(AFP) – Businesses, institutions, artists or even sports clubs, more and more of them are imagining NFT as a utilitarian object, a passport or an access key, far from the only use of a group, sometimes a bit of a tool, popular for just over a year.
Monkey Drawings (“Bored Monkeys”), the first-ever tweet line or an animation of Donald Trump nude on the lawn, here are some of the NFTs that have each sold for millions of dollars since the beginning of 2021, under the intrigued and wary public eye.
“Irreplaceable tokens” or “irreplaceable tokens,” which are digital objects that are unique and cannot be tampered with, have opened up a new collectible market, to which tens of billions of dollars have poured in.
However, “NFTs are very rudimentary at the moment,” explains Sandy Khund, founder of the startup Credenza. Outside the art world, “they don’t have many jobs and benefits.”
“Most of them are monkeys or things like that, and they are useless,” says Juan Otero, general manager of Travala, an online travel site, referring to the famous “bored monkeys.”
Starbucks, which will soon launch its own NFTs, sees it as more of a “programmable asset, which can also be a pass-through”.
Having a non-fungible token in the coffee giant’s colors will unlock access to “unique benefits,” as well as “community,” a new vision for a “blockchain”-based loyalty program. This technology, on which cryptocurrencies and NFTs are based, makes it possible to use the same module for different applications.
On the institutional side, last July, the small republic of San Marino, in the heart of Italy, launched a passport for a vaccine against the coronavirus, behind which the NFT was hiding.
While the European Covid digital certificate was designed for the European Union, this passport was meant to be verified everywhere, without the need for a dedicated mobile app.
– ‘Guaranteed madness’ –
Credenza, for its part, is in discussion with sports teams and leagues to develop a vision for the Swiss Army Knife from the NFT Edition, which has been adapted for new uses.
NFTs and “blockchain” are accessible in multiple worlds, whether you want to go watch an NBA game in the hall or a concert in the metaverse,” Sandy Khund explains, referring to this digital universe where one can live a virtual life, as in Roblox or Minecraft video games.
Jane McMillan of marketing firm Incendio also cited the example of the indie rock band Kings of Leon. As part of the NFT release of his album “When You See Yourself,” he released eight “Golden Tickets,” each of which secured four front row seats on all of the band’s future tours.
Jenn McMillen explains, “If you’re a brand, think of the most coveted + experiences, the most exclusive access, or something that’s sure to go viral, and roll it in + all-access + NFT. That’s going to be a madness guaranteed by rarity.”
One of the most successful examples is the tourism booking platform Travala, which has over 300,000 monthly active users.
In January, the site, which has already accepted cryptocurrency payments, launched the Travel Tiger loyalty program. In appearance, each of the thousands of NFTs distributed to the platform’s existing clients is a digital graphic of a tiger, reminiscent of “bored monkeys”.
But it is tied to a series of perks, from entry to exclusive events, both in the real world and the metaverse, to discounts or loyalty points.
With Travel Tigers, Travala’s ambition is not to generate revenue, but to create loyalty. According to Juan Otero, “It is about retaining these users, and that they continue to use the platform.”
Despite the interest it generates, “it will likely take two or three years before NFTs reach the general public and traditional businesses,” acknowledges the Travala co-founder.
But “when the next wave arrives,” he declared, along with the metaverse and web3 (a new decentralized version of the internet) “I think it will be unprecedented.”