The market for non-fungible tokens (NFT) is growing. According to a new report from analytics platform DappRadar, NFT trading volume rose to over $ 10 billion in the third quarter of 2021, a seven-fold increase from the previous quarter. Although a significant portion of this action comes from runaway hits like NBA Top Shot, CryptoPunks, and the Axie Infinity gaming platform, NFT use cases are proliferating quickly as developers realize their potential.
In the not-too-distant past, celebrities looking to capitalize on the burgeoning crypto scene had few options. Most of the time, they limited themselves to investing an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in schillings or investing their own money in a startup that they thought was promising. Thanks to NFTs, however, they can now leverage their star appeal by releasing coveted digital collectibles that represent pretty much anything: artwork, albums, trading cards, or merchandise. These tokenized collectibles can then in turn be traded on the open market among fans and investors.
Related: When dollars meet hype: Celebrity Biggest NFT Hits
The music industry is a perfect testing ground for NFTs
From musicians and athletes to actors and supermodels, celebrity celebrities are busy minting and auctioning a dizzying array of blockchain-based assets and merchandise that appeal to the digitally savvy crowd. NFTs allow public figures to come into contact with fans in a digital area and also open up a new source of income.
Earlier this year, Canadian musician Grimes sold nearly $ 6 million worth of NFTs that included artwork and audiovisual animation. While some tokens were unique, other cheaper items had thousands of copies. Although this fact seems to contradict the concept of NFT – shouldn’t every NFT be demonstrably unique? – The “duplicates” in question raised over $ 5 million.
Dropping NFTs tomorrow at 2 p.m. EST. Enter the blank pic.twitter.com/l9fNFUCheX
– Grimes ᚷᚱᛁᛗᛖᛋ (@Grimezsz) February 28, 2021
Perhaps unsurprisingly, musicians are increasingly turning to NFTs to supplement their income: the shift to streaming over the past decade has had a massive impact on artist earnings. The global COVID-19 pandemic also dealt a severe blow to the industry as many musicians relied on live performances for their income. Grimes include Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Jay-Z, Shakira, Lewis Capaldi, Steve Aoki, Shawn Mendes, Kings of Leon, Soulja Boy, and Aphex Twin.
Related: NFTs are a game changer for independent artists and musicians
Of all the above names, Kings of Leon have perhaps caused the greatest buzz by symbolizing their new album “When You See Yourself” and raising $ 2 million in the process. Interestingly, the release spanned half a dozen golden ticket auctions, with the resulting tokens entitling the holder to a front-row show on each Kings of Leon tour for a lifetime. Album tokens priced at $ 50 included a limited edition vinyl.
We are proud to support Katy Perry’s highly anticipated December NFT launch celebrating her upcoming Play residency at the Resorts World Las Vegas Hotel. Katy is one of the best-selling artists in the world. All six of their albums surpass a billion streams on Spotify. Interestingly, the NFTs will include both digital collectibles and IRL experiences – so there is something for everyone.
Creativity is at the heart of these endeavors, and new NFT use cases are constantly emerging. Take the blockchain-based marketplace Royal, for example, which allows users to buy shares in songs they like – and earn licenses when those same tracks gain popularity. Artists, meanwhile, retain the majority of the rights to their work while also getting access to direct funding from their greatest supporters. According to Royal, it is a system “where artists and fans can benefit from each other without relying on middlemen to take over most of the profits.” A nice idea, sure, and one wonders what the record label bosses think of it.
From TopShot to Topps
Music can very well prove to be the biggest driver of bringing NFTs into the mainstream – but sports stars are also adopting NFTs en masse.
Of course, we can’t discuss the intersection of blockchain and sports without referencing NBA Top Shot, the basketball card game that turned its creator Dapper Labs into a multi-billion dollar company. Top Shot gives NBA fanatics the opportunity to buy, sell, and trade officially licensed video highlights from iconic moments like Lebron’s two-handed reverse windmill slam against the Houston Rockets last February – $ 219,000 is the lowest price, FYI. Lest you believe that trading is focused on a core of insiders, Top Shot has enabled over 13 million transactions while recording over a million users.
Needless to say, this formula is replicated in other sports such as baseball (Topps MLB), soccer (Sorare, Socios), and motor sports (F1 Delta Time). ONE Championship, the largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in Asia, also recently announced it is opening a marketplace on the Theta blockchain with NFTs that have exclusive access to real-world benefits such as backstage passes, ring seats, and other personalized ones Fans offer experiences. Individual athletes also mobilize their fan base through special NFT drops, with heavyweight champion Tyson Fury selling a unique token for just under a million dollars. The buyer also received a physical painting of the artwork, signed boxing gloves, and a personal video of the self-proclaimed Gypsy King.
Related: Fan token: day trading your favorite sports team
It is natural to wonder where are we going from here. Will the NFT bubble burst, leaving fans and investors with a lair of digital collectibles? Or will we see more creative use cases where NFTs give fans all sorts of benefits?
This article does not provide investment advice or recommendations. Every step of investing and trading involves risk, and readers should do their own research when making a decision.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Mitch Liu is Co-Founder and CEO of Theta Labs. In 2010, Liu co-founded Gameview Studios, one of the first free-to-play mobile game studios best known for its Tap Fish game franchise with nearly 100 million downloads. The company was acquired six months after its launch by DeNA, a leading Japanese mobile gaming company. Previously, in 2007 he co-founded Tapjoy, a pioneer in mobile video advertising, and grew the company’s revenue to $ 100 million. He holds a BS in Computer Science and Engineering from MIT and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.