Budweiser gets into NFTs by launching a Bud-themed space rocket on Twitter

Budweiser

Budweiser bought a non-fungible token (NFT) of a space rocket emblazoned with its logo to use as its Twitter image, and snapped up the domain name beer.eth, the beer brewer confirmed to Insider this week.

The Anheuser-Busch subsidiary garnered attention from the cryptocurrency community on Wednesday after it uploaded a Bud-themed rocket, part of artist Tom Sachs’ Rocket Factory NFT project. It also tweeted three space-rocket emojis, which are often used by meme-stock buyers and crypto fans to signify that an asset is ‘going to the moon.’

“Budweiser is taking its first steps into the NFT universe. We’re excited to support Tom Sachs and his Rocket Factory project and join this incredible community,” a Budweiser spokesperson told Insider.

NFTs are digital assets like pieces of art, audio clips, virtual sports cards, or even tweets, which are tied to blockchain networks. Each NFT is therefore unique and almost impossible to edit or duplicate, making them popular among artists. Often anyone online can still view NFTs, but there’s only one verified owner of the token on the blockchain.

The Rocket Factory project was launched earlier this year and allows people to purchase parts of a NFT rocket, which they can then create in the real world if all parts of a NFT rocket are put together. The physical rockets are then assembled and launched – according to the project’s Medium page, the first flights will take place on August 28.

Budweiser paid 8 ether coins (worth $25,000 at time of writing) for the rocket, according to NFT platform OpenSea. Records show that the beer brewer also purchased the domain name ‘beer.eth’ for 30 ether (worth $94,000 at time of writing), under which the rocket and other NFTs are stored on crypto platforms.

Budweiser is the latest major company to move into the NFT and crypto space, joining the likes of Coca Cola and Marvel in creating and selling the digital assets to consumers.

The popularity of NFTs has soared throughout 2021 and the market shows no signs of slowing – close to $1 billion has been spent on NFTs across nearly 300,000 sales in the past 30 days, according to data from nonfungible.com. Still, experts say there is still a long way to go before the tokens reach the mainstream and adjustments have to be made in terms of affordability and accessibility.

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Facebook’s crypto chief is exploring NFT-related products and features – but views bitcoin as too volatile for transactions

David Marcus, head of Facebook's Novi digital wallet.
David Marcus, head of Facebook’s Novi digital wallet.

  • Facebook’s crypto boss said the company is looking at building NFT-related features.
  • “We’re in a really good position to do so,” David Marcus told Bloomberg on Tuesday.
  • Marcus said that bitcoin isn’t good for transactions because of its price volatility.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Facebook‘s crypto chief is looking at building products and features related to non-fungible tokens, but has doubts about using bitcoin for transactions.

“We’re definitely looking at a number of ways to get involved in the space because we think we’re in a really good position to do so,” David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s Novi division, told Bloomberg on Tuesday. “When you have a good crypto wallet, like Novi will be, you also have to think about how to help consumers support NFTs.”

NFTs are unique assets that represent digital collectibles such as music, video, virtual paintings, or land. They are encoded onto a blockchain – the same technology that underpins cryptocurrencies – and carry a digital watermark to indicate unique ownership rights to the asset.

Marcus said it was still too early to detail Facebook’s NFT-related product plans, but the company’s developers are on the case.

“We’re definitely thinking about this,” he said. “It’s really an area that is worth exploring, and one where we can have a positive impact for both creators and consumers.”

Marcus leads F2, or Facebook Financial, the internal team behind the social-media group’s Novi digital wallet. He said Facebook might consider launching Novi without Diem, the digital currency previously known as Libra, as “a last resort.” Diem’s launch has been delayed due to regulatory concerns over data privacy and potential money-laundering issues.

Even so, Facebook hopes Novi will be used to reduce transaction costs and make cross-border payments more efficient. In a blog last week, Marcus revealed Novi is ready to come to market. But the company has been waiting to launch it alongside Diem since both are required to change the way payments would be made.

As for bitcoin, Marcus said he doesn’t view the leading cryptocurrency as a good medium of exchange. Still, he said it’s a “really great” investment asset.

“If you’re sending money around the world, you can’t have the value of the asset that you send decrease by 20% in a day or 10% in a day. That’s a volatility that’s actually inappropriate for payments,” he said. “Maybe one day but not right now.”

Bitcoin was last trading around $47,900 per coin on Wednesday. The digital asset is 65% higher so far this year, but still 26% lower than its record high near $65,000 in mid-April.

Read More: Top 16 meme stocks this week on Reddit: Alibaba comes back from the dead, and Nvidia catches fire, while AMC and GameStop stick around

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A trove of unseen Kobe Bryant photos will be auctioned as NFTs, with all proceeds going to his youth sports foundation

“KOBE,” a collection of never-before-seen photo NFTs featuring the legendary Kobe Bryant.
“KOBE,” a collection of never-before-seen photo NFTs featuring the legendary Kobe Bryant.

  • A collection of never-before-seen photos of the legendary Kobe Bryant is being launched as NFTs.
  • The collection, entitled “Kobe,” consists of eight black and white photos of the basketball player photographed in 1999.
  • All proceeds will benefit the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation.
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A trove of never-before-seen photos of legendary NBA player Kobe Bryant is being launched as a collection of non-fungible tokens on August 24, a day commemorated as Kobe Bryant Day in Los Angeles where the basketball icon spent his entire career playing for the Lakers.

The collection, entitled “Kobe”, consists of eight black and white photos of the basketball player taken in 1999 and will be released on NFT platform Cryptograph.

All proceeds will benefit the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, a nonprofit organization that aims to fund sports programs in underserved communities.

The foundation was renamed to honor the legacy of Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, who both died in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. “Mambacita” was Gianna’s nickname; Kobe’s was “The Black Mamba.”

The photos were taken by Davis Factor of Smashbox Studios before the peak of Bryant’s decorated sports career.

Factor said the photoshoot, which he told Insider was “a dream come true,” took place in an old meatpacking facility in downtown Los Angeles that did not have electricity.

“I think this shoot is special because it’s one of his first fashion shoots,” Factor said. “The purpose of this Kobe Bryant NFT drop, for me, is to raise as much money as humanly possible to give to Kobe Bryant’s foundation.”

Bryant, who was 21 during the photo shoot, was determined and focused, Factor said.

“He was able to detach the basketball Kobe and go into this part,” Factor said. “And I kind of saw the creative side of him that was pretty amazing.”

Tommy Alastra, cofounder of Cryptograph and a friend of Factor, said the collection has been in discussion for months. “Kobe” will be followed by other series to commemorate the first year anniversary of the platform.

“I’m so excited that my friend Davis Factor has allowed us to immortalize these rare photos of Kobe Bryant and that these Cryptographs will support his legacy and foundation,” Alastra told Insider.

NFTs have soared in popularity this year. In August alone, NFT transaction volume has reached $1 billion.

NFTs are digital representations of artwork, sports cards, or other collectibles tied to a blockchain, typically on ethereum. Each NFT has a signature that can be verified in the public ledger and cannot be duplicated or edited.

When people buy NFTs, they gain the rights to the unique token on the blockchain, not the artworks themselves. But the fact that the information on a blockchain is next to impossible to alter makes NFTs appealing to artists and collectors.

Still, experts believe the space is still in its earliest days and has ways to go before becoming more mainstream. Challenges it still needs to overcome include interoperability, scalability, and accessibility, experts say.

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Visa purchases CryptoPunk NFT for $150,000 as it gets involved in the booming digital-collectibles market

CryptoPunk digital art non-fungible token (NFT) displayed on a digital billboard in Times Square on May 12, 2021 in New York City.
  • Visa made its first foray into the digital-collectibles market by purchasing CryptoPunk 7610 for around $150,000.
  • The payments giant made the purchase on August 18 for 49.5 ether.
  • Visa said by purchasing an NFT, it is “jumping in feet first” to help its clients understand the space better.
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Visa recently made its first foray into the digital-collectibles market by purchasing CryptoPunk 7610, its first non-fungible token, for around $150,000, according to an announcement Monday.

The payments giant made the purchase on August 18 for 49.5 ether, according to Larva Lab, the team behind CryptoPunks.

“What began as an early artistic experiment has quickly become a cultural icon for the crypto community,” Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa, said in a statement, referring to the CryptoPunk series.

He continued: “To help our clients and partners participate, we need a firsthand understanding of the infrastructure requirements for a global brand to purchase, store, and leverage an NFT.”

Sheffield, who worked with Anchorage Digital to complete the process, said he believes NFTs will play a crucial role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment, and commerce. By purchasing an NFT, he said Visa is “jumping in feet first.”

The crypto head, who is also a self-proclaimed NFT enthusiast, said he is confident NFTs have the potential to become a “powerful accelerator for the creator economy and lower the barrier to entry for individual creatives to earn a living through digital commerce.”

He cited the rise of e-commerce and how small and medium-sized businesses can harness blockchains to produce digital goods.

“We can envision a future in which your crypto address becomes as important as your mailing address,” he said.

CryptoPunk 7610 is one of 3,840 female punks made by artists Matt Hall and John Watkinson, the founders of Larva Labs, in 2017.

In total, there are 10,000 24 x 24-pixel CryptoPunks with no two that are exactly alike. Other characters in the collection are composed of nine aliens, 24 apes, 88 zombies, and 6,039 males.

Read more: Bitcoin and ethereum are gearing up to knock out all-time highs as cryptocurrencies get ‘too big to be ignored,’ a 20-year market veteran says. Here are 5 high-upside coins he’s watching closely.

In June, one alien punk fetched $11.8 million, setting a new world auction record for a single CryptoPunk, luxury auction house Sotheby’s said.

NFTs have soared in popularity this year. For the month of August alone, the space has seen $1 billion in payment volume.

These tokens are digital representations of artwork, sports cards, or other collectibles tied to a blockchain, typically on ethereum. Each NFT has a signature that can be verified in the public ledger and cannot be duplicated nor edited.

When people buy NFTs, they gain the rights to the unique token on the blockchain, not the artworks themselves. But the fact that the information on a blockchain is next to impossible to alter makes NFTs appealing, especially to artists.

Still, experts believe the space is still nascent and has ways to go before becoming mainstream. It has some challenges it still needs to overcome such as interoperability, scalability, and accessibility.

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Tom Brady’s NFT platform partners with DraftKings and Lionsgate to offer sports and entertainment-themed digital collectibles

tom brady

Autograph, the NFT platform co-founded by NFL quarterback Tom Brady, announced Tuesday that it is partnering with fantasy sports website DraftKings and entertainment firm Lionsgate to offer sports and entertainment-themed digital collectibles.

The platform will officially launch its NFTs this summer.

Sports-related content will be sold exclusively on DraftKings Marketplace, which will be available to users with existing DraftKings account. Once launched, millions will be able to seamlessly buy, sell, and trade digital collectibles.

Entertainment-related content, meanwhile, will be available in Lionsgate, Autograph’s entertainment vertical. The first wave of content will focus on franchises including the Hunger Games, Rambo IV & V, Dirty Dancing, Blair Witch, Mad Men, John Wick, The Divergent Series, The Expendables, and The Twilight Saga.

Los Angeles-based Autograph is also launching exclusive deals with Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, Derek Jeter, Naomi Osaka, and Tony Hawk who will all be joining the company’s advisory board.

NFTs are digital representations of any form of artwork tied to a blockchain, typically on ethereum. Each NFT has a signature that can be verified in the public ledger and cannot be duplicated or edited.

When people buy NFTs, they gain the rights to the unique token on the blockchain, not the artworks themselves. But the fact that the information on a blockchain is next to impossible to alter makes NFTs appealing.

“We are honored to partner with these powerful icons and marquee businesses, DraftKings and Lionsgate,” said Richard Rosenblatt, co-founder and co-chairman of Autograph. “As the nascent NFT market continues to develop, we are fortunate to enlist these leading partners with additional luminaries to be announced in the near future.”

Apart from Brady, other celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan and Katy Perry have launched their own tokens, as well as prominent figures including Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.

NFTs have soared in popularity this year. Sales volume of tokens reached $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021, according to analytics firm DappRadar.

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NFT sales volume soared to $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021, as artists, celebrities and even Twitter and CNN joined the crypto craze

NFT art
  • NFT sales volume skyrocketed to $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021, according to DappRadar.
  • Artists, celebrities and organizations like Twitter, CNN and the US Space Force jumped onto the trend.
  • The NFT market has however cooled off since the height of the frenzy in these tokens back in May.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Sales volumes for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) soared to a record $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021, according to DappRadar, as artists, celebrities, companies and even government institutions have joined the crypto craze and created a red-hot market for digital tokens.

Digital analytics firm DappRadar, which tracks data on decentralized applications including NFT sales platforms that are based on blockchain networks like ethereum, noted the explosion in growth, particuarly over the last 12 months.

“In 2020, the total amount of volume generated by the NFT collections tracked by DappRadar equaled a staggering $94,862,807. Even more impressive is that by the end of Q2 2021 that figure stands at almost $2.5 billion dollars.”, the company said in a blog post last week.

NFTs are digital tokens that can represent real-life assets such as artworks, music, video, games and even virtual land. Unlike a typical cryptocurrency, they are unique and not interchangeable, much collectible items.

DappRadar’s data shows NFTs started gaining traction in January of this year, before sales volume exploded in March. A major contributor to this boom was the sale of the most expensive NFT ever – a digital artwork by Beeple that was sold for around $69 million by luxury auction house Christie’s that month. The craze continued from there, reaching its peak in early May when NFTs worth $102 million sold in a single day, according to Protos data.

A series of artists, celebrities and organisations have since created and sold the digital tokens. Reddit recently auctioned NFTs featuring it’s mascot for instance, while the US Space Force sold NFTs to commemorate the launch of a vehicle during their GPS Block III mission and Twitter creator Jack Dorsey sold his first ever tweet as an NFT. Existing NFTs, for example a series of collectibles called CryptoPunks, one of which sold for $11.8 million, were also pushed into the spotlight.

NFT prices have dropped since that peak – DappRadar noted that sales volume fell in the second quarter of the year. However, the number of sales per day and active wallets increased, their report found.

“In comparison to Q1, the number of sales spiked by 111.46%, while the daily average of unique wallets increased by 151.86% as well.” it reads.

According to the data platform, the NFT market is shifting from highly priced, individual sales to smaller, more frequent ones as online games which incorporate digital tokens for example become increasingly popular.

“It appears that a wider, more mainstream audience has finally arrived. [ … ] The mass adoption factor is undeniable.” DappRadar’s report said.

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Reddit is auctioning 3 ethereum NFTs featuring its alien mascot Snoo

KIEV, UKRAINE - 2018/08/14: In this photo illustration, the Reddit social networking website seen displayed on a smartphone.
Snoo, the alien mascot of Reddit.

  • Reddit is selling three “CryptoSnoo NFTs” that feature its famous alien mascot.
  • “Take advantage of this rare opportunity to own a piece of Reddit history-snag a CryptoSnoo NFT,” the website said.
  • Once purchased, buyers will get access to a URL that will take them to a webpage dedicated to their NFT.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Reddit is auctioning three non-fungible tokens powered by the ethereum blockchain, with the social media site taking bid from now until July 1.

The tokens are called “CryptoSnoos NFTs” and feature the famous alien mascot of the social media site. The Block was first to report.

“Take advantage of this rare opportunity to own a piece of Reddit history-snag a CryptoSnoo NFT,” the website said.

The three CryptoSnoos NFTs are named Original Block, Helium, and Snooprematic.

All were minted on June 17 and are on sale on NFT platform OpenSea.

According to Reddit, Original Block is inspired by Reddit’s characteristic Snoo caricature. Helium, meanwhile, is associated with the “contemporary art movement” and “everyday objects that are blue and sparkle.” Snooprematic is influenced by a “geometric vocabulary.”

A screenshot of Reddit's NFT called CryptoSnoos taken from its official website.
Reddit’s NFT called CryptoSnoos.

The current highest bid for Original Block is $3,959.82, for Helium it’s $1,979.91, and for Snooprematic, it’s $1,394.07.

Once purchased, buyers will get access to a URL that will take them to a webpage dedicated to their NFTs.

NFTs are unique digital assets secured on a blockchain. Each NFT has its own signature, which can be verified in the public ledger and cannot be duplicated.

NFTs have soared in popularity in 2021. Artwork, tweets, and news columns turned into digital art have fetched millions of dollars at auction.

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A ‘CryptoPunk’ NFT called ‘Covid Alien’ was bought for $11.8 million by DraftKings’ largest shareholder in a Sotheby’s auction

People walk past a CryptoPunk digital art NFT displayed on a digital billboard in Times Square.
  • The NFT of a “CryptoPunk” character fetched $11.8 million, setting a new world auction record for a single CryptoPunk.
  • The token, dubbed “Covid Alien,” was bought by Shalom Meckenzie, the largest shareholder of DraftKings.
  • The sought-after token is one of the nine alien CryptoPunks made by Larva Labs in 2017.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

The non-fungible token of a character from the “CryptoPunk” series fetched $11.8 million Thursday, setting a new world auction record for a single CryptoPunk, luxury auction house Sotheby’s said.

The NFT, dubbed “Covid Alien,” was bought by Shalom Meckenzie, the largest shareholder of online sports gambling firm DraftKings.

The sought-after token called “CryptoPunk #7523” is one of the nine alien CryptoPunks made by artists Matt Hall and John Watkinson, the founders of Larva Labs, in 2017. It is the only one with a mask.

Before the sale, a collector known as Sillytuna owned the token.

In total, there are 10,000 24 x 24-pixel CryptoPunks with no two that are exactly alike. Other characters in the collection are composed of 24 apes, 88 zombies, 3,840 females, and 6,039 males.

The NFTs were initially released for free besides a small transaction fee but the record-breaking amount seen from Covid Alien indicates the massive interest investors have.

Following the sale, the auction house announced it will offer five “exceptionally rare” CryptoPunks later in June.

download

NFTs have soared in popularity this year. The market thus far has seen immense growth and buyers now vastly exceed sellers, according to a report from L’Atelier BNP Paribas.

These tokens are digital representations of artwork, sports cards, or other collectibles tied to a blockchain, typically on ethereum. Each NFT has a signature that can be verified in the public ledger and cannot be duplicated nor edited.

When people buy NFTs, they gain the rights to the unique token on the blockchain, not the artworks themselves. But the fact that the information on a blockchain is next to impossible to alter makes NFTs appealing, especially to artists.

Many have speculated the space is in a bubble, and apart from some massive sales, evidence shows the craze may be cooling for now. The number of NFT sales for June is about half of what they were during March’s peak, the industry tracker NonFungible.com showed.

Read more: The CIO at a digital asset hedge fund that returned 373% in 2020 breaks down why bitcoin’s sell-off is in its final stages – and shares why he thinks ether could triple from current levels

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NFT sales plummet nearly 90% from their peak as collectibles market cools

Beeple V4

On March 11, the digital artist Beeple sold a non-fungible token of his magnum opus, titled “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” for a record $69 million at a Christie’s auction.

The sale sparked a new wave of interest in collectible digital assets that peaked on May 3, when $102 million worth of NFT sales went through in a single day.

In the seven days surrounding NFTs’ May 3 peak, the market saw $170 million in NFT transactions, according to data from Protos.

This past week, that number fell to just $19.4 million, a nearly 90% drop from May’s record high.

The number of NFT wallets showing signs of daily activity is also down 70% since early May, falling from 12,000 to 3,900.

Not only have sales and interest in NFTs declined but according to Protos, there’s been a shift in the type of NFTs buyers are demanding.

Sales of digital art have fallen dramatically since Beeple’s record sale in March, while sales of digital real estate and other collectibles in the so-called metaverse have risen.

$3.3 million worth of metaverse NFTs have sold this past week, while just $3 million worth of crypto-art sold, Protos data shows.

NFTs have seen their fair share of critics after gaining popularity this year. Ethereum co-founder Anthony Di Iorio told CoinDesk in early May that he believed the NFT market had become saturated, and there were a lot of projects that he didn’t “find very sexy at all.”

Di Iorio, who made his fortune as an early bitcoin adopter, added that NFTs are “not interesting” to him, but he thinks “over the next few years, we’ll really see how it does provide value.”

Despite some waning sales and bearish critic opinions, the NFT market still has some life left in it.

On May 24, Guggenheim cofounder Todd Morley told Bloomberg TV in New York that he is building a “blockchain tower” that will give anyone in the city access to wireless trading, provide a way to announce and showcase new technological advances, and house the world’s largest collection of NFTs.

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How NFTs could change global business models beyond the art industry

Grimes NFT
Grimes’ Battle of the WarNymphs NFT on Nifty Gateway.

  • NFTs are tokenized versions of unique assets like works of art that can be traded on a blockchain.
  • They create opportunities for business models that didn’t exist before, like artist stipulations.
  • Future NFT developments could transform markets like property, vehicles, and land ownership.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sotheby’s has become the latest establishment name in art to dive into NFTs (non-fungible tokens) through its collaboration with anonymous digital artist Pak and NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway.

The auction house sold The Fungible Collection, a “novel collection of digital art redefining our understanding of value,” for more than $17 million (£12 million).

Some pieces, such as “The Switch,” a monochrome 3D construction that is going to be changed by the artist at some unspecified moment in the future, received bids well in excess of $1 million.

Read more: A digital artist who made $700,000 off one NFT drop explains how to stand out as a creator and thrive at selling virtual art

For the uninitiated, NFTs are tokenized versions of assets that can be traded on a blockchain, the digital ledger technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum. Whereas one bitcoin is directly interchangeable with another, meaning they are fungible, NFTs are the opposite because the underlying assets are unique in some way and can’t be exchanged like for like.

This uniqueness enabled Christie’s to sell digital artist Beeple’s “Everydays” NFT in March for an eye-watering $68 million. For those who don’t have that sort of money, NFTs are also being used for trading collectibles like baseball cards and computer gaming items like swords and avatar skins.

Bubble trouble?

The excitement around NFTs feeds a similar narrative to other recent price surges such as GameStop and dogecoin, in that these are speculative bubbles brought about by stimulus checks in the US, lockdown boredom, and low interest rates.

Look no further than celebrities like music star Grimes and YouTuber Logan Paul releasing their own flagship NFTs to ride the wave. Even Vignesh Sundaresan, the entrepreneur who bought Beeple’s record-breaking artwork, sees investing in NFTs as a “huge risk” and “even crazier than investing in crypto.”

But history also tells us to be careful about dismissing NFTs as a passing fad, since the importance of technological innovations often becomes clearer once the hype dies down. Many commentators dismissed the influx of tech companies around the dotcom bubble of the late 1990s, and the first wave of mass cryptocurrency enthusiasm in 2017, only to be proven hopelessly wrong when Amazon and bitcoin re-emerged.

NFTs themselves are actually well down from their highs, with a 70% drop in average price since February. Perhaps this is less the bursting of a bubble than a “weeding out” of gimmicky tokens now that the initial hype has begun to die down.

This phenomenon is captured well in US consultancy Gartner’s hype cycle, which illustrates the typical progression of a new technology. With NFTs, we are probably emerging from the “peak of inflated expectations” on a journey towards the same “plateau of productivity” that Amazon reached a long time ago.

This ties in with what Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter said about why capitalism works. Schumpeter viewed capitalism as a relentless churn of old into new, as the latest and most innovative enterprises replace those that came before – he called this “creative destruction“.

In this light, NFTs are the newcomers challenging how we perceive and register ownership of assets. And the tension between innovation and incumbency also contributes to the skepticism that always surrounds such new technologies.

What happens next

NFTs create opportunities for new business models that didn’t exist before. Artists can attach stipulations to an NFT that ensures they get some of the proceeds every time it gets resold, meaning they benefit if their work increases in value. Admittedly football teams have been using similar contractual clauses when selling on players for a while, but NFTs remove the need to track an asset’s progress and enforce such entitlements on each sale.

New art platforms, such as Niio Art, are able to demonstrate in a really simple way that they own digital works. When customers borrow or buy art from the platform, they can display it on a screen in the knowledge that there is no issue with copyright or originality because the NFT and blockchain ensures that ownership is authentic.

NFTs give musicians the potential to provide enhanced media and special perks to their fans. And with sports memorabilia, between 50% and 80% of items are thought to be fake. Putting these items into NFTs with a clear transaction history back to the creator could overcome this counterfeiting problem.

But beyond these fields, the potential of NFTs goes much further because they completely change the rules of ownership. Transactions in which ownership of something changes hands have usually depended on layers of middlemen to establish trust in the transaction, exchange contracts and ensure that money changes hands.

None of this will be necessary in future. Transactions recorded on blockchains are reliable because the information cannot be changed. Smart contracts can be used in place of lawyers and escrow accounts to automatically ensure that money and assets change hands and both parties honour their agreements. NFTs convert assets into tokens so that they can move around within this system.

This has the potential to completely transform markets like property and vehicles, for instance. NFTs could also be part of the solution in resolving issues with land ownership. Only 30% of the global population has legally registered rights to their land and property. Those without clearly defined rights find it much harder to access finance and credit. Also, if more of our lives are spent in virtual worlds in future, the things that we buy there will probably be bought and sold as NFTs too.

There will be many other developments in this decentralized economy that have yet to be imagined. What we can say is that it will be a much more transparent and direct type of market than what we are used to. Those who think they are seeing a flash in the pan are unlikely to be prepared when it arrives.

James Bowden, lecturer in financial technology, University of Strathclyde and Edward Thomas Jones, lecturer in economics, Bangor University

The Conversation
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