Unlike the opinion of the general population, NFTs aren’t purely expensive JPGEs. Businesses are now beginning to adopt the technology as integral aspects of their operations with real-world utilities.
We’ve come a long way from the days of CryptoPunks, where NFTs were seen purely as collectible digital assets. As the space has grown, we’ve witnessed community-based projects thrive with real-world utilities incorporated into roadmaps. The benefits of NFTs are clear for all to see, so it’s no surprise that we’re beginning to see them implemented across numerous industries. We’re moving forward into a truly digital age and NFTs will disrupt how we operate in our day-to-day lives. Let’s take a look at the top 5 real-world utilities for NFTs.
Thanks to the blockchain, we can see the entire history of an NFT, including the current owner and historic transactions dating back to day 1. This can be used for verification, simply by creating a digital NFT asset for any real-world item. The benefits of this utility are enormous, as it could essentially eliminate fraud through a simple process of checking the NFT associated.
Examples of this would be to use NFTs to verify documentation such as passports, driving licenses, and even medical history, to ensure a person is who they claim to be. We could extend this to cars, watches, or any item of value. This could potentially see the end of people benefitting from selling stolen goods that don’t belong to them.
Much like verified ownership, any real-world product can have an NFT created and linked to it upon completion of the manufacturing process. As a digital asset, there is no limit to the number of tokens that can be created. When buying a Rolex for example, the brand could showcase each watch as an NFT and if you buy the token, you gain ownership of both that and the physical watch that it is attributed to.
With millions of people falling victim to counterfeit goods, equating to 2.5% of world trade in 2019, NFTs would bring this market to its knees. An instant check on MetaMask or any other wallet would be able to verify the legitimacy. This could be rolled out across all industries that suffer from fraud, with the art industry benefiting greatly too.
As of today, buying and selling properties is a messy process due to the mountains of paperwork required to make it official. By utilizing NFT technology, this could be done in an instant through a simple transfer from one wallet to another or a purchase on a secondary marketplace.
Of course, there will be legal hurdles to jump through to ensure regulations are met before this can become a reality. We could see a future when a token is created for every property on the market, and houses are bought and sold on the likes of OpenSea. Another use case for real estate is for buildings that have several owners. Properties could be fractionalized into various NFTs which would allow investors to sell off individual pieces of ownership.
Going hand in hand with verified ownership and legitimacy, are tickets. Whether to music concerts, sporting events, or conferences, NTF tickets offer a safe, secure way for holders to enter their given event. The ticket industry is rife with fraud as people are being denied entry to venues due to fake tickets. Replacing physical tickets with NFTs would make falsifying tickets an impossibility thanks to blockchain technology.
Another issue we see within the ticketing industry is the purchase of large numbers by resellers in order to flip them on for ridiculous prices, ripping off those that were unable to buy at release. If event holders decide to issue tickets as NFTs, they could deny any form of resale, essentially putting resellers out of business and keeping the marketplace fair and honest.
Gamers are the ideal demographic for NFTs due to their familiarity with in-game currencies. NFTs in gaming see the tokenization of in-game assets and would allow for transfer from gamer to gamer through established secondary markets, or via specific in-game marketplaces. Whilst currently, in mainstream games such as Fortnite or GTA Online, players are able to purchase in-game items and skins, they aren’t unique to them, nor do they truly own them as the developer could shut down the servers and make them obsolete.
NFTs would give total ownership to the holder and would provide the opportunity to monetize through resale. There are numerous on-chain games currently available such as Decentraland and Axie Infinity, however, we’re yet to see them move into the mainstream.
While NFTs are still a fresh concept, unknown to many, it’s clear that they will play a vital role in shaping how we move forward as a species. The benefits and utilities are almost endless, and while many of us see them as investment opportunities or an entry into a community, the most forward-thinking entrepreneurs and corporations will be moving them into the business world. NFTs will provide the foundations of a safer, more secure environment for us and our children and those that don’t adapt will be left behind.