Top 7 NFT Applications
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Top 7 NFT Applications

8 Min.

The rising popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has sparked a surge in crypto-collectibles and NFT art. While these domains have gained significant attention within the DeFi ecosystem, they are merely the tip of the iceberg. The intrinsic qualities of scarcity and uniqueness inherent in NFTs make them highly compatible with real-world assets, logistics, music royalties, and many other applications. As the NFT landscape evolves, we can anticipate the integration of increasingly innovative and experimental use cases.

Basics

Establishing digital scarcity for assets was difficult in the past. Copyright protections were not enough to prevent consumers from replicating or pirating digital artwork. The emergence of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has opened up a new era of crypto art and digital collectibles. Yet, the potential of NFTs extends far beyond these realms, permeating industries such as real estate and logistics, providing a means to authenticate a diverse array of unique and collectible goods. While the NFT ecosystem remains in its nascent stages, it already abounds with intriguing projects, some of which have begun to yield substantial value for both creators and consumers.

Digital Art

The age-old dilemma of maintaining scarcity in digital art is resolved through the advent of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Overcoming the challenges of replicating virtual artwork, NFTs offer a means to establish authenticity, paralleling our ability to authenticate physical paintings. 

The value of crypto art primarily lies in its digital verification of authenticity and ownership. While a CryptoPunk on the Ethereum blockchain can be accessed and saved by anyone, the original ownership remains unverifiable. An intriguing illustration of this concept emerges through the work of the enigmatic digital artist known as Pak. Crafting a series of NFTs, each identical in appearance but distinguished solely by their titles (e.g., The Cheap, The Expensive, and The Unsold), Pak assigns unique values to each piece. Such a collection prompts contemplation on the factors that bestow value upon an artwork.

In the world of NFTs, the value of an artwork is not only based on its beauty but also on the proof of ownership of a particular asset. This aspect propels crypto art to be one of the most sought-after and prominent use cases for NFTs.

Collectible NFTs 

The surge in demand for digital collectibles is undeniable, encompassing an array of coveted items like the PancakeSwap Bunny, Binance Anniversary NFTs, and the mainstream sensation of NBA Top Shot trading cards.

Within the realm of non-fungible tokens, collectible NFTs, along with digital NFT art, dominate the sales landscape across esteemed marketplaces such as Opensea, BakerySwap, and Treasureland. Often, these NFTs blur the boundaries between collectibles and artistic pieces, presenting a harmonious convergence of both worlds.

An exemplary instance of a collectible NFT is Jack Dorsey's first tweet. While a CryptoPunk amalgamates collectibility and visual artistry, Dorsey's NFT holds value purely as a coveted collectible. To facilitate the sale of his NFT, Dorsey employed Valuables, a platform that tokenizes tweets, allowing users to make offers on any tweet. This unique system enables competitive bidding, wherein potential buyers can be outbid until the tweet author either accepts or rejects an offer. Upon acceptance, the tweet is immortalized on the blockchain as a one-of-a-kind NFT, bearing the creator's verified Twitter @handle as a digital autograph.

This meticulous process ensures that only the original creator possesses the authority to mint their tweets as NFTs, culminating in the creation of scarce and digital collectibles for trading or preservation. While the concept of selling a tweet may initially seem perplexing, it aptly exemplifies the allure and collectibility that NFTs engender—a contemporary rendition of a coveted autograph in the digital realm.

Finance NFTs 

Within the vast realm of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), their value is not solely derived from songs, images, or collectible items. In decentralized finance (DeFi), NFTs offer unique financial advantages, combining utility with artistic appeal.

Consider the innovative NFT staking model presented by JustLiquidity. Users can stake a token pair in a pool for a specific duration and receive an NFT that grants access to the subsequent pool. Once utilized, the NFT is extinguished, fostering a secondary market driven by its access.

BakerySwap presents another compelling example with their NFT food combos. These combos offer enhanced staking rewards to holders. By contributing BAKE tokens, users acquire an NFT combo that bestows variable staking power. Speculation, secondary market sales, and utilization for staking purposes further enrich the ecosystem surrounding these NFTs, gamification, and DeFi combinations.

This convergence of NFTs and DeFi ushers in a captivating realm of possibilities, creating an intriguing use case for non-fungible tokens beyond traditional artistic domains.

Gaming NFTs 

The gaming industry is witnessing a surge in demand for unique, tradable, and purchasable items. The value of digital assets is directly influenced by their scarcity. Gamers are familiar with this concept and understand the worth of valuable digital assets. With the thriving multi-billion dollar gaming industry already accustomed to micro-transactions and in-game purchases, integrating NFTs and blockchain technology holds significant potential.

NFTs in gaming represent an enticing blend of art, collectibility, and utility for players. Although widespread NFT implementation in high-budget video games remains a distant prospect, other projects have actively embraced blockchain technology in their gaming landscapes. Games like Axie Infinity and Battle Pets, reminiscent of Pokémon, introduce tradable pets and items. These tokens can be purchased and traded on external marketplaces through peer-to-peer sales.

While gaming NFTs often serve cosmetic purposes, many also possess functional value. Each Axie pet has a unique set of battle abilities, which impacts its trade value. Similarly, the desirability of a CryptoKitty extends beyond aesthetics, as breeding attributes contribute to its exceptional worth. Evaluating the value of these pets necessitates considering a combination of rare appearances, features, and utility. In the provided example, the desirability of a pet is not derived from a single rare aspect but rather a multitude of distinctive qualities.

Music NFTs 

NFTs offer a unique avenue for creating collectible music pieces by attaching audio files akin to a digital "first edition" record. While the concept aligns with our previous art example, there are additional applications to explore.

Ensuring fair royalty distribution remains a significant challenge for musicians. Blockchain-based streaming platforms and blockchain royalty tracking present two potential solutions. However, smaller blockchain projects face hurdles competing with industry giants like Amazon Music and YouTube. Even when Spotify acquired a blockchain royalties solution called MediaChain, artists did not experience substantial benefits.

Nevertheless, smaller projects have found success in collaborating with independent artists. NFT project Rocki, for instance, provides a platform for independent artists to sell royalties and stream their music. Their inaugural royalty NFT sale on the platform generated 40 ETH, representing 50% royalties using the ERC721 token standard.

The widespread adoption of this model hinges on its acceptance by larger streaming services. While combining music with NFTs proves to be a compelling use case, garnering support from music labels becomes crucial for its potential success.

Real-World Asset NFTs 

The integration of NFTs with real-world assets revolutionizes the way we establish ownership. By tokenizing physical property deeds, such as houses or land, we can transfer highly illiquid assets onto the blockchain. However, regulatory support for this application is still limited, and further development is needed to unlock its full potential.

In April 2021, Shane Dulgeroff pioneered the creation of an NFT representing a property in California. This unique NFT not only grants ownership of the house but also incorporates a piece of crypto art. Nevertheless, the legal implications and rights surrounding such sales remain uncertain.

For smaller items like jewelry, NFTs can serve as proof of legitimate ownership during resale. Similar to a certificate of authenticity for an ethical diamond, an NFT associated with an item validates its authenticity and ownership. Attempting to sell the item without the accompanying NFT can raise doubts about its legitimacy and rightful ownership among potential buyers.

Furthermore, NFTs can be embedded into physical items using cold storage wallets, forging a tangible link between the digital and physical realms. As the Internet of Things progresses, utilizing NFTs to represent real-world assets will likely witness further expansion and integration.

Logistics NFTs 

The logistics industry can leverage the benefits of blockchain technology, primarily its immutability and transparency. These attributes ensure the authenticity and reliability of supply chain data, particularly crucial for perishable goods like food and commodities.

NFTs offer an additional advantage by representing unique items. By assigning an NFT to a product and embedding relevant metadata, we can track its origin, journey, and warehouse locations. Consider the following example:

  • A pair of luxury shoes are manufactured in Italy and assigned an NFT that can be quickly scanned on its packaging.
  • Timestamped metadata is recorded, capturing details of the shoes' creation.
  • Throughout the supply chain, the NFT is scanned, and new timestamped metadata is added, including warehouse locations and arrival/departure times.
  • Upon reaching the final destination, the store can scan the shoes, confirming receipt and providing a comprehensive history that verifies their authenticity and logistic journey.

Implementing NFTs in the supply chain requires standardized infrastructure across all stages. However, the involvement of numerous global players and stakeholders poses challenges to real-life implementation, resulting in limited use cases. MAERSK's TradeLens system and IBM's Foot Trust are prominent blockchain logistics solutions, utilizing Hyperledger Fabric, an IBM blockchain that supports NFT functionality. However, the extent of NFT involvement in their operations remains unclear.

Conclusion

As the popularity of NFTs continues to rise, we can anticipate a plethora of new ideas and use cases emerging in the future. While some applications are still in their early stages or remain experimental, not all may prove practical or gain widespread popularity. However, when addressing fundamental challenges such as art and collectible scarcity, NFTs have established themselves as a lasting solution.

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