Digital art and pictures. That’s what people envision whenever the word “NFT” is mentioned. However, because of their unique nature, they hold the potential for many other use-cases across industries.
NFTs could be used in unique representations of object on blockchains. This is the fundamental difference between the asset class and fungible tokens.
Our panel of experts have explored other NTF use-cases outside the art world. Here’s what they had to say.
5 “Beyond art, NFTs have almost an unlimited type of use cases. The ones that are most interesting (live today or will be in the future):
Jeff Kelley, Co-Founder of Outer Edge LA
“The era of digital pictures selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars may very well be over, but NFT innovation is here to stay. Even amid the crypto meltdown, NFT sales in 2022 were almost on par with sales in 2021. While some people think of NFTs as synonymous with overpriced JPEGs, the underlying technology is poised to transform a number of sectors. Core use cases include event ticketing, anti-counterfeit technology, virtual real estate, gaming assets, supply chain tracking, health-related identification, and DeFi lending.”
Shaunak Amin, Co-founder and CEO at SwagMagic
Implementing NFTs into your rewards program enables brands to provide customers with personalized gifts or vouchers. While offering the same discount to customers across the board drives conversions, NFTs give you a chance to be flexible in what you offer so you can create unique customer experiences to boost their loyalty. So say we have a customer buying gourmet baked goods regularly. In time, those purchases add up, earning them an NFT for an exclusive experience, such as a limited-seating online baking class. Being able to differentiate customer rewards using NFTs makes them more meaningful.
And because NFTs are low-cost and easy to create, they’re ideal for smaller businesses to leverage technology and stay ahead of the competition. However, the actual investment comes in developing and committing to a long-term strategy, which pays off in dividends in repeat sales.
John Cahiil, Associate, Wilson Elser
Entertainment Industry: Eventually, fans will be able to purchase an NFT and use the NFT as a ticket to a concert. This ticket may remain in your digital wallet, similar to how an electronic ticket is stored in your phone’s wallet. What differentiates an NFT from the e-ticket is the marketplace for such ticket and the ability for the ticket to become a collector’s item — without running the risk of damaging, or losing the ticket.
Aside from the generation of a marketplace for tickets, NFTs will also enhance fan’s experiences and allegiance to their respective teams. The Golden State Warriors NFT was minted on April 15, 2022 by the Golden State Warriors organization in conjunction with the Seriously Fun design studio. The NFT developed new benefits depending on the performance of the Golden State Warriors basketball team in the NBA playoffs. These benefits included in- person meetings with the team, tours of their facilities, autographs, and, potentially, an actual championship ring. The ability for fans to be rewarded for the allegiance will likely grow as NFTs become more mainstream and translate to enhancing in-game experiences. For example, instead of “bobble head day” in MLB games, there will eventually be “NFT day.” During the seventh inning stretch, an NFT will be revealed highlighting a player or moment in the organization’s history. Aside from enhancing the fan’s experience, NFTs also permit the organizations to receive royalties on future transactions of the “gameday” NFT.Real Estate: Another sector that is realizing the benefits of NFTs is the real estate industry. The blockchain has the capability to expedite real estate transactions by efficiently verifying the title of a respective property. Using NFTs in real-estate transactions would essentially eliminate all questions of proper title and avoid any issues of lost paperwork, which would save buyers and sellers countless time and dollars. These reasons, and many others, are why so many people are excited about NFTs. Furthermore, through smart contracts, NFTs could expedite real estate transactions and allow for purchases of property immediately after closing conditions have been met.
Related:How to Profit From NFTs
Arnaud Simeray, VP of Sales and Growth at Tatum
“Beyond art, NFTs have almost an unlimited type of use cases. The ones that are most interesting (live today or will be in the future):
Loyalty: Membership access to special perks.Proof of ownership: Crucial for highly valuable goods with lots of counterfeits (e.g., bags/fashion). Also very much applicable for automobiles, where the system is archaic with titles and lacks transparency.Speaking of automobiles: Maintenance is a pain point for vehicle owner where they have to rely on Carfax or 3rd parties. It also depends on which repair shops they choose. This should be public information available on the ledger so that when you buy an car (an NFT), you could transfer the ownership along with the maintenance history (read: the public records of all maintenance work). Thus the car buyer/owner have full confidence in what has been done on the car.Real estate: A similar trend to the proof of ownership, we see NFTs as a way to buy real estate in a much more transparent and simpler way. This also opens the door to fractional ownership, being able to “split” a large asset into smaller ones to be more accessible by smaller buyers. This opens the door to reselling rental income as well.Lease: Outside the rental property aspect of it, the NFT newest standard offers the opportunity to transfer NFTs to someone for specific periods, i.e. a season ticket holder or an annual gym membership. These could be represented as NFTs and be “loaned” to others; the outcome is an additional revenue stream for the NFT owner.”
Nick Rose Ntertsas, CEO and Founder of Ethernity and Ethernal Labs
Digital collectibles centered around fandom is one NFT use case that goes beyond the art and has contributed to a significant portion of NFT success. Recent big names like Lionel Messi, Starbucks, and Nike launched successful collections by appealing to their built-in captive audiences, regardless of familiarity with blockchain technology. These NFTs are now not only modern-day collectors’ cards, but also serve as a direct connection between fans and brands, allowing brands to use the technology as a throughput to share additional exclusive content, provide access to events, and more.
One use case that we are particularly passionate about at Ethernal Labs is NFTs in gaming. In most games now, players purchase wearables, weapons, accessories and more through the game, but ultimately do not possess true ownership of those items. If the game’s publisher decides to take items away, they have the right and the capability to do so. By introducing these items as NFTs, gamers can now truly own their purchases, separate from the game, providing an enhanced user experience through increases in value, sharing items across games, and converting the value they possess in the ecosystem to tangible value outside of it.
Extending beyond digital art and collectibles, NFT uses that might be the most likely to onboard the masses are those that address traditional utilities such as government IDs, car and house titles, certificates of authenticity for physical items and more. Gone are the days of using the archaic practice of printing paper titles or certificates of authenticity. NFT technology provides a nearly foolproof option for authenticating items through a verifiable record, significantly reducing the risk of fraud and counterfeiting for these many important documents.
Nick Donarksi, CTO at ORE
The ability to create an NFT that provides utility will become routine within the business community over the next few years. Businesses will deploy NFTs as another aspect of their product offerings to increase customer engagement opportunities. If you buy an NFT with a pair of limited-edition sunglasses, they will be accessible to your digital persona and show up in your mailbox a few days later. They will also provide functions like keeping concert tickets from being resold or providing access to owner-only events. Adding utility to an NFT will allow owners to realize the value of their purchase. Sure, the artwork is great and visually appealing, but if the NFT can be used in a capacity that creates a return on investment while you own it, that creates value in ownership, which creates a secondary market for sales of the NFTs.
Related: How NOT to Store NFTs
Nick Saponaro, CEO at Divi Labs
The surface has hardly been scratched when it comes to the real-world applications of NFT technology.
A time will come when every application you sign up for will turn your account into an NFT. All your reward points will be NFTs. Every ticket you buy for a live event will be an NFT.The bottom line implications have already been clearly presented, with the most recent example being Starbucks’ loyalty digital collectable drop that has more than 10x’d already. The ability for rewards to move with flexibility across programs and create long-term value for both the holder and the issuing organization is a massive boon.
The concept that a ticket can be 100% verified and offer the owner the ability to legally sell their pass to another user while kicking back a royalty to the issuing organisation automatically is also an immense disruption to modern ticketing systems.
Clem Chambers, CEO at Online Blockchain plc
An NFT is – if you wish it to be – a key.
Keys are the key, so to speak, to a huge range of applications just as they are in the physical realm. The untapped application of NFTs remains gigantic with the opportunity to create new genres of use case and streaming and remove all kinds of legacy processes.NFTs touch a new generation; a new and intrinsically art-loving generation. Crypto is their ‘rock and roll’ and digital art their natural artistic format.However, even more than this, the space is moving on from PFP, and NFTs increasingly have interesting use cases beyond their intrinsic scarcity such as unlocking exclusive experiences, opportunities and merchandise, providing access to token-gated benefits virtually and IRL, having gamification aspects… This is exactly the direction for Online Blockchain’s Rocky Horror Show NFT collection (and planned metaverse), which will simultaneously tap into Rocky Horror’s existing multimillion fanbase.
It’s also interesting to note that the majority of the bridging that Umbria Network sees is from the NFT rather than DeFi crowd and exciting projects, particular drops and new utility result in big traffic spikes.