NFTs Are Dead (But They’re Changing Everything)

Forget million-dollar profile pictures, the real innovation of NFTs is ownership rights. This technology still has potential to transform industries, says Layne Nadeau, Founder and CEO of Nval, a pricing and analytics platform for NFTs and other assets.

AccessTimeIconJun 26, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Jun 26, 2024 at 4:58 p.m. UTC

Two years ago, Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) captivated the world with skyrocketing prices and mainstream attention, but then the market snapped back and many said that NFTs were “dead.”

They spoke too soon. This technology continues to proliferate on a global scale, reshaping entire industries.

Even with the NFT market reaching sales volumes of nearly 200,000 NFTs worth over $191 million per day it’s easy to dismiss them as Internet culture toys due to headline grabbing projects like CryptoPunks and Bored Apes.

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The NFT industry spent enormous energy and resources to make this possible; building, testing, and shipping some of the most game-changing technologies to date.

Even though some NFT markets are now down by over 90%, it’s a mistake to write NFTs off so quickly.

NFTs Are a How, Not a What

What does it take to trade assets in a digitally native environment? Ownership rights.

NFTs are merely how we record who holds rights to an asset. They can certify ownership and authenticity, and they come with many features of blockchains such as interoperability, secure transfer and verification.

The NFT industry created a revolutionary property rights system that is available 24/7/365 to anyone, anywhere at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems, and conveys uniqueness to any asset including digital files.

The what being bought, sold, or transferred are the rights to an underlying asset that is linked to the NFT. The assets and the rights that can be conveyed are virtually limitless.

Real World Assets (RWAs)

NFTs are a global ownership system that is changing what’s possible and reshaping existing industries.

Digital Art and Collectibles: NFTs provide artists and IP holders a means to create a verifiably unique or distinct digital item, unlocking new avenues for monetization. The holder of an NFT receives rights that can include ownership, usage, and resale of the digital work.

For example, NBA Top Shot created a wildly successful marketplace where fans can buy, sell, and trade officially licensed NBA video highlights enabled by NFTs that verify ownership and uniqueness.

Stocks and Bonds: The financial world is also embracing tokenization. NFTs offer more efficient and accessible markets for traditional financial instruments with transparent ownership and instant settlement.

Carbon Credits: NFTs representing a specific amount of carbon dioxide emissions offset can be easily traced from creation through to retirement, ensuring authenticity of carbon credits and helping combat climate change while adhering to regulatory standards.

NFT technology is also revolutionizing music, video, ticketing, gaming, trade finance, luxury goods, identity, private credit, AI, physical goods and even vehicle registries.

NFTs redefine what’s possible through verifiable global ownership and authenticity. In the early days of the Internet, we didn’t know how accessible, affordable communication would transform the world, and it profoundly impacted every industry.

NFT are reshaping the world with the same transformative power, creating unprecedented innovation and economic possibilities.

Note: The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CoinDesk, Inc. or its owners and affiliates.

Edited by Benjamin Schiller.


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Layne Nadeau

Layne Nadeau is the Founder and CEO of Nval