Lionel Messi launches 'Messiverse' NFT crypto art collection

Ligue 1 - Paris St Germain v RC Strasbourg
Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Paris St Germain v RC Strasbourg - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - August 14, 2021 Paris St Germain's Lionel Messi acknowledges the fans inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

BUENOS AIRES, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi has launched his own collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), crypto art that was created with his image by digital designer BossLogic and will go on sale on Friday.

Messi, 34, is portrayed as a king, superhero and Greek titan in works entitled "Man from the Future," "Worth the Weight," and "The King Piece" that celebrate his career highlights.

Australia-based BossLogic is known for his work with Marvel Studios and Disney.

An NFT is a form of crypto asset which uses blockchain to record the ownership status of digital objects, such as images, videos and text. While anyone can view the item, only the buyer of an NFT has the official status of being its owner.

The market for NFTs has exploded in recent months. In March of this year, Christie's auction house sold a digital work by the artist known as Beeple for almost $70 million.

"Art is like football. Eternal," Messi said on his Twitter account in early August announcing the launch.

Works in the collection titled "Messiverse" will be available for purchase on the Ethernity Chain platform, known for producing original NFT pieces for sportstars.

BossLogic said depicting Messi had been "a huge honor" in a post on Twitter in which he shared the "Man from the Future" artwork, which shows an image of Messi from behind, with the number 30 jersey that he will wear at his new club, Qatari-owned Paris St Germain (PSG).

Messi left Barcelona last week after more than 20 years to join PSG. His signing-on fee includes some of the French club's cryptocurrency fan tokens.

Reporting by Lucila Sigal, writing by Aislinn Laing, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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