Each day, hundreds of thousands of NFTs are created. Many of them are essentially useless yet go on to sell for thousands of dollars. The “why” is unexplainable but what’s obvious is that it‘s unsustainable.
NFTs have reached mainstream adoption at a somewhat perplexing rate. In less than 12 months they have grown from a small niche into a multi-billion dollar industry, and this is just the beginning. The most effective way to profit from this movement is to pinpoint the next trend before others: NFTs with utility.
After the massive success of projects like Cryptopunks or BAYC (Bored Ape Yacht Club), the NFT space was flooded with simple collectible projects attempting to emulate them. So much so that supply exceeded demand. By a longshot. Many of these projects failed merely because they had not established a sizable community or their art was not appealing. Thus, the NFT collectible industry boils down to a game of marketing. The size and engagement of a community surrounding a collectible project have a significant influence on its perceived value.
Demand for collectible NFTs has exploded since the beginning of the year mainly due to speculation. Getting in early on a new project can result in returns as high as 5 to 10 times your money in a matter of weeks. My problem with collectibles is that anyone can produce/hire someone to make some simple art, mint it on the blockchain, and declare it to be worth thousands of dollars. With a collectible NFT, all you can really do is say you own it or use it as your profile photo. To me, that’s not worth millions of dollars.
The Rise of Utilities
Utilities, even the simplest of features, allow buyers to derive a new form of value from an NFT. Instead of valuing the attractiveness of the art, utility defines its value. Projects with utility have begun to outperform those without. Here are two fine examples:
VeeFriends, a project created by Gary Vaynerchuk, has erupted in popularity since its launch in May of 2021. Owning a VeeFriend gives you access to multiple years of VeeCon, a multi-day conference with iconic keynote speakers, Q&A sessions, and much more. While the artwork itself may look like something made by a first-grader, I think we can all agree that a VeeCon ticket has some value. Below are the stats of the VeeCon project so far:
- 10,300+ items
- 5,000+ owners
- Floor price of 14.44 eth (currently equivalent to roughly $49,000)
- Volume traded of 27,200+ eth (tens of millions of dollars)
The incredible thing about VeeFriends is that the NTFs attain their value from the access to VeeCon instead of the artwork itself. The artwork is merely a subjective, insignificant part of the project. VeeFriends was the first project (and only so far) to use NFTs as a conference admission ticket. I am confident it won’t be the last.
Launched by Matty (or DCL Blogger), The Metakey is essentially a digital key to the metaverse. Owning a Metakey gives you unique access to hundreds of perks such as free collectibles, private virtual land, or in-game wearables. Like VeeFriends, the value of the NFT is now derived from its utility/perks. There are currently four editions of the Metakey which make up a combined transaction volume of over 5,600 eth or roughly $19,600,000.
If you have a special talent or idea that is potentially valuable to the holders of an NFT, now is your time. Launch your own collection with a unique utility and I can almost guarantee you will be handsomely rewarded.
Here are some ideas:
- Access to music
- Access to website
- Access to in-game experience (like land in Decentraland)
- Access to newsletter
- Access to real-life events
Utility NFTs are still in their infancy. While others are fixated with collectibles, take part in the revolution and buy some utility NFTs or launch your own collection. It’s only a matter of time before they surpass collectibe NFTs as the largest sector of the NFT revolution. The possibilities are truly endless.