By Cory Hymel, Director of Blockchain, Gigster
Most people are still confused about NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, and what they are about. We have yet to see mass adoption but over the past year, NFTs exploded as trades ballooned by 21,000% to $17.6 billion in 2021 versus 2020’s $82 million. Big companies, brands and artists around the world are integrating NFTs into their growth strategies, thus driving a robust marketplace of the future.
For the majority, it is still absurd how NFTs can sell for hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars apiece, when most NFTs only represent ownership of a virtual image or animated photo that you can see everywhere online. However, many brands are finding ways to add additional value and utility to NFTs to increase their attraction. Most brands, when asked, say that they invest in NFT projects to boost their earnings, ride the technology trends, and bet on ‘metaverse’ or virtual worlds being the future after social media.
Brands and artists learned how to maximize their sales potential through NFTs, which paved the way for rapid acceleration in NFT adoption from 2020 to 2021. Here are some of the creative ways companies are maximizing sales via NFTs.
NFT Creators Get Royalties From Secondary Peer-to-Peer Sales
A single NFT – whether art, GIF, document, or anything under the sun – can already sell for hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Aside from the current attractive prices, NFT creators can also benefit from peer-to-peer sales in the form of “royalties”.
Unlike traditional physical selling where the manufacturer only earns from a one-time sale, NFT IP holders can also earn royalties when their buyer decides to sell the NFT in the future. This is called a secondary sale, and it multiplies a creator’s earnings. Resale also generates loyalty or patronage from buyers and the community or fans of the brand or artists. This can give them a sense of trust and security that the NFT they bought will be worth something – maybe even more – when they decide to resell it.
This is one of the main factors that makes NFTs so attractive for enterprises and artists. It presents opportunities to grow as NFT makers are encouraged to think about how to make their virtual offerings relevant and valuable even in the long term to increase its saleability and encourage more secondary sales from every NFT.
NFTs Are Non-Immutable: Creators Can Update NFTs for Its Value to Live on for Years
“Some NFTs are set in stone, you cannot change its metadata… But some artists sell NFTs where they are making a commitment to update the metadata. They do cool things where they make changes so the NFT itself evolves over time.” – Kelly Digregorio, Vice President of Dapper Labs
NFTs are mutable; not static and can be changed. By making an NFT with the option to update it, it can change and be refreshed over time and still be relevant and valuable. It can “evolve in an evergreen way over time” and present an element of newness to the NFT regardless of the time which raises its value and saleability.
Since the Web3 technology is still in its earlier stages, it can grow to something much larger and owning an NFT might have various uses in the future.
Rise of “Utility NFTs” or NFT 2.0
At present, most NFTs are digital collectibles and have no use. But there is a drive to make NFTs usable in different ways. Some companies are moving to create utility NFTs or “NFT 2.0” which are NFTs that can be used. This added dimension of utility for NFTs elevates its long term value on top of scarcity.
An example of this is NBA Top Shot. Powered by Dapper Labs, NBA Top Shot sells virtual basketball NFTs as collectibles. These NFTs also have a use. Once a buyer collects a total of five (5) ballers, they are qualified for a game where you can use the baller NFTs. The gamification of the NBA baller NFTs helped its revenues hit the $1 billion mark, and recorded over 20 million transactions from more than 1.5 million users since its inception in 2019. The gamification of utility NFTs will also lead to “play-to-earn” games which would further increase its value in the future.
Aside from games, utility NFTs can also manifest through selling an NFT digitally with a real-world physical value. You can buy an NFT and be granted access to other physical value such as the real-world product, exclusive experiences, early access to other products, and invites to events of celebrities and artists, among others.
Art gallery Mesa Art and NFT luxury fashion platform Nifty Luxe did this by selling NFTs and pairing it with physical goods. Mesa Art worked with artists to sell NFTs of their art and the physical art will also be delivered to the buyer. Nifty Luxe, on the other hand, worked with sneaker designer Richie Range, Puff Daddy and other brands for NFT sneaker designs, which are sold together with a unique physical sneaker of the same design.
But, CAUTION. Be Responsible in Making NFTs
It might be tempting for a brand to create and sell more and more NFTs, but there needs to be an application of economic principles in maintaining the inherent scarcity value of NFTs.
In addition, companies, artists, designers and developers must be mindful of other factors in creating NFTs for the masses, other than fancy user interface (UI).
Companies and artists should first determine if they truly believe in blockchain technology that NFT trades run on. They should trust the technology and how it is relevant to their industries, as well as the economic opportunity that can be seen in this space.
If the answer is yes, then the next consideration is the maintainability of the NFT project. Choosing a certain blockchain to operate on is critical, and must be aligned on what your organization stands for. Is it environmentally friendly? Given the difficulty of scaling in the decentralized blockchain tech, how does your chosen blockchain solve their scaling issues?
After choosing a blockchain, companies also need to go through their wallet options. Is it consumer friendly and flexible? Can it process credit card and crypto payments? Can it secure users’ assets in a way that they are not helpless when they lose or forget their passwords?
All of these considerations, when applied, make for great NFT projects for mass adoption of individuals and communities. Note that these factors can also be applied for venture in other Web3 applications such as cryptocurrency and metaverse.
This article was originally published on the author’s blog and reprinted with permission.
About the Author
Cory Hymel leads all things Web3 as the Director of Blockchain at Gigster, a company dedicated to helping businesses develop software applications with the speed of a startup, coupled with the quality and expertise of the most innovative global talent. Cory also manages academic partnerships to help further research into distributed teams and the future of work. Cory’s career started with providing enterprise strategy to large enterprises in the early days of the iPhone. He then moved into hardware development to help bring innovative IoT platforms to market. Follow him on YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn and read his blog at https://gigster.com/blog.