Internet users are more interested in NFTs than crypto, as the former went from anonymous to an almost $20B market in 2021.
In the week leading up to Christmas, worldwide Google searches for the term “NFT” have for the first time ever surpassed searches for “Crypto.”
The change in the trend comes from an increase in searches for the term NFT, rather than an unusual decline in searches for the latter, as the digital collectibles continue to enter the mainstream culture.
Transactions on the most popular decentralized NFT platform, OpenSea, surpassed $10 billion in 2021. NFT data aggregator DappRadar indicates that more than $10.3 billion worth of NFT transactions have been processed in the marketplace since it launched in December 2017.
Up until this time last year, no one could have imagined that fine art like a Monet painting could go up for auction as an NFT. But, of course, most of us didn’t even know what an NFT was in the first place.
But the widespread cultural adoption of Non-Fungible Tokens is also reflected across multiple other aspects of society. For example, established multinational brands like Nike and Adidas are entering the metaverse through participation in the development and drop of NFTs.
2021 has also seen numerous celebrities hopping on the NFT bandwagon, issuing countless digital art as verifiable, unique collectibles that sell in minutes and often for astonishing amounts. From Tiger Woods to Jay-Z and the creator of the WWW’s source code, and now even Melania Trump is minting, as she unexpectedly announced the drop of a watercolor drawing of her eyes as NFT last month, auctioning it off on her website.
The new trend has provided visibility for artists, who can display and sell their works to the whole world at the speed of light. But the multiple uses of NFT technology are better appreciated within metaverse games.
Decentralized blockchain gaming platforms like Sorare, The Sandbox, and Axie Infinity, successfully offer the possibility to mint and own items created in the space and to even earn some money on the side while playing the NFT games (which depending on what part of the plane the player is based, could represent real income support).
NFTs also helped impact society in many other ways, including being the vehicle for auctions where profits were destined to nonprofits or charities, such as the recent UNICEF initiative to sell NFTs to fund their project to connect 1,000 schools to the internet.
The implications of this technology are so vast that many of the projects we have seen so far aren’t more than preliminary steps to what could or could not be. But the impact of NFTs is taking minds by storm and opening us all to the prospect of infinite possibilities – and dangers, of course.