Upstream supporting fan engagement NFTs for as little as $25 with no gas fees

By Vanessa Malone

NFTs have taken the world by storm. With talks of the Metaverse and major companies entering the world of digital collectibles, the potential for NFTs has only begun to take shape. 

The majority of headlines surrounding NFTs have been about the hefty prices NFTs have sold for. Auction house Christie’s sold an NFT by digital artist Beeple for $69 million¹ (£50m), Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet as an NFT for $2.9 million², NBA’s Top Shot blockchain trading card platform sold one LeBron James highlight for $200,000

However impressive these price tags may be, they can limit the trader pool and activity significantly.

Today, if fans wanted to purchase an NFT from two of the most popular NFT collections, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) or CryptoPunks, they’d need to dish out more than $200,000! This isn’t including gas fees on Ethereum-based NFT platforms, which can reach hundreds of dollars for a single auction bid!

According to DappRadar, in the last 24 hours just 35 traders swapped 18 Bored Ape NFTs and 36 traders swapped 23 CryptoPunk NFTs.⁴ 

Meanwhile, NFT collection Axie Infinity, with NFTs ranging from $3,000 to $12,000 had 3,580 traders and 48,718 sales. This is a significant bump in traction.

As major artists, musicians, and athletes continue to enter the NFT world in order to connect with fans through digital merchandise; hurdles like accessibility, affordability, and security need to come into consideration.

Fan engagement NFTs on Upstream 

Upstream, a MERJ Exchange Market, offers a secure one-stop-shop for creating and selling authenticated NFTs to a global fan-investor community. 

As a regulated exchange and trading app with a focus on athlete and celebrity ventures, our goal at Upstream was to focus on being the hub for all fans to feel connected to projects through digital collectibles, regardless of net-worth. Here’s how creators can leverage NFTs on Upstream to enhance fan engagement:


As gathered from above, popular NFTs on OpenSea or other NFT platforms could sell for thousands or even millions of dollars, which greatly excludes the masses. On Upstream, NFTs representing PFPs*, media, memorabilia, unique rewards, or access could be purchased for as low as $25 using PayPal, Credit or Debit Card, US Dollars or the USDC cryptocurrency.

Upstream only charges creators/sellers a $1 NFT auction fee, and only upon sale will sellers pay a 2% sales commission, constituting some of the lowest creator/seller fees in the NFT space.

Because Upstream operates a layer-2 Ethereum rollup blockchain, Upstream pays the users’ gas fees, and the Ethereum rollup fees, from its sales commissions, so there’s no gas fees for users. On top of that, there is no account funding fee, no cryptocurrency deposit/withdrawal fees, no NFT bid fee, no NFT transfer fee for winning bids, and no ACH withdrawal fees to a U.S. bank. All US Dollar accounts are also FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

We believe making NFTs accessible and affordable could enable thousands and even millions of fans to enjoy popular NFTs from their favorite athletes, musicians, and entertainers. 


Upstream offers powerful in-app NFT creator tools to offer thousands of digital collectibles to global fans in seconds. Whether that’s on the court, on set, or on stage; connecting with your digital-first audience has never been easier. 

The possibilities for NFTs are endless: exclusive footage, commemorative moments, digital merchandise, meet and greets, club membership, tickets, and more reward or media-based collectibles can all be used to engage fans. On Upstream, fans can then trade these NFTs with other fans globally from a userfriendly trading app.

Upstream supports NFTs tied to high-profile athlete and celebrity IPOs that may list on Upstream, so it was also critical to include measures that protect personal brands and their fans. Upstream onboarding includes a light-touch identity verification, anti-money laundering (AML) and copyright protection so that all parties are safeguarded. This also creates a safe NFT ecosystem for our community to transact in throughout the NFTs’ lifecycles.


Upstream is the world’s first digital asset securities market built on an Ethereum blockchain and operated under a fully-fledged securities exchange license and regulations. 

As a MERJ Exchange Limited (“MERJ”) market, Upstream benefits from MERJ being an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), recognized by HM Revenue and Customs UK, a full member of the Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA), a Qualifying Foreign Exchange for OTC Markets in the U.S. and is licensed in the Republic of Seychelles. 

Many NFT platforms have moved faster than regulation, opening the door to securities law, KYC, and AML violation risks. Upstream was designed by a team of Wall Street veterans and software engineers to meet US-securities and bank-secrecy laws as standard practice and protect our athletes, celebrities and users from the evolving regulatory landscape.

We envision a large and active NFT trading community across music, entertainment, sports, and other fan-driven sectors. Download Upstream at Interested NFT creators can reach Upstream at

About Upstream

Upstream, a MERJ Exchange Market, is a fully regulated global stock exchange for digital securities. Powered by Horizon’s proprietary matching engine technology, the exchange enables investors to trade shares in IPOs, crowdfunded companies, U.S. and international dual listed equities, SPACs and celebrity ventures directly from the app Interested issuers can reach the team at

About Horizon

Horizon is a fintech company that builds and powers global securities exchanges with an integrated suite of software for compliant issuance, management, and secondary trading of securities. Their in-house solutions combine Wall Street and Silicon Valley to power the next generation of securities offerings and trading in the U.S. and globally. Learn more at

About MERJ

MERJ Exchange (MERJ) operates Upstream as a fully regulated and licensed integrated securities exchange, clearing system and depository for digital and non-digital securities. MERJ is an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), recognized by HM Revenue and Customs UK, a full member of the Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) and a Qualifying Foreign Exchange for OTC Markets in the US. MERJ is also a member of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative. More information can be found at





4 DappRadar

* PFP stands for Profile Pics as these NFTs are often used as profile pictures on social media sites such as Twitter .PFP NFTs are a collection of avatars, usually about 10,000, where each avatar has a combination of unique attributes that are randomly generated and combined. Popular examples of PFP NFTs include CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).


This blog shall not constitute an offer to sell securities or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities in any jurisdiction where such offer or solicitation is not permitted. U.S. investors are not permitted to trade in Upstream listed securities. U.S. and Canadian citizens will only be able to trade in a security they currently own that has listed on upstream for liquidation only.

Upstream is a MERJ Exchange market. MERJ Exchange is a licensed Securities Exchange, an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges and full member of ANNA. MERJ supports global issuers of traditional and digital securities through the entire asset life cycle from issuance to trading, clearing, settlement and registry. It operates a fair and transparent marketplace in line with international best practice and principles of operations of financial markets. Upstream does not endorse or recommend any public or private securities bought or sold on its app. Upstream does not offer investment advice or recommendations of any kind. All brokerage services offered by Upstream are intended for self-directed clients who make their own investment decisions without aid or assistance from Upstream. All customers are subject to the rules and regulations of their jurisdiction. By accessing the site or app, you agreed to be bound by its terms of use and privacy policy. Company and security listings on Upstream are only suitable for investors who are familiar with and willing to accept the high risk associated with speculative investments, often in early and development stage companies. There can be no assurance the valuation of any particular company’s securities is accurate or in agreement with the market or industry comparative valuations. Investors must be able to afford market volatility and afford the loss of their investment. Companies listed on Upstream are subject to significant ongoing corporate obligations including, but not limited to disclosure, filings and notification requirements, as well compliance with applicable quantitative and qualitative listing standards.

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