Guest Post: Dadepo Aderemi
When NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are mentioned, what usually comes to mind are digital art and collectibles. This is not surprising as it can be argued that it was the usage of NFTs around digital, generative arts and collectibles (Crypto Kitties, Crytopunks, etc) that spurred them to popularity.
But there are other ways NFTs can be put to use that do not strictly have to do with digital arts and collectibles. In this piece, I am going to explore five other creative ways NFTs can be used.
But it first starts by having a more fundamental understanding of what NFTs are.
At the most fundamental level, NFTs are the result of being able to create unique, non-interchangeable digital things that can be truly owned.
The unique, non-interchangeable part is what is often referred to as Non-fungible. A birth certificate owned by one person cannot be interchanged with another birth certificate of another. Money on the other hand is interchangeable. 1 Bitcoin owned by one person can be easily interchanged with another 1 bitcoin. All is fine as long as the value of the bitcoin is the same. Hence money is fungible.
The other interesting thing about NFTs is that they can be truly owned. Even though they are digital, thanks to blockchain technology, it is possible to own these digital items and also transfer ownership.
So at the most fundamental level, NFT’s are the result of being able to use blockchain technology to create unique, non-interchangeable digital things that can be provably owned.
The next question then is, how can we use these non-interchangeable digital things? We have seen their usage in digital arts and collectibles, the remaining part of this post will explore five other creative ways they can be used.
Usage in crowdfunding campaign
Crowdfunding campaigns, be it equity or non-equity based involve people participating by providing capital to help reach the campaign goals. This act of participation is something that can be encoded as an NFT. Such an NFT can then be owned by all the people that participated in the fundraising campaign.
This is exactly what I am doing, with the Indiegogo fundraising campaign I am running for DishAfrik. The idea is simple. Since DishAfrik is going to be a recipe app focused on African cuisine, part of the perk includes a chance to own one of the 54 NFTs that will be minted. The 54 NFTs will be a collage of 54 dishes from 54 African countries. 54 because there are currently 54 countries in Africa.
This NFT will serve as a memorabilia of participation, while at the same time also being digital art. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. You can check the campaign here.
Usage in political campaign
Similar to using NFT’s in crowdfunding, NFT can also be put to use in political campaigns.
Political campaigns usually raise funds by selling merchandise and campaign paraphernalia. This often includes physical things like t-shirts, baseball caps, stickers, etc.
NFTs provide the possibility to also have political campaign paraphernalia in the form of digital items.
This is exactly what Dr. Scott Jensen has done; a candidate for Minnesota Governor who recently released two fair-themed non-fungible tokens as part of its campaign. Arguably the first political campaign to be using NFTs in such a fashion.
NFTs in Charity
It is possible to mint an NFT, sell it, and donate the proceeds to charity. This is exactly what Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey did when he minted his first tweet as an NFT.
But there are other unique characteristics of NFTs that can enable them to be used in more creative ways for charity.
NFTs, after the first sale, can further be sold on the secondary markets. Depending on the blockchain on which the NFT is minted, it is possible for the royalty on consequent sales to accrue to the first seller. This feature can be repurposed for charity, whereby royalties generated on secondary sales of an NFT always return to support a charity.
There is a purpose-built blockchain, called Blockchange, that enables this form of charity via NFTs. It follows a model where an NFT is created for a course, sold, and then proceeds from secondary sales continue to go to the charity. Pretty nifty.
Event Memorialisation and exclusivity
A TikTok influencer can decide to make a video, say on climate change, and then issue out NFTs as a form of a pass to people who want to be in the video. The video made, can then also be turned into another bunch of NFTs which will then allow the next set of participants to be part of the next video. Forming some sort of NFT chain that guarantees participation in an event.
This creative way of using NFT was part of the many nuggets shared by Kyle Samani the co-founder of Multicoin in the podcast where he discussed the future of NFTs. This shows how NFTs could be used for memorializing events while at the same time providing exclusive access.
NFTs can also be used by musicians as part of album releases. In such a case the NFT could guarantee the holder access to exclusive contents and events. This is exactly what the band Kings of Leon did with their When You See Yourself, album release. The album included NFTs that allowed live show perks like front-row seats and exclusive audiovisual art.
Cross game items as NFTs
It has always been possible to own in-game items, from skins to weapons, to even fowls and Chicken Coop – that is if you are a simmer and into farming.
The only problem with in-game items is that they are bound to a particular game. This reduces the utility that can be derived from ownership.
What if it is possible to own a digital item and be able to access that digital item across multiple games? Well, NFTs are making exactly this possible.
Because NFTs are truly digital artifacts that exist outside any particular games, it is possible to create platforms that allow them to be owned, used, and transferred across multiple games.
NFTs are powerful as they enable the ownership of digital assets. They have revolutionized the digital arts and collectible space, but they can also be used in other areas as well as shown in this post. The exciting thing is that NFTs are still very new and we are just scratching the surface of what we can do with them.