klein) – are trying to start an NFT program this month. NFTs, or non-fungible signals, are digital assets stored on a blockchain. One of the best uses of NFTs is to verify the ownership of digital images, such as those digital images you’ve seen around, or Reese Witherspoon’s. current Twitter avatar (and the most recent business model). But you are not “for” the image; but you have a sign to show it. You can earn a lot of money buying these tokens.

Like crypto itself, NFTs are polarizing. Some see these digital assets as a new frontier in art collection, digital ownership, and the community. Many others think that they are a social security scam, where a small company makes a lot of money on lines of code with no value and no use. These criticisms were played out in a small way when the NFT derby program was announced.

In some ways, the roller derby is similar to the NFTs. For many, they don’t just show up for a sport or a hobby, everyone. They are communities that are not recognized by outsiders. Both were charged with religious or religious affiliation.

But these same ideas aren’t the combination of the roller derby and the NFT communities in real life. Trample, Maven, and Tacos thought they would make the ‘Bout Time NFTTT. (Roller derby games are called bouts and each skater has a T in their derby name.)

If you follow roller derby, you know who at least, if not three, are the founders of ‘Bout Time: They are an elite people who played for the best roller derby teams in the world. Tacos came with the idea in January. He said he became involved in crypto during his illness, and gained the skills and knowledge to create his own NFT collection. Inspired by other NFT projects that donate to a variety of causes, Tacos believes it can do the same for the roller derby by donating a portion of the proceeds to the fighting lions. He went on to work with two skater who had the skills the project needed: Trample was an artist who could draw, and Maven worked in marketing and could advertise the project.

It’s common for skaters to start their derby -related careers, from making accessories and clothing to finding stores that sell them. But these are the goods and services that are right for the people. The NFTs are breaking up a new derby market.

Roller derby can use help. The sport was closed during the illness. Two years later, there is nowhere close to recovery, or even impossible. Many lions have lost their habitats, resources, and limbs. The silver infusion can do wonders for them. The three also saw this as a way to increase outside interest in the derby, or as a flying saucer for other uses of NFT and the blockchain to promote the sport.

You can see where to get that idea. There are a lot of sports lions and athletes who participate in NFTs, so why not this and why not them? And derby’s DIY ethos is similar to the decentralized community that has the most sophisticated NFT projects – and the NFT space itself. Maven said he saw now was an opportunity for more women to take on a more important male role. Trample drew the original image of a roller derby rider and hundreds of modifiers, from shoes to fans, to be mounted on it. They created thousands of images, each with its own NFT.

“It’s trying to be a broad spectator of the sport, and it’s a great way of doing something to reap,” Trample said.

They announced the program on March 9 with an Instagram Live, with a site that provided full details, social media stories, and a Discord stream.

Here’s how it works: On March 31, Bout Time will drop to 10,000 NFT so people can buy for $ 25 a cryptocurrency called Polygon. Because of the large number of NFTs they sell, they donate up to 50 percent of their earnings to the roller derby team, with NFT holders deciding as a group. Another 5 percent will go to natural resources to eliminate the environmental cost of mitting NFTs. The remainder of the money shall be divided among the three, less any other fees they may receive and any taxes they may owe. If they buy all 10,000 NFTs, they’ll get a good chunk of change, but there’s nothing to gain here. Not without first sales, though – NFTs have been seen to skyrocket in value.

One has to wonder if the crossover between the roller derby team and the NFT community is enough to sell 10 of these, let alone 10,000. But ‘Bout Time’ didn’t happen. NFT participants buy from collections that don’t show what they want or do all the time, from photo booths to pixelated punks. Why not the skate derby?

“I think it’s a lot of fun to do,” Tacos said. “I like most of the Trample designers, and I believe some people think they’re rad too.”

In fact, they say, most of the money doesn’t come from the derby team. But back inside.

That’s not how most of the derby community sees it – and at the very least, the most vocal parts of it. In the hundreds of comments among media outlets related to the derby, all three have been accused of various things that the NFT world has condemned. People don’t know what NFTs are or what they should buy. They said NFTs were scams and pyramid schemes. They saw celebrities using their fame to make money from their fans. They are proposing a program to harm the environment. If you don’t know much about NFTs and you can’t stick your head to them, it’s easy to see their downsides. It is more difficult to know what is right or wrong.

Unlike most NFT projects, however, this criticism almost always comes from their own community, which has supported them in the past and they feel can help the program. All three considered some of this and thought they were ready to fix it. But they did not know the vitriolic nature, size, and diversity of the languages. They have supporters, but most of them are afraid to show that support in public, lest they be attacked. Bout Time was also worried about the lions they had given up to face the same rage. It can lead to bad, bad teams combined with a derby team.

“They just want to fight, I’m not a fight,” Trample said. “I don’t mean – by the way, yeah. Out of the way, no.

In the end, the three runners decided it wasn’t necessary to piss the roller derby team to do anything new. They decided to pull the plug.

“If this community doesn’t want us to run this project, then we’re not going to do this project for them,” Trample said. “The whole point was to raise money for the derby team, and they spoke strongly to us.”

So the ‘Bout Time NFTTT’ ended before it even started. But all three of them say they believe in NFTs – or at the very least, the blockchain technology they create – are here to stay. Tacos is incorporated into another NFT program, which people can enjoy. Or maybe not: Some reports say the NFT market is about to explode, with average retail prices falling in recent months. On the other hand, people say that the bottom line from the crypto market has been falling for years, and it continues to go down.

At this point, it appears that the roller derby is not ready for the NFTs. Or maybe there will be a different derby track in there. As can be seen in a Facebook gossip derby group discussing this: “Blockchain” to make a good derby name.

This story was first published in the newspaper Recode. Sign up here so you don’t forget the next one!

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