Beyond art, what can an NFT truly be used for?
Almost all big names have hopped on to the non-fungible token (NFT) trend this year. Be it BTS, Snoop Dogg or Shawn Mendes, we have seen many celebrities drop collectibles for their fans or at least confirm their plans of coming out with them. In fact, a company called Sorare made an entire fantasy football game around collecting NFTs.
Besides celebrities jumping onto the NFT bandwagon, artists have also seen massive success from selling their artworks as NFTs. For instance, the most expensive NFT ever sold is an artwork called “EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS” by Mike Winkelmann. All of these have been making the collection of NFTs more socially acceptable, but we all have that burning question at the back of our minds—what else can we do with NFTs? The answer is that NFTs can be used for a lot more than just mere collectibles.
Let’s take a look at some use-cases of NFTs to explore their potential beyond just collectibles.
Verifying the authenticity of real-life documents
One of the features of an NFT is that its historical ownership data is built into it, which means you can always trace it back to its original creator. Since an NFT is capable of storing such information, documentation, like academic degrees or birth certificates, could be tokenized as well. Furthermore, because an NFT can always be traced back to its originator, tokenizing documents would protect people from identity theft.
For instance, the small nation in Europe, San Marino, has adopted NFT vaccine passports. These have been in use in the city since July 1 this year to verify the owner’s vaccination records on the ledger.
Not only can you verify the authenticity of documents using NFTs, but you can also use these to prove ownership of real estate. The use of tokenization in real estate has been well documented with platforms, like the ATLANT platform, which allow people to sell, purchase and trade in property tokens. However, with NFTs, you can also sell virtual property. An example of this is the Mars House NFT, a virtual house by digital artist Krista Kim, which sold for over US$500,000 in March this year.
Ticketing for events
Almost all events today are plagued with these major threats—counterfeit ticketing, or ticket scalping. Counterfeit ticketing refers to selling fake tickets, and ticket scalping means reselling tickets at a higher price on secondary markets. Often, event organizers struggle to figure out who is buying, selling and redeeming the tickets. It is also difficult for buyers to verify the tickets. As a result, nearly 12% of all ticket purchasers end up being scammed.
To solve this problem, NFTs can be used for ticketing. Since the NFTs contain historical data, the end buyer can determine with absolute certainty whether they have purchased an authentic ticket, even if they buy a re-sold one. As for ticket scalping, NFTs can trigger royalty payments to the original owner whenever a ticket is re-sold. This would help original owners (aka the artists) benefit from the reselling. MetaCartel Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) made waves for incorporating NFTs into ticketing for its community conference in 2019.
Logistics and supply chain management
The traceability offered by NFTs can also be used in logistics. NFTs can secure and simplify the transfer of information at the various stages of production an item goes through. NFTs can also help customers get information on what processes a product has gone through and for how long. This can help customers make more informed purchasing decisions.
A company that has been successful in using NFTs in their supply chain is blockchain firm Coin Sciences. The company has released a product called “MultiChain” which allows their customers to track individual items on the supply chain.
While all of this seems like a faraway dream, there are many ongoing experiments in giving NFTs more functionality. One such experiment is Monaco Planet, a platform that uses NFTs as a currency to pay content creators on the platform. Over time, NFTs use cases will only grow further, making them more functional for the average person.
Header image courtesy of Freepik