NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have taken the world by storm. First created in 2014 by digital artist Kevin McCoy, NFTs are now hugely popular—and profitable. Early 2021 saw artist Beeple’s NFT sell for a monumental $69 million.
Quite rightly, big businesses are starting to pay attention to NFTs, with the latest company Gamestop announcing its investment plans in January 2022. According to an exclusive interview with the Wall Street Journal, Gamestop is launching a crypto division and making plans to develop an online NFT marketplace.
However, it isn’t just Gamestop that’s interested in NFTs. Corporate giants Nike, Disney, and Coca-Cola have all dipped their toes into the digital world of non-fungible tokens.
So, why are businesses continuing to invest in this new digital phenomenon?
There’s no clear explanation as to why NFTs have soared in popularity over 2021 and continuing into 2022, but there are plausible explanations. Some have theorized that the lack of ownership in digital spaces, such as social media and subscription services, leaves us “renting” rather than owning products. This, combined with a new hyper awareness of media control, has driven people to seek alternatives that allow them to own, rather than borrow, digital assets—and this is why NFTs are becoming more popular.
2021 saw some of the biggest global corporations releasing their own NFTs and investing significant funds into owning a share of the market. Notable companies include:
Coca-Cola. July 2021 saw corporate giant Coca-Cola launch its first NFT collection garnering a winning bid of over $575,000 in an online auction.
Nike. Announced on 13th December 2021, Nike bought virtual shoe company RTFKT. Specializing in ‘Metaverse’ sneakers, each pair of shoes is an NFT. Indeed, RKFT was already doing well before Nike, raking in $3.1 million from a previous virtual shoe drop.
Disney. NFT platform VEVE and Disney announced their collaboration in October 2021, and have since released Mickey Mouse NFTs. According to reports, Disney made a hefty $2.4 million in revenue from the NFT drop.
Hello Kitty. Set to launch in early 2022, Hello Kitty has partnered with ECUR to create fan-focused NFTs, marketed as digital products and collectibles.
Gamestop. Game retailer Gamestop is set to release its crypto division and has hired 20 new employees to develop a new online marketplace where people can buy, sell, and trade NFTs and virtual in-game items.
The future of NFTs is largely unknown—will they be this popular five years from now? Though we can’t know the answer, NFTs are already being used innovatively in the music, gaming, and security industries.
Media and entertainment aside, companies are finding innovative ways to harness NFTs to solve major issues and challenges. The LOX Network is using NFTs to make a proof-of-ownership model for wireless devices, going a long way in solving the smartphone crime issue. Read more about LOX’s products here.