One common question that web3 newbies - whether collectors or creators - come to is; “What can and cannot be an NFT?” At the same time, with how digital art has shaped most of web3 and the NFT industry, the question ultimately evolves into “Can NFTs only be artwork?”
To the latter, well no.
To the former, keep reading.
Forbes Writer, Robert Farrington explained that an NFT could be anything “provided it is virtual and cannot be touched or handled in a physical sense.” Anything of which there is only ONE original and can be owned by only one person at a time can be minted (created) as an NFT. This seems pretty vague but that’s it. Non-fungible tokens can be anything your imagination can bring to life (or in this case, to the metaverse) as a creator.
Here are a few of the ‘anythings’ currently shaping the NFT ecosystem.
- Digital Art
The poster boy for all things NFT and web3, digital art is currently the most popular type of non-fungible token. Beeple’s ‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days’, BAYC’s ape avatars, and CryptoPunks’s pixel characters are examples of digital art that traversed into the metaverse as standalone artworks and pfp collections to sell for millions of dollars as NFTs. In web3, art no longer needs to hang in your living room to be valuable. Neither does it have to conform to traditional art styles to be labelled good or deserving of a certain price tag. As NFTs, out-of-the-box expression of art is encouraged and rewarded.
- Concert Tickets
The ticketing industry is not left out of the possibilities of NFTs. Ticketmaster, Coachella, Live Nation, the NBA, the Olympics, and more have all embraced NFTs in the past year. Coachella created its own NFT marketplace, selling artwork, photos from the 2022 event, and lifetime pass ticket NFTs. One ticket set its collectors back a little over $10,000 but on the upside, you get Lifetime Coachella Guest Passes, a fully stocked trailer at the VIP Compound and access to everywhere (including VIP areas)! Likewise, influencer, Gary Vee launched his VeeFriends NFT which doubles as an art piece and a 3-year pass to his exclusive VeeCon business conference. In this way, NFTs go beyond art; they are membership tokens with benefits and lifetime utilities for their holders.
- Domain names
As long as new businesses continue to sprout and humans continue to innovate in web2, web3 and beyond, domain names will be constant. NFT domain names are unique identifiers used to build decentralised websites and convert hexadecimal cryptographic addresses into usable Web3 usernames. Unlike traditional domain names that end in .com, NFT domain names are suffixed by .crypto or .eth (you might have seen some of them used as Twitter display names).
- AI Luxury Clothing items
When Facebook announced its umbrella name, Meta and its plans for the metaverse beyond the gaming community, with the excitement came a series of questions. How would people present themselves in the metaverse? Since you could create yourself, who would you be in the metaverse? What about all your designer physical clothing? How can your replicate your swag in this virtual world? A simple solution: fashion nfts. Several leading fashion brands are taking over and shaking up the virtual world. Nike’s NFT Sneaker collection, Cryptokicks, sells for over $100,000. Meta also launched their Meta Avatars store, a clothing marketplace on the metaverse that offers a range of high-end style options for avatars.
- Real Estate
A physical real estate NFT is created by registering a real-life asset (your house, office or business premises) on a blockchain. Digital real estate NFTs on the other hand exist in designated virtual spaces on the metaverse and can be purchased either as plots/parcels of land or as completed homes on platforms such as Decentraland. Even better, some homes for sale nowadays offer digital versions of brick-and-mortar houses. If you’re lucky, your million-dollar home might also be nicely couched in a celebrity spot on the metaverse.
- A hall-of-fame-worthy social media post/meme
Although a not-so-obvious option, social media posts and memes can be minted as NFTs. A 1/1 tweet, a historic Twitter/Instagram hall of fame post, a ‘called-it’ tweet (check out Jack Dorsey’s first tweet which sold as an NFT for $2.9 million on Valuables), the list goes on. Memes are not left out. It sounds crazy but you can mint a meme and someone somewhere would buy it. 16 years after it was first used, Zoë Roth, the face of the popular disaster girl meme, sold an original copy of it as an NFT for $500,000! While these might not be as valuable as art pieces or real estate, they’re a good way of impressing cultural moments on the internet forever and perhaps like Zoë, also making money off it.
Most non-fungible tokens are primarily visual assets with complementary utilities. Music NFTs on the other hand contain an audio component. However, even though most are sold as limited edition copies of albums and discographies, music NFTs offer a way for fans to directly support an artist beyond streaming revenue.
- Game, Sports and Merch Collectibles
For gamers, the metaverse and its utilities are nothing new. Sports NFTs are blockchain-based, verifiably unique digital assets that are used to represent digital trading cards, athletic events, digital memorabilia, and other kinds of sports products. Through these collectibles sporting fans and gamers can hold merch from their favorite teams, buy tokens to improve their gaming experience, and collectibles to unlock new worlds in the metaverse and gain access to exclusive real-life events.