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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The trading card boom shows no signs of slowing down, and new companies are emerging to serve — and build upon — the evolving landscape.

Driving the news: Alt is a new platform set to launch on Oct. 1 that will allow investors to manage trading cards and other alternative assets similarly to the way they manage more traditional assets like stocks and bonds.

The big picture: A decade ago, Coinbase built the infrastructure needed to turn cryptocurrency into a manageable asset. Now, Alt aims to do the same for collectibles with an interface that looks a lot like what you'd see on, say, Yahoo Finance or Fidelity (i.e. recent transactions, portfolio gains/losses, etc).

How it works: At the core of the platform is Alt's proprietary "Alt Value," which allows customers to get real-time valuations on their investments — something founder Leore Avidar hopes will bring "transparency and liquidity to the space."

  • "Think of Alt Value as the Zestimate [Zillow's tool for estimating the market value of a house] of trading cards, art and other unconventional assets," Avidar tells me.
  • Instead of using eBay or another online marketplace, customers can transact directly through Alt and even insure their assets.

Between the lines: In addition to allowing customers to easily invest, research and track trading cards and other assets, Alt will also provide a "vault as a service" where customers can store them.

  • Perhaps you heard about the Giannis Antetokounmpo rookie card that sold for a record $1.81 million this week? Or the LeBron James rookie card that sold for a then-record $1.8 million in July?
  • Both cards were purchased by Alt through the company's inaugural asset fund, Alt Fund I — and both now sit in the vault.
  • "We want Alt to be known for trust and security, so we're literally saying, 'We bought the two most expensive basketball cards in the world — and yours are going to be right there next to them,'" says Avidar.

The bottom line: The modern trading card industry has created a new type of collector whose less interested in nostalgia and more interested in building a financial portfolio.

  • And since a card's value is correlated to an athlete's performance — and not the stock market — it's an attractive option for people looking to diversify.
  • Alt has arrived to serve those investors, and more companies will pop up as the world of alternative assets matures.

Go deeper

DHS resumes "public charge" wealth test for green card applicants

Presidnet Trump and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration will reimpose a new wealth and health "public charge" test for green card applicants in the U.S., after the rule was previously blocked by a court injunction in July because of the coronavirus, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Why it matters: The rule could have a drastic impact on the half million or so immigrants in the U.S. who receive green cards — the first step to citizenship — each year. 69% of recent green card recipients had at least one negative public charge factor, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Schumer pushes for doomed filibuster changes

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer addressed reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told the Democratic caucus Tuesday night he plans to propose instituting a one-time "talking" filibuster requirement, and bypassing the 60-vote threshold for major legislation, to pass the party's election reforms package via simple majority.

Why it matters: While Schumer acknowledged both votes are expected to fail — and some vulnerable Democrats up for reelection feel it will put them in a tough spot — he argued it's worth putting members on the record for historic legislation.

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell

Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot released its latest round of subpoenas on Tuesday evening, this time focusing on several of former President Trump's lawyers, including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, and former adviser Boris Epshteyn.

Why it matters: The panel said the four individuals subpoenaed were involved in efforts publicly promote Trump's unfounded claims of election fraud as well as efforts to "disrupt or delay" the certification of the election's results.