Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) aren’t “fringe assets” anymore. They might probably be better termed “No-Fuss Tokens” now, considering the ease with which they gained in popularity over the past year or so. In 2022, they are no longer restricted to the Art/Creator space either. And celebs like Mark Cuban, Eminem, and Snoop Dog have already forayed into NFT space, in some way or the other.
Driving the adoption are the 16 impactful use cases featured in this read. The bite-sized introductions to each of them presented here will help you make sense of how NFTs have moved beyond the conventional realms that we tend to associate them with.
- NFTs’ potential is becoming increasingly evident in the arena of gaming.
- The fashion and advertising industries too are steadily using NFTs to strengthen their virtual presence.
- The immutability of NFTs makes them great picks for patents, ownership verification, and real estate record-keeping.
- NFT-based ticketing is another exciting use case, as it often comes with real-world perks.
Top 16 NFT Use Cases
Even as we speak, NFTs are changing our content consumption habits, making digital authentication easier, ensuring quick access to events, and overall doing a lot more than was expected of them.
With over 2 million users, the Axie Infinity and its play-to-earn gigs are a rage as far as metaverse gaming is concerned. But there is so much more to gaming in the metaverse.
With blockchain gaming strengthening its foothold, most platforms like The Sandbox, Gala Games, and more are slowly pitching their game resources and accessories as NFTs. Some platforms still in the process of adopting the NFT parlance include Illuvium, CryptoManga, and TreasureDao.
In-game resources, such as Axies, make for great NFTs. These platform-specific NFTs can be exchanged for cryptos, gaming perks, and other benefits. NFTs in the metaverse will drive the next leg of the gaming boom by making assets, in-game items, and resources exclusive.
Luxury brands are planning to dig their claws deep into the metaverse, and they are making good use of NFTs to present their products to a blockchain-driven community.
Brands are also making a conscious effort to popularize their physical products by connecting them with virtual tokens. So users can now check out a product in the metaverse, buy a 3D NFT, and eventually be able to redeem the same at a physical outlet.
Fact Check: On 30 September 2021, Dolce & Gabbana sold an NFT collection (Collezione Genesi) for a staggering sum of $5.6 million. And Nike and Auroboros have already dipped their toes into the NFT stream.
DeFi NFTs (NFTFi)
Ever heard of DeFi—the pro-crypto concept that has “lending” as one of its use cases. In 2022, the lines between DeFi and NFTs are blurring with the likes of PwN Finance offering peer-to-peer loans against arbitrary collateral like NFTs.
Still confused as to how this works? Imagine owning a CryptoPunk or even a BAYC NFT worth $3 million. Even if you do not want to sell it, you can use the same as collateral at an NFTFi platform to access some emergency funds.
NFTs can open up some really exclusive doors for you. With virtual groups and communities coming into the metaverse, entry into a virtual discord group of sorts would require credibility and more of an access pass. For instance, when Otherside (BAYC’s attempt at a metaverse) comes into existence, a related NFT would be one of the few resources that can get you in.
Besides, some NFTs go beyond the financial perks and let you exercise power. NFT-based voting platforms like Snapshot are already making the concept of community access and governance easier to understand. Out there in the metaverse, members can use the exclusive voting rights attached to their ecosystem-specific NFTs to help decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and blockchain development.
Here is a scenario that will give you a better idea of the potential impact of NFTs on the future of ticketing. Let’s say Marvel’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to come out soon (it is really releasing on May 6!), and you have been dying to watch it. But you don’t want to spend three days frantically looking for tickets before the release.
What if Marvel launches an NFT that will offer access to the following perks?
- Movie screening, of course (you can bring a +1)
- Marvel merchandise that can be picked right at the theater
- A 40% discount on every Marvel movie ticket for life
- Free access to snacks and mocktails at the theater
- A free pass to attend Marvel’s superhero meetups
- Free pass to Comic-Con
Well, all of this can be true soon. The right NFT can make for the best ticket, letting you enjoy some real-world benefits that a standard ticket would never offer.
While NFTs do let you hog some virtual land in the metaverse and that’s cool, it can also be of use in real-world real estate! That’s because NFTs let you create immutable records of land deeds and ownership proofs.
Code blocks integrated via smart contracts can help you handle transactions related to your properties more efficiently while protecting sensitive details, such as credit and debit card numbers. Also, as NFTs are known to keep a record of past owners and projects, it’s easy to check the accuracy of property details in chronological order.
How can we leave the metaverse out while discussing NFT use cases? After all, some might say that NFTs are popular because of the metaverses.
However, the true picture seems to be far more mutual, as several NFT collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club are building on the popularity of their offerings to unveil a metaverse of their own.
With NFTs around, every metaverse has reasons and the legs to accommodate gaming, virtual shopping centers, and other entities that run parallel to the real world.
Scores of students move across countries each year in pursuit of higher education. They usually have to prove their academic credentials in a foreign land. NFTs, courtesy of their immutability and tamper-proof nature, make the best alternatives to a standard college diploma or anything else and would be quite useful to such migrating students.
But that’s just one instance where it may be useful in relation to digital identities. NFTs can help users authenticate their ENS (Ethereum Name Service) domain or the Unstoppable Domains by acting as secure ID cards.
NFTs relevant to social media concern the influencer parade and social media users who feel the need to stand out. With Twitter opening doors to NFTs as profile pictures, this use case is not that hard to envision anymore. NFTs on social media or decentralized social media platforms (like the Lens Protocol from Aave) may even become a measure of trustworthiness, a good reputation, or even creditworthiness.
Brands in the metaverse increasingly rely on NFTs to promote their products and services.
OneRare, a food-based startup, is exploring the metaverse extensively to connect the virtual and real food space, with the help of its unifying vision—to make food options and ideas accessible to all. Dish NFTs form the crux of their advertising and product marketing efforts, and the focus is on pushing vegan, keto, and other recipes across as mintable NFTs.
Brand marketing by Nike and RTFKT can now be found across the metaverse, with virtual sneakers and other entities turned into NFTs for public viewing.
Sports NFTs are massive. One such NFT that’s insanely popular is NBA Topshot—a marketplace meant for purchasing and selling NFTs associated with influential moments. And while that is a great way to leverage NFTs in sports, there is scope to do more.
With the metaverse coming of age, it is possible to take the Indian Premier League, Big Bash League, Kabaddi League, and other sporting events to the virtual realm as well. Once there, player NFTs, in-game resources, and other options can be explored to make the overall experience more wholesome and enjoyable.
In time, NFTs can be used across healthcare domains to safeguard patient confidentiality.
From a more commercial angle, the immutable and trackable nature of an NFT can be used to track medications, patient perks in case of online consultation, insurance essentials, and more. Plus, NFTs can even eliminate the need for internet connectivity while accessing patient records, provided there is a way to check the legitimacy of the same at the source.
Who could have imagined that the hotly debated NFTs could be used to manage something as tangible as supply chains? And even though it will take time for the concept to become more concrete, we know that the idea will primarily involve adding all the essential details to the NFT repository, thereby taking advantage of its decentralized, blockchain-driven existence.
Every product in the real world can be attached to an NFT via a barcode or an identifier, whose details would then become immutable. With GPS-based decentralized apps in the works, it will then become possible to even track the products, way more accurately.
NFTs preach ownership like no other digital asset. Therefore, if you plan on patenting even the most trivial pieces of content that aren’t likely to get much traction with pedestrian copyright tools and trademarking resources, NFTs are worth considering as an alternative.
NFTs aren’t dependent on timestamps. All the ownership data is stored on the blockchain concerned, and that makes it possible for users to prove ownership at any given time. Plus, several scientific bodies like Nebula Genomics take the concept of NFT-backed ownership to the next level by letting you turn your DNA into a Non-Fungible Token.
NFTs started out as digital artworks. So of course one use case must concern artworks and their creators alike. NFT-based tagging, especially by turning the physical art into a virtual replica, is possible—making it easier for art aficionados to distinguish an original from a rip-off. NFT galleries like Showtime, JPG.space, and more are slowly turning the NFT way to eliminate counterfeits in art.
The idea has now even begun to extend to the music industry, with royalty-based Music NFT platform Royal.io taking the lead.
And finally, let’s not forget just how popular and insanely expensive some NFTs are, given their artistic relevance and add-ons. Flipping an NFT, therefore, continues to be the best use case for investors who want to make the most of their rage and popularity.
Disclaimer: Caution advised. Please do not consider this financial advice and DYOR (Do-You-Own-Research).
While the concept of replicating real-world items as images and animations existed long before NFTs came along, the non-fungibility and decentralized nature of the concerned tokens make them extremely valuable and completely secure—two of the most relatable traits for the NFT explorers.
And going by their ability to make everything visualizable, fun, and even culturally relevant at times, it isn’t that hard to believe that, over time, NFTs might be used across every domain imaginable.
Interested in finding out about NFTs and other crypto-relevant terms! Learn all about them with CoinSwitch by your side.
Disclaimer : Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. The information provided in this post is not to be considered as investment/financial advice from CoinSwitch. Any action taken upon the information shall be at user's own risk.
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