NFTs have taken the world by storm. But, what do NFTs do? This is one of the most common questions people have around non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The truth is, NFTs are more than just a JPEG. They are a new form of technology. Whether it be passive income tokenomics, real-world event access, or play 2 earn gaming, NFT utility is just getting started.
NFT utility is the value or offering that’s attached to an NFT. NFT utility includes things like digital assets, physical goods, a service, access to events, memberships, and any other perks the creator wants to supply to their consumers.
In this post, we’re going to explore NFT utility and dive into a few examples of NFT projects providing utility to the real world.
What is NFT utility?
NFT utility is typically defined as the “usefulness” of an NFT. The “usefulness” of an NFT varies from project to project.
NFTs got their start in the art world; providing provenance and provable ownership on the blockchain. NFT art pieces provide us with similar utility to real-life paintings, music, and movies. Beauty, expression, and the ability to escape into an alternate world. NFT art is the same but in a digital format.
Digital collectibles (brand)
Nike, Gucci, Mercedes Bendz. The same reason we purchase luxury brands is the same reason we purchase NFTs like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club. Digital collectibles are a bit of a misnomer. People don’t purchase NFTs to simply collect.
They purchase NFTs to flex and to express. High-end NFT brands are perceived as the equivalent of a Rolex or a Ferrari online. Instead of posting a picture with your new Tesla on Instagram, making your profile picture a CryptoPunk is a modern way to flex in Web3.
More than visual utility
NFT utility extends beyond visual art and flexing to your friends. Due to the nascency of NFT tech, we are still discovering new ways to implement and build upon the blockchain. Similar to how YouTube began with cat videos and video games began with Pong, NFTs are just at the beginning of their lifespan.
Examples of utility NFT projects
There are dozens of utility use cases entering the NFT market. Below we’ve curated 4 unique utility NFTs disrupting the marketplace in 2022:
1. LinksDAO (real world golf course)
LinksDAO is a blockchain-based country club. Their plan? Purchase a top 100 caliber golf course and transform it into a modern golf and country club. LinksDAO is a DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization, which means it is not owned by a single person or entity.
Its ownership and access are issued through NFTs. By purchasing a LinksDAO NFT, you get membership access to the country club, and governance rights – so you can vote on decisions you want the organization to make.
This is a prime example of utility NFTs without a meaningful visual. LinksDAO NFTs all look the same and have no artistic value. Its value is uniquely derived from exclusive country club access and ownership rights. LinksDAO’s mission is to democratize the country club space: an elite, private industry notably exclusive to old money. NFTs make this innovation possible.
2. Bears Deluxe (passive income utility)
Bears Deluxe is a collection of algorithmically generated pixel bear NFTs. What makes them unique? The tokenomic and breeding mechanisms within their ecosystem. Tokenomics describes the incentive structure governing a crypto asset.
For example, 1 Bears Deluxe NFT generates you 1 $HONEYD token every day (the value of $HONEYD can be viewed here). 1 Bears Deluxe NFT comes with one Bee Hive NFT. With one Bee Hive NFT, you can generate 3 Bees Deluxe NFTs.
Each Bee generates you 0.09-0.13 HONEYD every day. The value of the $HONEYD is derived from the market, but with this token, you will be able to transact and participate in future gaming experiences within the Bears Deluxe ecosystem (or you can also transfer it to USD).
There are other NFT projects with similar incentive structures, such as CyberKongz, the first NFT project with breeding tokenomics. With this revelation, NFT projects can develop passive income structures that passively reward their holders, invariably incentivizing holders to hodl their NFTs for a longer period of time.
3. Veefriends (celebrity/mentor access)
VeeFriends is an NFT project created by serial entrepreneur and marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk. The collection consists of 10,255 VeeFriend NFTs, which represent human traits that Gary admires the most (like “Brave Bison” and “Candid Clownfish”).
Unlike most NFTs, this isn’t a project predicated on art quality. In fact, Gary hand drew the 268 VeeFriend base characters himself. VeeFriend NFT holders receive access to VeeCon, a multi-day superconference with discussions from emerging leaders in NFTs and pop culture.
The utility doesn’t stop there. Gary plans on continuing to provide for VeeFriend holders over the course of his life, even alluding to giving them equity in future business ventures.
GaryVee is pioneering a new model for influencers and business figures by granting supporters the ability to invest in him as a person, and in return receive exclusive access, benefits, and perks along the way.
4. NFT Worlds (P2E gaming)
Many people wonder what the metaverse will look like. There are different ventures like Meta, The Sandbox, and Decentraland attempting to build out our virtual future. However, NFT Worlds is a decentralized metaverse experience built on top of Minecraft.
People can buy an NFT World and create unique gaming experiences, exclusive hangout spots, and play to earn competitions within their World. Play to earn is a concept where users can play videos games and earn financial rewards for their efforts.
Utilizing Minecraft’s infrastructure and popularity, NFT Worlds makes it easy for users to hop on their gaming console (Xbox, Playstation, or Nintendo Switch) and participate.
Game developers and gaming companies are buying NFT Worlds and building their play 2 earn games within the ecosystem. This allows users to play games, earn NFT Worlds’ native $WRLD token, and transact through an in-game UI across the blockchain. NFT Worlds even introduced gasless $WRLD transfers and payments, so players won’t even need to pay gas fees.
NFT Worlds is an intersection of gaming, NFTs, and blockchain technology. So what utility does this project have? It provides an ecosystem where players can earn rewards and be compensated for playing video games.
Utility NFTs will become more prevalent as new thinkers, fresh capital, and inspiring projects pour into the space. As NFTs continue to prove themselves as “useful” in real-world situations, more buyers will enter the NFT market, inching us closer to mass adoption.
There are 2 fundamental aspects that make NFTs useful:
- Their non fungible nature.
- Their ability to interact with smart contracts on the blockchain.
Naturally, NFT utility will expand as more assets come on-chain. For example, mortgages, pink slips, concert tickets, and plane tickets are the next obvious use cases. The more you learn about NFTs, the more you realize they’re not going away.
The modern-day gold rush is occurring digitally, with thousands thinking…”how can I make NFTs useful?” Those that are solving the NFT utility problem are seizing the opportunity of a lifetime.