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NFTs & Their Use Cases

Several types of NFTs have emerged, but it’s still early in the game. Despite the pullback, the NFT market remains hot and we are beginning to see mainstream adoption, however, Web3 platforms have lower take rates than the Internet behemoths today. For example, OpenSea has a take rate of 2.5%, Apple 30%, YouTube 45%, etc. 

NFTs give creators a whole new method to commercialize their work by allowing them to interact directly with their audience. The estimated creator revenues (2021) for NFTs were to the tune of: 

  • $3.9 billion for 22,400 creators, with $174k average per creator
  • $7 billion for 11 million artists, with $636 average per creator
  • $15 billion for 37 million channels, with $2.47 average per creator
  • $300 million for 2.9 billion users, with $0.10 average per creator

Indubitably, there is incredible innovation taking place in the NFT space. Art and collectible NFTs, in particular, have exploded into the public at a breakneck pace – quicker than even the most twinkly crypto bull could have imagined. We now have a better understanding of why this is. NFTs (particularly art and collectibles) are entertaining, visualizable, culturally pertinent, and easy to understand in a manner that many blockchain concepts are not.

As NFTs evolve, we should expect to see more experimental use cases adopted. Let’s look at several NFT use cases:

Energy NFTs

These are NFTs created for the sole utility of advancing the uptake of sustainable energy. NFTs allow underfunded or even ignored issues to be addressed in a collaborative and incentive-driven manner. Adoption of open-source, decentralized technology has the potential to speed up decarbonization projects for the planet’s benefit, resulting in unprecedented levels of innovation and transparency. Companies such as Melanin Solar’s are experimenting with these types of NFTs, especially after the impressive pilot project in Africa. Working with the decentralized teams and contributors at the Whive Protocol, the Sustainable World Initiative (SWI), and the media team at Kanairo, the company is presently minting the HaPeeBee NFT Collection. They’re working on a community-led approach to sustainability, aiming to create more resilient responses to sustainability such as solar energy mining by integrating the metaverse with sustainable impact via non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 

Collectible NFTs

There’s a huge market for digital collectibles, whether it’s a Crypto Wolf NFT or some cute digital bunnies. With the NBA NFT collectible trading cards NBA Top Shot, this use case has even made it into the mainstream. These non-fungible tokens, together with digital NFT art, account for a large chunk of sales on NFT markets like OpenSea, Treasureland, and BakerySwap.

With crypto art, there’s a lot of crossovers, and an NFT may be both a collectible and an artwork. These are the most advanced use cases we already have.

CryptoKitties is a well-known example of digital collectibles. CryptoKitties, which was released in 2017, is a blockchain-based game in which each NFT represents a virtual kitten that users may buy. You might wonder what makes these goods precious.

Surprisingly, a multitude of factors influence the value of any item. In CryptoKitties, for example, it all comes down to a combination of uncommon aesthetics, features, and utility of those adorable tiny virtual cats.

Because the value of NFTs is determined by their rarity, they pave the way for the digitization of the collectibles market. Not to be forgotten, NFT collectibles encourage proof of ownership in order to safeguard the underlying digital materials from copywriting infringement. Another example is the first tweet by Jack Dorsey is a great example of an NFT collectible. While a CryptoPunk is collectible and artistically appealing, Dorsey’s NFT is valuable solely for its rarity.

Dorsey used Valuables, a platform that tokenizes tweets, to sell the NFT. One can place an offer on any tweet. Anyone can come in and outbid you with a counter-offer. The tweet author then has the option to accept or reject the offer. If they agree, the tweet will be minted on the blockchain, resulting in a one-of-a-kind NFT with their signature. Each NFT is authenticated by the verified creator’s Twitter @handle, ensuring that only the original author can mint NFTs. This method creates a digital, limited-edition item that can be traded or kept. Selling a tweet is a difficult notion to grasp, but it’s a perfect example of how NFTs produce collectibility. It’s effectively a digital replica of a handwritten autograph.

Gaming NFTs

Unique tradable and purchasable objects are in high demand in gaming. Their scarcity has a direct impact on their value, and gamers are already used to the concept of valuable digital objects. Microtransactions and in-game purchases have spawned a multibillion-dollar gaming sector that could benefit from NFTs and blockchain. According to James Burke, CEO of Outlier Ventures, “people spend five times more in a blockchain game than in a conventional game.”

For gamers, gaming NFTs signify art, collectibility, and functionality. Consider Axie Infinity and Battle Pets, which are Pokémon-style games that make pets and other unique goods transferable in the form of non-fungible tokens that can be bought and traded on external, peer-to-peer marketplaces Each day, 2 million users play with the tiny swirls of Axie Infinity, which has a market capitalization of $3 billion. Roblox has emerged to be a powerhouse in blockchain-based gaming. In terms of what an NFT signifies is an intriguing field. Tokens for video games mix elements of beauty, collectability, and player utility. Nonetheless, NFT deployment in big-budget video games is still far on the horizon.

NFTs and the gaming sector are a winning mixture. By permitting NFT cross-platform gameplay, NFTs can be integrated into the gaming world. NFTs provide game publishers with a new method to spread their brand and generate cash, while players are more likely to continue playing a game if they already own characters or goods in it.

NFTs in Logistics

Because of its immutability and transparency, blockchain technology can also be valuable in the logistics industry. These features ensure that supply chain data is accurate and trustworthy. It’s critical to know where food, commodities, and other perishable things have been and for how long.

An NFT also has the advantage of being able to represent one-of-a-kind products. We can trace a product with metadata regarding its sources, journey, and warehousing location using an NFT. Consider the following scenario:

  • A factory in China produces a high-end pair of luxury shoes. It’s been given an NFT, which you can instantly scan on the packaging.
  • When and where the shoes were made are given in timestamped metadata.
  • The NFT is scanned as the product moves through the supply chain, and new timestamped metadata is added. The information could include the location of the warehouse and the time of arrival or departure.
  • A retailer can scan the shoes and record them as received once they arrive at their final destination. An accurate full history of the shoes’ authenticity and the logistic journey is available to view and check.

There are numerous possible scenarios for incorporating NFTs into the supply chain. All of them, on the other hand, necessitate the usage of the same infrastructure at each point of the chain. With so many diverse parties and stakeholders involved on a global scale, putting these systems into practice can be difficult. This factor has resulted in a small range of real applications. MAERSK’s TradeLens system and IBM’s Foot Trust are two big blockchain logistics solutions presently available. Both rely on Hyperledger Fabric, an IBM blockchain that allows NFTs to be used. Nevertheless, it’s unclear whether or not NFTs are used in their operations.

Music NFTs

You can attach audio to an NFT in the same way that you can attach an image or video to make a collectible piece of music. Imagine it as a digital “first volume” of a song. Adding music to an NFT is comparable to adding art to an NFT, but there are other possibilities. Snoop Dogg, Shawn Mendes, and Grimes have all dabbled in NFTs, seeking new methods to profit and communicate with fans. Kings of Leon weren’t satisfied with simply releasing an NFT record; they were so enthusiastic that they performed their NFT in space. Following this trend, onXRP will also be releasing music collections as NFTs in new and intuitive manners which will be disclosed in the future.

Contemplate capturing the rights to each song as an NFT, then pooling the top 40 songs of the month, fractionalizing the pool, and then buying a piece of the pool and receiving streaming revenue. That may be fascinating. We simply haven’t arrived at that moment yet. The whole industry is definitely ripe for disruption.

DeFi/Finance NFTs

It is indeed not difficult to overlook the fact that not every NFT is predicated on a song, painting, or collector item. NFTs also bring distinct financial benefits to decentralized finance (DeFi). The majority will have some artwork as well, but their worth is determined by their utility. Assets can now engage novel behaviors thanks to NFTs. Let’s imagine you just spent your last $2 million on a Bored Ape NFT, but now need some money. Not to worry, it’s no problem. That Bored Ape could be utilized as collateral for a loan at NFTfi.

You get your Bored Ape back when you pay off your loan. What happens if you don’t pay? The NFT is sent to the lender using smart contracts, which negates the necessity for debt collection and bounty hunters. That is only the start. NFTs are being fractionalized (to give more liquidity), operating as quasi-securities, and they’re fast becoming financesque enough to pique the curiosity of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other securities authorities.

NFTs are also being used for staking. A user can stake a pair of tokens in a pool for a set length of time in exchange for an NFT that allows them to access the subsequent pool. The NFT functions as an entrance ticket and is discarded once you’ve entered the next pool. Because of the access these NFTs provide, this paradigm creates a secondary market for them. JustLiquidity provides an NFT staking model.

BakerySwap’s NFT meal combos, for example, provide greater staking incentives for holders. You will receive an NFT combination with a configurable amount of staking power if you contribute BAKE. Users can bet on these combinations, sell them on the secondary market, or stake them. Another fascinating use case for non-fungible tokens is the combination of NFTs, gamification, and DeFi.

Art NFTs

Non-fungible coins aided in the resolution of long-standing scarcity issues in digital art. When you can digitally copy virtual artwork, how can you preserve it? While there is bogus art in the real world as well, we can typically identify it.

The majority of the value of crypto art comes from digitally validating its legitimacy and ownership. We can’t verify we own the original CryptoPunk or Bored Ape because anyone can look at it on the Ethereum blockchain and download or store it. Another sought-after benefit of owning an NFT such as an XPUNK is the community aspect. Belonging to an exclusive group of like-minded individuals that have their own NFT ‘avatar’ creates a sense of belonging which is a desirable trait

With NFTs, the connected artwork isn’t always the most important factor. Sometimes, demonstrating ownership of a particular asset is more crucial. This feature is what makes crypto art one of the most widely used NFT applications. Furthermore, royalties can be incorporated into the NFT smart contract, providing a part of the sale back to the original artist, enabling artists to profit from the secondary sale of their virtual art.

NFTs Based on Real-World Assets

The use of NFTs to link real-world assets can help to digitize the way we show ownership. We often deal with physical property deeds in real estate, for example. Highly illiquid items (such as a house or land) can be moved onto the blockchain by creating tokenized digital assets of these deeds. Regulators haven’t been particularly supportive of this use thus far. It’s currently in the early stages of development, but it’s one to keep an eye on in the future.

When an item is tied to an NFT, owning the NFT can become just as valuable as owning the asset. With a physical cold storage wallet, you can even embed the NFT into an item. As the Internet of Things progresses, more NFTs will likely be utilized to represent real-world assets. Other real-word deployments include, viz:

  • Medical Records and Verification of Identity
  • Fashion and wearables
  • Licenses, certificates, IP, and patents
  • Ticketing
  • NFT community platforms


With NFTs’ expanding prominence, there’s a strong chance we’ll see many more ideas and use cases in the future. At the moment, not every NFT application has had enough time to develop beyond a concept or a short project. Some of them may turn out to be ineffective or unpopular. NFTs, on the other hand, are here to stay when it comes to more core and obvious issues like the scarcity of art and antiques.

Stefan Muriuki
Stefan Muriuki