The year 2021 could be the year that NFTs have become the talking point in cryptocurrency and a favorite for many investors. It could be the start of a multi-year race or a unique moment in the spotlight. Benzinga recently spoke with several NFT investors and industry experts to recap the exciting year for the industry.
NFT experts: Benzinga spoke to the following people about their take on NFTs in 2021.
Josh Ong – NFT collector, NFT consultant
Hunter Orrell – Investor Web 3.0
Matt higgins – Co-founder, CEO CSR Ventures
Major brands : A recurring theme in 2021 was the push for big brands to expand into the NFT sector. This included the likes of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) with their own NFT launch, Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE) purchase RTFKT and Adidas (OTC: ADDYY) in partnership with Bored Monkey Yacht Club, Punks comics and silver.
VaynerNFT was among the companies that helped bring big brands like Pepsi into the NFT space.
âBy bringing with them centuries of experience in brand creation, the brands joining the NFT space legitimize it in a major way, while opening the floodgates for mainstream consumers,â Akkineni said.
Doucet was more cautious of big brands entering the space, calling some of the entrees “half-baked efforts.” Doucet praised Adidas for taking its time to enter in a “tasteful and community-centered” manner.
Ong shared part of Doucet’s warning.
âThere is going to be some tension between the decentralized values ââof the first to the space and the inclinations of brands towards high control and centralization,â said Ong. âInternal spokespersons for these brands will play a crucial role in helping them navigate their transition to the Web3. “
Orrell said that big brands are helping bring more people into the NFT space, but the NFT ecosystem is not dependent on big brands.
âMy honest opinion is that the brands that use NFT well and build unique, industry-leading mechanics for their fans will be the ones that matter and not the brands that just slap NFT on everything,â said Orrell.
Bored Monkey Yacht Club: Each month in 2021 featured major storylines for the NFT collection Bored Monkey Yacht Club. By the end of 2021, Bored Apes had briefly exceeded the floor price of CryptoPunks, representing a reversal of the old blue chip by the new blue chip.
Ong, who owns two NFT Bored Ape, was surprised to see Apes pass CryptoPunks so early.
âI am definitely optimistic about the usefulness of the Yacht Club membership and the momentum of having an active team on the project,â said Ong.
Orrell, who is a member of the Bored Ape community, said he didn’t originally think the turnaround would happen in 2021. A key moment in 2021 led Orrell to believe the monkeys would overtake the punks in d-value. ‘by the start of 2022.
âBy the middle of the year you could tell the community was different and that Yuga Labs was operating at a level that hardly anyone else was,â Orrell said. “I remember seeing the lines for the BAYC events in New York City and realizing that it was not just the owners anymore, but now the brand’s fans have joined the lines.”
Doucet said the trend could continue in 2022, with the monkeys being overtaken by another NFT collection.
Higgins admits he did not see Bored Apes overthrow CryptoPunks in the 2021 floor price assessment. Higgins, who is an investor in Infinite Axis and Dapper Laboratories, noted Gary Vaynerchuk showed him CryptoPunks in March and suggested he buy some.
“Open your phone now and buy five!” Higgins said Vee told him so, admitting he hadn’t bought any Punk back then.
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Trends 2021: While NFTs were an overall uptrend in 2021, even surpassing searches for “cryptocurrency” during the year on Google, there were several trends in the NFT industry, including PFPs, the game for win and the NFT utility.
âPFPs are here to stay, but will make giant strides towards the end of 2022 and 2023 once Twitter, Discord and other web2 platforms are on board,â said Doucet.
Utility was the biggest trend Akkineni highlighted for NFTs in 2021.
âWe expect the trend to continue; with physical, digital and experiential access granted through token ownership, âAkkineni said.
Higgins called utility-driven tokenomics a key trend in 2021.
âCyberkongz really led the way in my opinion in developing a strong community supported by thoughtful tokenomics, aka bananas,â Higgins said.
Symbolism and utility are the reasons why Higgins sees gambling as the next multi-billion dollar industry as a natural extension of what is already happening with games.
“How many billions of dollars are spent on skins of no use beyond performance or prestige in the game?” Now add the possibility of earning tokens in the metaverse and actually owning the underlying IP address of an NFT which itself could go up in value – this is going to be huge.
Can Ethereum be caught? : The majority of the major NFT collections have been minted on the Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) blockchain in 2021.
âHonestly, I can’t wait for the day when we won’t even talk about the blockchain that an NFT is on. In the near future, asking which channel the NFT belongs to will be like asking which mobile provider you use to surf Instagram – who cares! Said Doucet.
Highlighted NGO Solana (CRYPTO: SOL), Polygon (CRYPTO: MATIC) and X immutable (CRYPTO: IMX) used for NFTs in 2021.
âIt doesn’t have to be a win-win, especially as better cross-chain solutions arrive,â Ong said.
Orrell highlighted Polygon as a potential winner going forward thanks to almost non-existent gas costs. Orrell also singled out Tezos as a surprising achievement in 2021.
âMy prediction is that we will see Polygon and Tezos grow further in 2022, especially Polygon due to the P2E games,â Orrell said.
Higgins suggested Alogrand (CRYPTO: ALGO) as an NFT cryptocurrency to watch out for.
âThey’re building something special and in many ways superior to ETH,â Higgins said.
Higgins said it will be a long time before Ethereum is overthrown from its leading NFT position.
Growth of Discord, Twitter Spaces: Two companies that have benefited from the growth of TVN are Discord and Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) through its Spaces feature.
“It’s (Discord) very similar to the chatrooms we frequented in the 1990s and predicts that ultimately the metaverse we all desire is just a basic chat with emojis and characters. like-minded people, âDoucet said of Discord.
Akkineni called Discord “the lifeblood of the NFT community today” and said NFT news is being broadcast on Twitter.
âI see room for another player in space; in particular to bridge the social aspects of users displaying NFT collections; which is a bit of a gap at the moment, âAkkineni said.
Orrell sees other social media platforms LinkedIn and Instagram benefiting from more NFT brands using the sites from a “marketing and cultural perspective.”
Higgins came up with a great analogy to explain how important Discord is to the NFT community.
âDiscord is to metaverse what lithium batteries are to Tesla. Maybe someday something else could power a Tesla, but right now without those batteries there is no Tesla, âHiggins said.
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