If you’ve heard the term “NFT” the first thing that probably comes to mind is art. And, it may seem crazy to think that people are dropping hundreds of thousands – in some cases millions – of dollars on jpegs and mp4s. But as we all ease into more immersive, virtual spaces, these digital assets are likely to become woven into the fabric of our everyday lives.
Think for a moment about the dream home that you might “build” in the metaverse. A space just for you, where you could host dinner parties and invite friends from across the globe. Your walls, adorned with a unique collection of digital art. Your attire, some incredible limited digital edition of an Alexander McQueen piece. The music in the background playing songs that you own the rights to.
Well, all of those digital goods have to come from somewhere. If you’ve ever experienced virtual reality, you know that there’s some degree of cognitive dissonance. You are in the space, but don’t necessarily feel like you’re a part of it. That’s because when you’re immersed in a space that is designed by someone, for everyone, there’s no sense of attachment or ownership.
NFTs = Ownership
NFTs are changing this. They are allowing creators, users, and really anyone who wants to explore the metaverse, the ability to buy and build their own unique little worlds in virtual reality. An NFT (Non-Fungible Token) is a digital asset that represents an object or concept like art, music, a video, a certificate, or a key that gives the owner exclusive access to something. And, while NFTs started with art, they have caught on like wildfire in other industries.
Here are some ways that NFTs are being integrated into different areas of our lives:
The visual nature of art was an obvious entry point for NFTs. The idea of buying and holding onto something that you can actually see lent some tangible value to the idea of a “digital asset.” However, the technology can be applied far beyond items that can be neatly stored in a gallery collection.
Same as physical collectibles, but digital. A perfect example of this is the nostalgic McDonald’s Happy Meal toys. Dating back to the 1970s, these toys have been scooped up by collectors for decades. Some now hold some value; most don’t – but they’re fun and they remind us all of what it was like to get a happy meal as a treat!
McDonald’s capitalized on the nostalgic sentiment by launching a series of 188 NFT Rubik’s Cubes to their customers in China. Are they going to be worth something in the future? Who knows? Are they fun and remind us of those awesome treat days growing up? Yup!
Pay-2-Earn (P2E) games are a red-hot market right now – and it’s only growing. However, many of these games require players to use certain in-game items to advance through levels and make money. These in-game assets come in the form of NFTs and include things like clothing, weapons, passwords, or keys to unlock features within the game(s).
And, while some players opt to buy these assets, there is also a huge market to rent them out. Investors looking to make some money can buy these gaming NFTs and rent them out to players for a set amount of time. Players then use the NFTs to advance to the next level(s), unlock features, then return the NFTs to the original owners.
People are buying land in the metaverse. It seems abstract, yes, but this is actually a huge market. Going to a club, store, or museum in the metaverse is expected to become the new way for people to socialize. Companies are banking on this by buying up land in metaverse hotspots like Decentraland and Sandbox. Some companies plan to build exclusive content for the game world, while others see this as an opportunity to build new virtual offerings that complement their existing ones.
So, meme NFTs are a thing? Yes. Why, you ask? Well, this is all speculation (like any investment market), but long-term, it’s possible that popular meme NFTs may be akin to rare historical art or relics [or something along those lines].
In the physical world, we’re used to seeing sports fans collect things like jerseys, equipment, signed cards and more. The virtual world is an extension of this – except fans can now own things like famous moments in sports history. NBA Top Shot is currently the leader in sports memorabilia NFTs, hawking legendary moments in NBA history, like the LeBron James dunk that sold for over $380,000.
It’s possible that we’ll soon see die-hard fans organizing DAOs and collecting funds to buy their favorite sports teams. This is only partially related to NFTs, but just wanted to add it in because it’s a cool way we’ll see community-driven approaches to sports fandom in the future. 🙂
Think, ‘.com’ address, but in the metaverse. In web3, ENS domains include a coveted ‘.eth’ extension. These addresses are unique identifiers for users in the metaverse. Right now, these addresses can simplify crypto wallet use. Instead of long, hard-to-remember wallet addresses, you can exchange any Ethereum-based crypto using your .eth address. These addresses host domains in web3 that complement web2 offerings.
There is also a company called Unstoppable Domains that provides addresses such as .crypto, .nft etc that are more broad and can span other crypto chains.
If you’re a huge fan of music, consider investing in your favorite artists. One way to do this is to purchase shares in a song or album prior to release. These shares would come in the form of NFTs. Anyone who owns one of these NFTs becomes a sort of “shareholder” in the material. If the material is successful, owners of the NFT(s) see payouts from the profits.
There are a ton of other ways that musicians are utilizing NFTs – including fan access, limited merchandise and other unique perks. Kings of Leon lead the way in 2021 when they released a limited number of NFTs to fans. These NFTs include possibilities for unlocking front row concert tickets and limited-edition vinyl or other merch. Music NFTs may just become the gift that keeps on giving [for hardcore music fans out there].
Event tickets are now being minted as NFTs, then sold through ticket vendors, like Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Blockchain-based ticketing allows artists, vendors and promoters to reduce and prevent counterfeit tickets in the resale market. NFT tickets can only be sold [and resold] at fixed prices, so scalpers can no longer buy and markup prices like crazy!
Following an event, the tickets live on the blockchain as a form of memorabilia. This means there’s potential for an artist’s biggest fans to access future exclusive perks. Think – the bigger the fan, the more events attended, the more NFTs held, the bigger the gifts/access to the artist.
Building philanthropic giving into NFTs has become popular amongst creators. Creators have the option to split the profit and future royalties of their asset(s) to their charity of choice. OIX has in this in the works for our creators. 😉
What else are you going to wear to those Friday night cocktail hours at your not-so-humble metaverse abode? Kidding aside, NFTs are making their way into fashion like crazy! Brands like RTFKT, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and others are finding unique ways to enter the NFT space by selling virtual goods and exclusive access to their products.
And buyers may soon be able to create physical versions of their digital fashion assets. Like, Nike NFT sneaker owners, who technically own the genetic code to their shoes. These codes allows users to create physical versions of their digital shoes via 3D printing.
Whether you’re into the jpegs or not, the possibilities for NFTs reach far beyond just pictures and video clips. Odds are, you’re bound to find yourself in possession of one yourself in the very near future. In fact, if you’ve bought a ticket from Ticketmaster in the past six months, it’s possible you are already the proud owner of an NFT.
For artists, creators and brands looking to get into the NFT space, OIX is the NFT marketplace for the metaverse. Why? Because OIX gives you the power to not only list and sell your NFTs, but also market them through engagement features like comment, share and like features. It’s NFTs for everyone – join today!