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Are NFTs Only Art? 7 Use Cases For NFTs

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Michael Caloca / ONE37pm

If you know anything about the NFT space, then you are likely aware of the common misconception surrounding non-fungible tokens. Some of the most famous NFTs sold to date have been art, leading many to believe that NFTs are mainly offered solely as artwork and can simply be “right-clicked saved”. This is not the case, in fact, NFTs have many use cases other than art.

Here is a list of 7 unique uses which NFTs may offer:

1. Access

One of the greatest use cases for NFTs is their ability to provide access. NFTs can provide access by using them in a ticket-stub fashion. Considering NFTs are non-fungible and can easily be tracked via the blockchain, they are the perfect solution for eliminating physical stubs and providing people with a digital, trackable, and traceable option.

Additionally, thanks to smart contract capabilities in combination with NFTs, you can actually write-in a ticket’s terms & conditions, expiration dates, and any other limitations. This makes it easy for both parties to keep track of their tickets and the information that is stored on the ticket.

One perfect example of NFTs that provide access is Gary Vaynerchuck’s NFT project, VeeFriends. All VeeFriends token holders gain access to VeeCon — a multi-day event exclusively for VeeFriends NFT holders.

This leads me into the next use case for NFTs, collectibility.

2. Collectibles

Owning an NFT may come with many benefits. One of those benefits includes their collectibility aspect. NFTs are often associated with collectors due to their ease of verification and authentication. 

You see, one problem that many collectors face when it comes to physical collectibles is the ability to replicate the real thing. Buying a fake collectible is a collector’s worst nightmare, that’s where non-fungible tokens save the day.

From the time an NFT is minted it is tracked on the blockchain. The blockchain allows you to view a token’s entire transaction history, including the date it was created, who created it, and where it’s been since. This allows collectors to easily verify an asset’s authenticity. NFTs may also help collectors make better buying decisions since they are able to see the sales history of any NFT.

In addition to the ease of authenticating an NFT, collectors can also trade their collectibles on one of the many NFT marketplaces available, making NFTs a frictionless and stress-free way to collect and verify any asset, regardless of whether you own it or not.

3. Contracts/loans

That’s right, NFTs can actually be used in place of a traditional loan. I am a believer that there are many benefits to using NFTs for loans, as opposed to the stack of papers and many hoops you need to jump through before you can even qualify for a loan.

With NFT-backed loans, you can get access and keep track of the leased NFT being provided by following the transaction from the initial lending date. If a loan repayment is not met on time, the NFT can automatically be returned to the owner, and the entire process takes place without intermediaries.

This allows loans to be strictly peer-to-peer, keeping fees low, trust high, and transparency in the forefront of the entire contract.

Some of the NFT loans you will find today include marketplaces that allow you to offer your NFTs as collateral in exchange for a loan, and even offer other users a loan using their NFT as collateral. These loans are immediate, automated, and decentralized, all things that you won’t find with traditional loans. I think the potential for NFT loans is massive to say the least.

4. Coupons

In all reality, we already use digital coupons on a daily basis. Whether we are adding a coupon code to our purchase at the time of checkout, or redeeming our free small fry on the McDonalds’ app, as humans, we are attracted to the idea and ease of use of digital coupons. So, how can NFTs be used to make coupons even better?

NFTs can be kept as coupons inside a single digital wallet, meaning all the coupons you've collected will be organized in an easy to view manner, all in one place. Also, since the coupons are stored in digital wallets which can be viewed by public eyes, means that the companies providing these coupons have potential for more exposure.

As well, smart contracts have the ability to automatically deactivate any coupons which may expire, and provide all the terms for the coupon within the NFT. Additionally, you can sell and trade your coupons on NFT marketplaces, making coupons not only a way to save money, but also an option to make some money. 

One more thing to consider is that NFTs could be used in the metaverse as virtual coupons. As more companies such as Nike and Sony make their way into the metaverse, they will look for a way to provide their beloved customers with discounts and special promotions. NFTs are a great option for this purpose.

5. Memberships

Similarly to a coupon concept, NFTs can also be used as a membership to attend special events, gain access to limited-edition products and unique services. An NFT membership is frictionless, transparent in its intent, and allows the membership to be effortlessly bought, sold, and traded for any other asset on the blockchain.

Owning all your memberships in one wallet, regardless of what kind of membership it is, allows for an easy way to keep track of your memberships. Memberships can also be used as a way to flex the particular groups and organizations that you are a member of, potentially leveraging your personal brand and even your own credibility.

One of the most popular examples of an NFT that offers collectors membership access is the famous Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). The BAYC NFT collection doubles as your membership to a swamp club for apes.

Also, collectors of BAYC NFTs love showing off their assets on social media, you will see many holders display their BAYC NFTs as their profile pic, proving to be a great example of how certain NFTs can leverage your personal brand.

6. P2E (play to earn)

Play to earn is huge for both gamers and NFT collector’s alike. Games such as Axie Infinity, offer players a way to make money by investing and spending time in the game. Players earn cryptocurrency, which they can exchange for real money, by breeding, trading, and battling Axies.

This use case for NFTs is literally a game-changer. With the ability to earn real money playing a game, I am going to assume that more people will want to play these types of P2E NFT-based games, as well as invest more money into them and of course more time. 

Axie Infinity is just one example of P2E NFT games in the space right now, however, there are many more available to play, and I expect to see a majority of the gaming industry continue to move towards this P2E style of gaming.

7. Virtual accessories

Hear me out, virtual accessories are going to be massive! We have already seen some big name brands such as Nike, D&G, and Diamond Supply Co enter the space, offering collectors the opportunity to own some of the first virtual goods ever released into the market.

Virtual accessories are sold in the form of NFTs. The holders of these digital assets are able to use them in a virtual world called the metaverse. The metaverse is populated by user-operated virtual avatars, accessories, and various events.

As more people begin to interact with the metaverse, you can expect the demand for different virtual assets to rise. Moreover, some of the virtual accessories that you can purchase are eligible to unlock the physical product, and may even give holders access to limited-edition drops that are not available to the public.

My point is that although it’s true NFTs can be art, that's not the only use that these digital assets offer.

At the end of the day, there are many use cases for NFTs. These use cases will continue to grow and develop in due time as more people join the space. What will be the next NFT use case? Only time will tell.

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