Drawings of monkeys (the bored monkeys), the line from the first tweet ever posted or the animation of a naked Donald Trump in the grass, here are some of the NFTs that have sold for millions of dollars each since their inception in 2021, under the eyes of a large audience that is both fascinated and observant. Non-replaceable tokens, unique and tamper-resistant digital objects, have opened up a new collectible market that has flowed into tens of billions of dollars.
However, “NFTs are very rudimentary at the moment”, explains Sandy Khaund, founder of the start-up Credenza. For him, outside the world of art, “they don’t have many features, utility”. “Most of them are monkeys or some useless stuff”, in abundance Juan Otero, general manager of the online travel site Travala, referring to the famous Bored Apes. Starbucks, which will soon launch its own NFTs, sees it more as a “programmable active, that can also be a pass”.
If you own a non-fungible token in the coffee giant’s colors, you’ll gain access to “unique benefits”, as well as a “community,” a new vision of a blockchain-based loyalty program. This technology, on which cryptocurrencies and NFT are based, makes it possible to use the same module for different applications.
On the institutional side, the small Republic of San Marino, in the heart of Italy, launched last July a vaccine passport against the coronavirus, behind which was an NFT. While the European Covid Digital Certificate was designed for the European Union, this passport was intended to be verified anywhere, without the need for a dedicated mobile app.
A “guaranteed madness thanks to rarity”
For its part, Credenza is in talks with sports teams and leagues to establish a vision of the NFT in the version of the Swiss Army knife, adapted to new applications. NFTs and blockchain are: “accessible in multiple universes, whether you want to see an NBA game in the hall or a concert in the metaverse”illustrates Sandy Khaund, referring to this digital universe where one can live a virtual existence, as in video games Roblox Where Minecraft.
Jenn McMillen of marketing agency Incendio also mentions the example of indie rock band Kings of Leon. As part of the NFT version of his album When you see yourselfhe issued eight “golden tickets,” each guaranteeing four front row seats on all of the band’s future tours.
“If you are a brandexplains Jenn McMillen, think of the most desirable experiences, the most exclusive access, or something that is sure to go viral, and wrap that in an NFT all access. It will be madness guaranteed thanks to its rarity.”
One of the most successful examples is the tourist booking platform Travala, which claims over 300,000 monthly active users. In January, the site, which was already accepting cryptocurrency payments, launched the Travel Tiger loyalty program. Outwardly, each of the 1,000 NFTs distributed to platform customers is a digital drawing of a tiger, reminiscent of the Bored Apes. But it is associated with a range of privileges, from access to exclusive events, in the real world and the metaverse, to discounts or loyalty points.
With the Travel Tigers, Travala’s ambition is not to generate income, but to create loyalty. “It’s about retaining these users, keeping them using the platform”, admits Juan Otero. Despite the attention they generate, “it will probably take two or three years for NFTs to reach the general public and traditional businesses”, admits the co-founder of Travala. But “when is the next wave coming”he announces, along with those of the metaverse and Web3 (new decentralized version of the Internet), “I think it will be unprecedented”.