Why do you need to know about NFT trends? Well, whether you like the idea of NFTs or not, some of these upcoming trends and example could change the way we experience the web, brand products, buy and sell art, create and experience music and engage with our customers.
“I don’t understand NFTs, is there anything here that can benefit my business?”; this is a question we hear a lot as more of our clients are investigating the new world that blockchain and web3 brings to our clients.
What is an NFT?
NFTs (Non-fungible tokens) exploded into the world in 2021, with news of digital art pieces selling for hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars beginning on the Ethereum blockchain, and rapidly spreading across other blockchains around the world.
Unlike a unit of bitcoin, however, each NFT is completely unique, so it can’t be exchanged like-for-like. The file stores extra information that elevates it above pure currency and brings it into the realm of, well, anything, really. As a result, NFTs have become collectable digital assets that hold value, just like how physical art holds value.
Not just for artists
After taking the art and gaming world by storm in million-dollar auctions, NFTs have now exploded into the mainstream with celebrities and big brands getting involved. Adidas minted some with Bored Ape Yacht Club and then launched a collaborative NFT project with Prada. Even McDonald’s and Coca-Cola have added NFTs to their marketing mix. If you’re still completely baffled – and we certainly don’t blame you if you are, below we’ll answer the question what are NFTs? and also touch on how they can be used by creative professionals.
Just as quickly as they gained popularity, NFTs also gained notoriety, with everyone from late night talk show hosts like Stephen Colbert to government agencies decrying the technology by taking a narrow view of what they’re capable of.
NFT – Fad or Tipping Point
Are NFTs just glorified collector’s items like baseball cards or Beanie Babies––with an overvalued market that’s going to pop in a spectacular way?
Or are NFTs a nuanced, misunderstood part of our web3 future that––if handled properly––will help artists get paid for their work, make business interactions more transparent and more secure, and that answer the needs of many types of business as the format evolves?
It’s easy to see we wouldn’t commit the ink to a blog about a short-lived fad, so let’s talk about how NFTs are being used today: for those in creative fields–artists, musicians––NFTs are a way to share their work in a way that is fairer to them and offers some unique features that current digital marketplaces don’t. Because NFTs are delivered and maintained on the blockchain, the original can’t be copied; like real art, the original can be verified, it can be sold and resold securely, and can even include a commission paid back to the artist when it is re-sold in the future.
For many, this new way of supporting artists is reason enough to purchase art and music as NFTs, but for for them to be seen as more than fancy collectibles, we need to understand what else NFTs could be.
Signed and Sent
NFTs, whether it’s art, music, legal documents, or otherwise, can be more than just what you see in its initial representation. Each NFT can carry with it metadata that can be updated across the blockchain–that means you can sign the actual NFT of a legal agreement, or have an artist’s add a dedication to a piece of art. In addition, NFTs can evolve: Steve Aoki, one of the world’s most renowned DJs, launched his own cryptocurrency that could be redeemed for an NFT passport. As a fan accumulates more currency or levels up by attending more events, the passport can evolve, giving them additional access to events both in the real world and the metaverse.
Can your business or brand benefit?
If you create original digital works, or products in the real world: NFTs could be the way that you deliver your product or could be a voucher that can be redeemed or “burned” to receive that product in the real world.
If you are building a community or following for your brand, an NFT could be the loyalty card or VIP pass that gives your audience verifiable access to exclusive content or deals.
If you have a need to send or receive secured, verifiable content that can traverse platforms and networks easily, NFTs can and will replace clunky PDFs and opaque document signing services.
Top reasons why you should consider NFTs as a Brand:
- Build Brand Awareness
- Expand Audience Reach
- Understand Your Customers
- Boost Revenue
Brands & NFTs (examples)
NFTs are becoming an attractive revenue stream for brands, and we’ve seen all kinds of companies jumping on the bandwagon.
Taco Bell’s 25 taco-themed GIFs and images (you can see one of them above) sold out in just 30 minutes. Each NFT contained a $500 gift card, which may explain their initial popularity, but the TacoCards are now selling on the secondary market for up to $3,500 (and to clarify that no longer includes the gift card!)
Even the US basketball league NBA has got involved. NBA Top Shot is a way of selling digital collectables in the form of trading cards embedded with iconic basketball moments. With a plan to add virtual jewellery, accessories and clothing that can be used across social media, the NBA is aiming to expand this revenue stream as far as it can go.
Image: NBA is branching out into digital clothing, jewellery and more (Image credit: NBA)
Image: Handout (Bored Apes Yacht Club is a collection of NFTs featuring 10,000+ unique apes)
The “Bored Ape Yacht Club” is a compilation of 10,000 unique Ape NFTs that are designed by the people, for the people. This is a brand that was unheard of before 2021, and currently, it has signed partnerships with huge brands like Adidas.
Where can I buy/sell NFTs
Image: Beeple’s Everydays – The first 5000 days sold for $69.3 million at Christie’s (Credit: Christie’s)
Whether or not NFTs are here to stay, for the moment they are making some people money and they’re creating new possibilities for digital art. We would, however, advise caution and careful consideration of which platforms to use.
Many NFTs are found on the Ethereum blockchain––it was the first place they showed up, and the OpenSea network is a massive marketplace for users to launch their NFTs, and for others to re-sell parts of their collection. Ethereum is popular because it has a large audience, a massive market to sell to, and established NFT libraries; OpenSea is also easy to use both as a content creator and a consumer.
- OpenSea The challenge for many with OpenSea are Ethereum’s gas fees, costing as much as $200 CAD to mint NFTs and up to the same amount of money to move that NFT around the network, depending on how congested the network is at the time.
- Nifty Gateway
- Axie Marketplace
- NFT ShowRoom
- Luart.io on the Terra Network and Stassh.app on the Secret Network use their own tokens in place of Etherum ($LUNA or $UST In the case of Luart, and $SCRT in the case of Secret) with low fees and easy to access markets.
For some artists, the smaller, emerging markets are an exciting place, finding new audiences without having to compete with so many others on OpenSea.
How to stand out
If you’re looking to sell content as an NFT the most powerful thing you can do right now is build a community; web3 has attracted evangelists who preach the good word of the technology, and much of that enthusiasm is carried through to supporting artists whose works they enjoy.
Tools such as Twitter, Discord, and Telegram give users a way to connect with each other and make speaking to your audience and motivating them a relatively easy task. Prior to minting a series of NFTs many artists will engage their audience with a launch campaign, offering valuable “whitelist” pre-sale spots to the most enthusiastic of users, letting those who choose to be involved earn their place at the front of the line.
NFT Calendar is a one-of-a-kind NFT platform in the NFT universe to share releases of upcoming NFT events. It showcases the releases of well-known NFT collections as well as collections from new NFT artists who drop their crypto art collections on various marketplaces.
Next Generation NFTs
While NFTs started off as a new way to share static images, they have already started to evolve in new and interesting ways.
Motion, animation, video, music; in some cases, NFTs are adding some or all of these elements to add more value, to catch the eye and ear, and to get users excited about something new and cool. For example: this is a music NFT that I purchased because I liked the song; the added feature that the disc turns makes it even more interesting and fun for me and was the final detail that validated my decision to buy it.
So while NFTs are continuing to evolve, and as more people are learning there’s so much more to them, they’re going to see both growth and contractions as the market reacts to each new step.
Our team’s thoughts are that the rush isn’t over, only the novelty is dying out, what i mean by this is pictures of apes and punks and the whacky characters was great but now people want NFTs that are intricate and robust, NFTs that live far beyond the art and not just a game… looking towards charity, community, commerce, educational and entertainment
If you want to know more about NFTs, minting them, buying them, marketing them, or if you should make or buy one, give us a call and we can––and will––answer your questions.