The crypto world has been caught in an explosion of popularity in non-fungible tokens, with investors around the world flocking to OpenSeas as they scramble to bid on the latest digital art fads.
Global interest in tokenised digital art has driven astonishing auction bids such as the now infamous EtherRock – which sold for an incredible $836k.
Some of the most popular and original are known as NFT profile pictures (often referred to as a ‘photo for proof’ or PFP) and give the user exclusive ownership over digital avatars.
Is there any utility?
But, as a reality check amid the manic NFT hype in 2021, it’s worth taking a step back to assess the potential use cases that could see NFTs revolutionise the way we live.
Besides the obvious benefits afforded to digital arts by tokenisation, there are numerous emerging use cases across the industry.
The immutable and easily transferable nature of NFTs could make them the perfect means of demonstrating ownership of real estate – with experts speculating we will likely see land registration records connected with tokenised deeds for both residential and commercial properties.
Another potential use case is for stock and bond certificates. Again, being instantly transferable, immutable, and digital affords a host of opportunities for revolutionising investor experiences.
One suggestion is that this could be effectively tied together with corporate dividend programs, with the NFT used to demonstrate ownership of stock and recipient eligibility for dividend pay-outs to the wallet that holds the asset.
This has already been trialled by iGaming company F1 Delta Time back in 2019. The project, which offers 5% NFT dividends to asset owners, has been an extraordinarily successful with the first F1 Delta Time NFT selling for $100,000.
Speaking of iGaming, this represents perhaps the largest area of pioneering growth for NFTs with industry adoption exploding through the use of NFTs to tokenise in-game content and items.
Empowering the identification and credibility of a document is the turn-key function at the heart of the NFT revolution. Needless to say, this has led to a plethora of government and corporate uses.
Covid-19 has been a surprisingly big driver of NFT innovation, with many countries such as San Marino tokenising digital covid vaccination passports in an effort to fight back against false documentation. This could cut a path for digitised passports, driving licences and birth certificates.
This could also be used for simpler purposes such as concert or event tickets, with the added functionality of becoming an exclusive one-off collectible item. It would be unsurprising to see a big market for re-sale of NFT tickets from legendary concerts, with fans keen to own a slice of history.
Finally, among the latest emerging NFT use case trends is the hosting of immutable domain names that can be used instead of long and complex DLT wallet addresses. Unstoppable domains is driving this technology forward.
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