How NFTs Will Change the World in 2022: 5 Key Trends

How NFTs Will Change the World in 2022: 5 Key Trends

How NFTs Will Change the World in 2022: 5 Key Trends

*This is in partnership with BloombergQuint Brand Studio

Two months into 2022 and there have been disruptions of a seismic scale in the global arena. Hopefully, peace will prevail soon, but one thing is for certain though: The complete shift to digital is coming to fruition in a massive way with digital marketplaces as well as virtual real estate aka the metaverse. Alongside the ever-growing prominence of crypto and the growth in NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), the 2022 landscape of virtual markets, digital assets, and the way we interact with others will be radically different from the past.

NFTs are fast becoming the most visible flagbearers of this change. While the global NFT market saw over $23 billion in trading volume in 2021, back in 2020 the number was just $250 million worth of transactions. The growth has been humungous. When WazirX launched its NFT marketplace, 15,000 artists and creators applied to join the platform even before it launched. Ever superstar Amitabh Bachchan became the first Indian public figure to roll out his own NFT collection.

As NFTs go from strength to strength, here are the key NFT trends to watch out for in 2022:

1. State of the Art

The meteoric rise of NFTs in the art world has inevitably sparked debate about what makes art valuable, the nature of ownership, and, perhaps most crucially, what we can expect in 2022 and beyond.

The appeal of digital art resurfaced when digital artist Beeple's Everydays: The First 5000 Days was sold for a record-breaking US$69 million as an NFT. This is because with NFTs, for the first time in history, the origin and ownership of digital data can be verified and tracked using blockchain technology.

Buying and selling fractionalized NFTs of real-world artwork by prominent painters appears to be the trend for 2022, with fractionalized NFTs making it possible to invest in high-value crypto assets for a fraction of the cost.

Indian artists are also making a splash in the NFT art scene; February 2022 saw artist Gobardhan Ash hold the first-ever NFT auction in the country. More and more art fans as well as investors are starting look closely at this $50 billion annual industry/opportunity.

2. Diving into the Metaverse

2021 saw gaming as the second most prominent area of development for NFTs. With blockchain-based play-to-earn games that reward players with in-game assets, NFTs have ushered in a new era in gaming, as they represent the first time that gamers are actually the owners of their assets, which they may sell on NFT marketplaces for a profit.

Axie Infinity, leveraging both NFTs and cryptocurrencies, was one of the most popular games in 2021. Axie's NFT market surpassed $1 billion in trading volume, and daily active player count surpassed 1 million. Axie also tokenized its characters, needing players to purchase at least three Axie NFTs before they can begin playing.

With a gaming population of over 300 million and one of the largest crypto markets in the world, it’s only a matter of time before we witness a NFT gaming revolution in India.

3. Raise the Fundraising Bar

Wherever there are mind-boggling sums of money, big investors, and prized items up for grabs, there is always some room for charity. With the world coming to terms with the benefits of tokenization, fundraising has emerged as a necessary outcome of NFTs.

Using smart contracts to design NFTs to automatically donate money to a good cause with each transaction opens up even more charitable opportunities. Blockchain technology secures NFTs and smart contract algorithms by providing a transparent, publicly traceable database that ensures funds reach selected charity organizations. In addition, crypto-based charitable payments have lower transaction fees and near-instant reimbursements as well.

4. Social Communities

Have you recently seen a sudden rise in Instagram or Twitter profile pictures being some variation of a monkey, a giraffe, or some funky rendition of an animal? You can chalk that one to NFTs going mainstream as well.

January 2022 saw Twitter announce that users can now swap their profile pictures as NFTs, while Meta jumped on that bandwagon almost immediately. To overcome the problem of ‘right click and save’, social media companies are coming up with some sort of badge to differentiate between uploaded pictures and NFTs verified inside the user’s cryptocurrency wallet.

This has also given rise to exclusive metaverse social clubs and communities, with owning the same artist’s NFT being the common denominator. The Shiboshis Social Club—an exclusive private club for Shiboshi NFT owners—is a metaverse social club with a collection of over 10,000 NFTs. Other NFT collections, such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), provide social benefits to their members. NFTs will drive social events of the future.

5. Disrupting Industries

Owing to the key NFT feature of tokenization of tangible assets, there are a lot of traditional industries that face major blockchain disruption in the near future.

Music and movies are two of the biggest industries touted for a makeover from the impact of NFTs. Listeners will be able to drop in and respond or release their own music on platforms in and across the metaverse. NFTs on the blockchain will reward audiences with perks such as early releases and bonus tracks.

Meanwhile, streaming has dramatically transformed content distribution in both showbusiness and music. NFTs have opened up a whole new channel to market, merchandise and crowdfund film and television projects.