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In Zagreb, Oleksandra Oliynykova is all smiles, a few hours away from her morning training. This young tennis player decided to sell… a small part of her forearm. No question of mutilation: the member in question will be represented numerically by an NFT, a non-fungible token (non-fungible token) – in fact, a file authenticated by a blockchain, a public and decentralized transaction ledger, like bitcoin or ethereum. “For me, it is a way of creating the history of sport because, as far as I know, I am the first athlete to do it with my body”, she confides.

In recent months, the phenomenon of NFT has amplified, to the point of affecting the general public. By selling on March 11, for $ 69 million (around 58.5 million euros), a digital collage of images produced every day for more than thirteen years by the American artist Beeple, the auction company Christie’s shed light on the NFT. A sum far from the amount hoped for by Oleksandra Oliynykova. For her, the essential lies elsewhere. Barely 20 years old, she could already write a book about her troubles. Born in Odessa in 2001, she took refuge ten years later with her family in Croatia to escape the regime of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

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In adolescence, tennis became his escape route. She was even consecrated best Croatian hope, nationality she obtained in 2019. But during the trips related to her activity, dead ends have accumulated, such as “This time she played in Serbia and her card didn’t work due to banking restrictions in that country”, tells his father and manager, Denis, at World. “I am traveling all the time for tournaments, continues Oleksandra, and I often have problems with money transfers because of different regulations or conversion rates depending on the country. “

The family therefore turned to cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin cash (another, disparaged version of bitcoin). For her and her team of coaches, this alternative solution to traditional means of payment, without intermediaries or borders, is more “Simple”. Selling your arm in NFT therefore represented a logical continuation, a symbolic experiment at a time when, without a sponsor, it is important to build up financial independence. “To access tournaments monopolized by players supported by large companies”.

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