The NFT boom began with art collectibles and memorabilia, but today we’re seeing a new wave of NFTs coming out accompanied with utilities. NFTs are penetrating different industries due to the sheer versatility they possess.
Utility NFTs are one of the emerging trends we’re seeing right now, and in the coming months, this trend is going to take the NFT space to new heights as mainstream brands and celebrities adopt blockchain technology.
Following this year’s brutal ‘crypto winter,’ people are now looking for NFTs with intent and purpose. And there are diverse ways in which the asset is being leveraged, such as owning a part of real estate instead of the entire property, enabling a sustainable environment, and accessing events and galas, are just a few examples of the utilities NFTs can provide.
While several major brands have already started adopting NFTs with this new vision, soon almost everything you see will have NFTs incorporated in them. In the meantime, here are the top 5 trends that we’re seeing right now.
Rise of Access-Based NFTs
If we chart out the journey of the NFT boom, we’ll notice a couple of interesting aspects. While initially, people bought expensive collectibles and pieces which didn’t serve any purpose or do anything for the buyers.
However, later on, with projects such as VeeFriends, NFTs started possessing different kinds of utilities based on the project and its goals. Communities, aficionados, and experts believe that access is going to be one of the biggest selling points of NFTs by mainstream brands and celebrities.
The rationale behind this is simple. Consumers today want to form a deeper relationship with the brand. The more the brand invests in its customer relationship, the higher its retention rate will be.
Access as a utility is one of the best ways to accomplish this. There are numerous projects which launch NFTs that offer various perks to their buyers. They can access special events, be whitelisted for upcoming collections, get early access to merch, and much more.
The CEO of MintNFT, James Sun also mentioned how the new age of NFTs are going to be all about access. He said ‘If you think about it from a brand’s perspective, they care more about engaging the consumer in a deeper way,’ and also added, ‘So we believe that the next generation NFTs will be products that consist of building a new relationship model with the user.’
Environment Conscious Ventures
For the longest time, NFTs and cryptocurrencies have been criticized for the harm they cause to the environment and climate. With crypto assets such as Bitcoin consuming astronomical amounts of electricity while hindering the environment, NFT projects that focus on creating a positive impact are emerging.
There are numerous blockchain projects that focus on environments and they have different ways of accomplishing similar goals. A few ways in which these NFT projects work are as follows:
Offsetting Carbon and GHG Emissions
NFT projects work towards offsetting the carbon emissions of their operations by working with projects which have a negative carbon impact on the environment, thus facilitating a net zero condition.
Support to Environment-friendly Ventures
In this case, the project simply funds ventures which have sustainability at the core. For instance, certain NFT projects offer charities to organizations and environment conservation programs for them create change.
While these two are the major types of green NFTs, there are other projects, platforms, and blockchain networks which focus on sustainability. They do this by either applying eco-friendly techniques such as lazy minting/batch minting, using renewable sources of energy for the network’s minting operations, and even shifting towards better consensus mechanisms.
Fundraising – The Project Kickstarter
While developing vast projects, the team wouldn’t have the funds to execute their plans. As a result, kickstarting the project with an NFT launch is a good decision for multiple reasons. To begin with, it creates a buzz around the project and induces anticipation about what will come next.
The second important point is that selling NFTs will help any creator amass the much-necessary wealth/funds. These funds can then be used for further development of the project itself.
Besides this, another way to raise funds is with partnerships and companies who are interested. For instance Red DAO is a platform with NFT fashion and the digital fashion ecosystem as its focus. This focus manifests into multiple ways. They invest in high-end NFT drops such as the recent Dolce & Gabbana collection called Collezione Genesi.
The platform also works with and supports upcoming designers and is partnered with platforms like Artisant and Tribute Brand. Overall, the idea is to work with both ends of the spectrum, right from well-established brands to new talents and see how the community of designers can be benefitted and how the boundaries of digital fashion can be pushed.
The Newfound Prominence of Photography
The NFT boom began with digital art and photography. However, after all the noise around this has started to fade, photographers and artists from the industry are looking at NFTs not merely as a collectible but as a medium to push the horizons of art and photography.
Different people are working on different initiatives where photography is being used for expression, documentation of the past and present, and as a platform for coming-of-age artists to experiment and reach out to new audiences.
For instance, OneOf and Globe Entertainment and Media (Globe) have partnered to bring the most iconic photographs of musicians, movie stars, comic book characters, and more onto Web3 through NFTs.
NFTs for Rent
Buying NFTs is an expensive ordeal, and not everyone can afford that much. However, for beginners who want to get the feel of the tokens, the perks associated with them, and more, renting them is a great option.
Renting NFTs used to be difficult because of the counterparty risk. However, a new NFT standard called ERC-4907 is in its last stages of development, and these tokens would be rentable.
One simple use case around this is renting metaverse lands to people who want to host events or experiences in virtual worlds. While this is an immediate necessity, considering the buzz around the metaverse is growing rapidly, there’s a lot more that can be accomplished with this feature.
One example of a metaverse real estate company that’s offering land and luxury mansions for rent in the metaverse is Landz.io.
Although people may think that NFTs are dying down, this is far from the truth. On the contrary, blockchain technology will continue to be adopted by mainstream brands, and soon we will see NFTs woven into ‘everything.’ Rewards and loyalty programs, luxury fashion, and the metaverse.