What happened

Shares of China-based cryptocurrency miner The9 (NCTY 2.24%) jumped by as much as 16.5% Monday morning on news related to its non-fungible token (NFT) platform, NFTSTAR. The company revealed the launch of NFTSTAR on Aug. 30, and on Monday, it announced an exclusive agreement with star running back Christian McCaffrey of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. The stock pulled back as the trading day progressed, but it still closed the session with a gain of 7.4%. 

So what

Under its new deal with McCaffrey, The9 will develop, sell, and trade NFT creations developed with the athlete. "McCaffrey will work with NFTSTAR's world class creative team and artists to develop digital collections including video, animation, and other digital artworks, which will creatively capture the highlights of McCaffrey's professional career and personal growth," said the company in a press release.

drawing of bar chart with rockets on each bar.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

When The9 announced plans for NFTSTAR in August, it said it expected to officially launch it in the fourth quarter of this year. The platform intends to focus on stars in various fields, including sports, entertainment, and other celebrity-involved industries. 

The company says it aims for the platform to "create a significant portal to the future metaverse through superstars' NFT collections, trading, and community interaction." At the same time, The9 continues to expand its cryptocurrency mining business. Last week, it announced a deal to provide capacity for 10,000 new mining servers to be deployed in the U.S. beginning in the second quarter of 2022. On Monday, however, investors were signaling their approval of the company's plan to develop its presence in the NFT space.