Oftentimes NFTs are solely associated with digital art and profile pictures; however, NFT use cases extend far beyond still images. NFTs have evolved into the realms of music, gaming, digital identity, social media, real-world assets, carbon markets, and Web3 applications in order to mitigate issues in the corresponding Web2 sectors.
Music and Streaming
Musicians typically make less than $0.01 per stream on Web2 streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music. And that’s just for those on a major record label. Web3 music platforms like Audius, Sound.xyz, and Catalog enable musicians to directly monetize their work. They can mint their audio content as an NFT, connect to their followers, and increase discoverability — all without an intermediary.
Decentralized Social Media
In comparison to its Web2 predecessors, decentralized social media brings users privacy, censorship resistance, authority over personal data, and an easier path toward monetizing their content. NFTs have become the backbone for many of these Web3 platforms in the form of:
- Digital profiles and identities
- Representation of content
- Provisioning rewards to drive engagement
- Gating content
In the case of on-chain credentialing, NFTs can be used to store and verify educational certificates, professional licenses, and other forms of qualifications and identity. Each NFT can contain a unique set of data and metadata that verifies the authenticity and ownership of the credential. This allows for a trustless and direct secure verification of an individual’s qualifications, skills, or other information. Overall, bringing credentials on-chain reduces the cost associated with trust services, mitigates fraud and tampering, and has the potential to give users back their sense of agency regarding their personal data.
When it comes to on-chain gaming, NFTs are used to represent unique in-game assets such as characters, items, and virtual real estate. NFTs create scarcity and value in the GameFi world, allowing users to own, trade, and sell in-game items. In comparison to traditional gaming, on-chain gaming creates better earning opportunities for users and easier asset transfers.
Tokenized Real-World Assets
Real-world assets (RWA) are assets that exist in the real world that are represented and owned through NFTs. Tokenizing RWAs presents a unique opportunity to solve inefficiencies, human error, and fraud in the real world by enabling these assets to be better used, stored, and tracked on-chain. Projects based on tokenizing physical assets have emerged in the following sectors:
- Real estate
- Supply chain
- Capital market type assets
The market needs to go beyond the hype to start realizing that they are in front of an amazing technology that is ready to take over.