NFTs: A Brief Yet Revolutionary History
NFTs, or “Non-Fungible tokens”, are digital assets certified through blockchain technology. What makes them unique is their own untransferable cryptography: their codes cannot be interchanged, allowing its users to have full ownership of the digital assets they purchase.
Blockchain technology is based on a block of decentralized operations: this technology creates a public database, making every transaction fully transparent to the whole network, and allows people to track every movement made through it.
These two technological advances started being used inside the gaming industry, creating the possibility of buying and selling digital assets as game skins. Later on, the development of play-to-earn blockchain games bloomed, making it a profitable new industry branch that started getting both the crypto community and venture capital boards’ attention. This idea started proliferating through social media, waking up digital communities and planting the seed for what would become a later boom with games such as Axie Infinity or Terrae.
These games being built on the blockchain are tied to a cryptocurrency to operate, meaning that the market eves and flows are a decisive factor for its success and its demise. Bear and bull markets then dominated play-to-earn games, making only the true believers stay through the tough times, those who saw these ventures as a long-term inversion: every digital asset you bought through the game’s marketplace, be that be a character, a skin or a magic potion, was an NFT.
NFTs being decentralized, as all blockchain assets, means that control and decision-making shifts from an individual or an organization (centralization) to a distributed network. This implies that communities are the key element for blockchain ventures, and this was clearly shown with the boom of NFT collections and their bull market success in 2021. Marketing experts view this as a case study for the correct implementation of what a defined audience and its correct stimulation can do for digital products.
A Market Study: Insights And Developments
Digitalization and Globalization helped brands and creators in ways that are still insurmountable. With the expansion of the internet, there has been a whole new market development with unique opportunities that didn’t even exist years ago. Those who are recognizing market trends and learning to use it to their advantage have a higher chance of building a product that brings innovation in an area required by the mass users. The thing is, being too ahead of the curve can also be potentially prejudicial. Even though you are still taking the business risk of it not going mainstream right then and there, using the wow factor by adding NFTs to your product strategy is a thing. It surely requires patience, dedication, and trust in your vision, or having segmented your audience in a way that is niche and technical. Being an NFT consumer still implies being tech-savvy and ahead of the curve regarding trends due to the amount of specific terminology you need to know to operate with them. For a product launch including NFTs to reach massive adoption now, it’s not far stretched to assume it would have to be placed as a secondary feature to succeed due to market conditions and our society’s inclination to stay with what’s known.
It’s true that massive companies such as Meta are investing in groundbreaking techs such as VR and AR, aiming to explore the metaverse through these immersive ways of consuming digitalized goods. This also creates a silver lining for the other side of the metaverse coin, which is blockchain technology. Far less recognized builders are showing this technology to be beneficial in industries such as legal, finance, travel, entertainment, fashion, gaming, and anything that requires a digital transaction, a ticket, or an avatar. Pairing that up with a good marketing strategy and compelling storytelling, NFTs can be of great use, still in the exploratory phase. The missing piece to the puzzle is still simplifying the technology of its transactions to appeal to a broader, non-technical audience, and finding concrete, real-life use cases for it. NFT tickets seem to be the higher bet these days, but we still must see how the industry unfolds and reacts to these ventures.
A Game-Changing News?
Metamask, the most popular wallet for trading Ethereum, just announced instant Bank-To-Crypto transfers in October 2022. Metamask is known for its user-friendly interphase, its availability on both mobile and desktop devices, and the ability to buy, sell, store, and send cryptocurrency and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). What does this shift imply and how will it impact the industry?
We are in no position to answer these questions right away, but what is certain is that it’s a big move for the crypto community in its journey to going mainstream. Metamask is the most widely known crypto wallet and adding the features to be able to operate with fiat currencies certainly facilitates crypto adoption worldwide. Before, buying and selling crypto assets extra steps had to be made: to be able to operate inside the blockchain and get their chosen coin, the user had to sell fiat money through digital exchanges which functioned with the P2P dynamic, adding a layer of risk and cost to the whole transaction. In Peer-To-Peer operations, you take the risk of having to trust that the other person will keep their word and send you the money in the desired currency after you have transferred the agreed amount first. This move Metamask just made is another User Experienced oriented step towards crypto mass consumption becoming the norm. When will it happen? We certainly don’t know, but one thing is for sure: we are closer than before. Metamask users can now turn their cash into more than 30 tokens, using a daily transaction limit of USD 3.000.
With this advance, we can start envisioning the daily use of crypto to pay anywhere like the Argentinean company Lemon Cash had already implemented with their partnership with Visa. Everything is yet to unfold, but these smart moves are paving the way toward the mass adoption of this potentially groundbreaking technology.
A Forward Movement: What Can We Expect?
Engineering, science, and marketing are the three pillars that are translating these complex mechanisms into everyday life. Could we be expecting a boom in NFTs as a part of our daily activities?
For that to happen, massive education on technology, finance and how it impacts us as a society would have to be made. And, in fact, there are some digital companies offering successful products that are going for it and betting on this massification by educating their audiences with tactics such as compelling, quick and easy-to-understand audiovisual material and gamification of their processes. By building a strong communication team, hiring talented people to create the right content to interact with the users, spreading this message through social media, and even memeing about it, more and more people are getting into the ecosystem. The result is that crypto has become more known than in the last couple of years, but there’s still a long way to go.
Could we really expect mundane things such as bus tickets to turn into NFTs? Would that be desirable or even beneficial as a utility? The truth is that all technology products take time and constant iteration to become its best version, and teams of dedicated developers and creators have been working on it for years, such as our teams at Rather Labs. If you are a visionary entrepreneur and a trendsetter, and you are looking to build your business with the growth potential NFTs imply, don’t hesitate, and reach out: we are a solid team dedicated to spreading the benefits of transparency and financial sovereignty these tools bring to the table.
About Rather Labs.
Rather Labs is a Blockchain Technical partner who provides the blockchain expertise along with the partner intensity founders need.
Rather Labs is committed to work alongside our clients as a technical partner, providing insights, technical design, engineering team management, recommendations, maintenance and technology projection.
The company is led by co-founders which have been involved in blockchain projects in finance, real state, gaming, and other industries for years.