The first-ever NFT, Quantum, was created (or ‘minted’) in 2014. But it wasn’t until the popularity of NFTs soared in 2021 that it became the buzzword we were all hearing.
And despite recent reports that NFT sales are declining, the future for NFTs still looks promising. Instagram recently announced they’re going to start testing NFTs and similar functionality for ‘digital collectibles’ will be coming to Facebook soon.
If you were to ask someone what they know about NFTs, chances are they’ll relate it to digital artwork, as above. Whilst this is an exciting field for NFTs, we wanted to discover other lesser-known ways that NFTs might be used in future.
This post will consider 5 potential NFT use cases that go beyond digital art.
A brief explanation of NFTs
Before we begin, let’s take a minute to understand what NFTs are.
An NFT (or non-fungible token) is a digital asset used to represent the ownership of a unique item. That unique item can be digital e.g. a tweet, a GIF or a music file. Or the NFT can be linked to a physical item in the real world, like a parcel of land or a rare painting.
But what exactly does ‘non-fungible’ mean?
A five-dollar note is a fungible item - meaning you can swap one for another at the same equivalent value. But the car in your driveway is a non-fungible item. It’s got unique qualities and won’t be exactly the same as your neighbour’s car, even if they own the same model and make.
In the same way, NFTs are non-fungible. NFTs can’t be exchanged for an identical item, because they all have unique properties. That’s what makes them special.
NFTs can be bought and sold online using cryptocurrency. They’re stored on a blockchain (usually Ethereum) and, importantly, cannot be replicated. So whilst you can become a ‘right click saver’ and copy-paste an NFT, that doesn’t mean you own it. Nor does it mean you’ve created another copy equal to the original.
The value of an NFT can be highly speculative. Jack Dorsey’s first-ever tweet sold for $2.9 million last year but recently plummeted in value when the owner tried to sell it. At the time of writing this article, the tweet is sitting at $24K.