It’s been an energetic year for NFTs. Though the concept has existed since 2014, and Blockchain tech for much longer, we’ve seen an enormous spike in popularity over the last year and a growing list of successful applications in the commercial world – particularly in the example of ventures like the NBA’s new “Top Shot” NFTs.
A quick recap, for those unfamiliar:
NFTs create scarcity for items by defining an ‘original’ version of a digital asset and recording their purchase and ownership on a public and transparent blockchain ledger. This means that minting an NFT creates an individual, unique, and non-replicable certification of ownership for the buyer.
So - where are NFTS now?
Short answer? They’re where the internet was circa 1993 – and, like the young internet, NFTs remain on the fringe for most. Some are even hesitant to touch the space out of fear of a bubble.
This caution is overapplied. Many of the developments across the NFT marketplace have gone uncelebrated or dismissed as fads. This is natural, but those with a serious interest in the future of NFTs need to read beyond the headlines.
NFTs offer the chance to monetize cultural phenomena and generate real value from previously unharnessed forces. A technology with this amount of power is always going to create uncertainty, fear, and doubt.
In the case of the NBA’s “Top Shot”, a marriage between classic sports trading cards and NFTs, the arrangement means players can take a measure of ownership over basketball through nominal ownership of ‘Top Shot Moments’.
Put simply, they’re selling plays. And Basketball – a high-scoring game – means that there are a lot of plays to sell.
In the first half of 2021, NFT sales jumped to over $2.5 billion. Marketplaces like OpenSea, as I noted in my last insight on NFTs, are hoovering up much of this, very nearly breaking $150 million worth of sales in March and June.
Clearly, buyers are growing more convinced of the staying power of the NFT. A thriving NFT marketplace now means further confirmation that if stakeholders believe something has value, it does.
Our prediction? A slew of new ideas, applications, and partnerships. Keep watch for more.
Francis Menassa is the CEO of JAR Capital. JAR Capital is the largest shareholder in BlockEx, an award-winning white label exchange platform for cryptocurrencies and NFTs.