Sick of hearing about Non-Fungible Tokens? Thought they were more of a 2021 thing and surprised they’re still making headlines? Or maybe you’re on the other side, banking on NFTs having an exciting road ahead.
Ok, so failing any sort of psychic ability or magic crystal ball, we can’t tell for certain what’s going to become of NFTs. That doesn’t mean we can’t speculate – let’s look at what people are saying.
It’s a fad.
In August 2021, Bloomberg reported that the NFT fad could already be over. Why? On average, the price of an NFT had dropped by over 70% since February alone. Surely that’s indicative of a quick and volatile cycle of hype?
While the price of NFTs hasn’t fully recovered, we should be cautious when it comes to taking this as a sign the bubble has burst. After all, there are other examples from history of innovations in tech that were initially dismissed as fads (remember the dot-com bubble, anyone?).
Indeed, while it may be some time for prices to hit that same high again, this sharp reduction could be explained with the Gartner Hype Cycle.
After a period of positive hype, there’s naturally an inflated peak in interest, after which the hype died down. During this phase, any gimmicky NFTs that aren’t selling or had massively inflated values could start to die out. So, what may remain? NFTs with purpose – those related to art, e-commerce and social good, for example.
So just because the initial wave of hype is over, don’t be too quick to dismiss NFTs as a fad!
It’s just the beginning.
So, if it’s not a fad, what’s next? That would mean we’re still right at the beginning of the innovation that NFTs could bring about.
Indeed, we’re now seeing new applications and business models surrounding NFTs emerge. To name a few examples:
NFTs are being used as a way to highlight marginalized creators, such as the organization “The Queenly NFT” seeking to amplify the work of queer creators.
NFTs have become a way of eternalizing important religious artifacts, as has been done by the Santa Casa de Miserícordia de Lisboa in Portugal, which uses these to raise funds for social causes.
NFTs are also raising awareness for social causes and movements, as is the case for Women Rise, a project seeking to raise awareness of women from all walks of life from across the world to celebrate their contributions to society in all sectors.
And there are countless other examples out there! While it can be easy to dismiss any headlines containing the acronym NFT, often behind the headline you’ll find stories about new and exciting ways individuals are finding to use NFTs!
It’s going to be a way of doing good.
These examples show then that there’s potential to do good with NFTs. And that’s not just the case for raising awareness of groups who may previously not been so visible, or as a way of raising money for religious and other organizations.
At their heart, NFTs are about access. They don’t just allow artists to reach new audiences, but they allow consumers to take part in the world of art, and to interact with artists, organizations and brands in an entirely new way.
Of course, there are still many examples of NFTs being used as gimmicks to generate wealth quickly, but increasingly, it’s those with purpose that are outlasting the initial hype.
It’s going to need to be more accessible.
One thing’s for certain – NFTs are going to need to become more accessible. As it stands, OpenSea has a user base of around a quarter of a million users. For all the noise surrounding them, you may think one of the biggest NFT marketplaces would have more consumers.
It’s not just a matter of accessibility for consumers, however – it needs to become easier to make NFTs in the first place. That’s where companies such as ARC are emerging as solutions for exactly this, ensuring those without technological backgrounds are able to enter the NFT industry, so there already seems to be a conscious trend towards improving accessibility from both ends.