The astronomical growth in NFTs is a signal that the world is moving towards the metaverse, the idea of a digital world that contains everything — from digital assets like NFTs to the trading of goods and services on the blockchain. This growth will be further accelerated when Facebook’s metaverse will roll out.
The rise of NFTs also means that the value of digital assets is steadily growing in comparison to real-world assets. As trading cryptocurrencies becomes more mainstream, NFTs will slowly become more mainstream and popular. After all, the idea that we can digitalize anything from commodities that have intrinsic monetary value to even experiences is something entirely new.
NFT sales on OpenSea, the world’s first and largest NFT platform, exploded at the start of 2021, reaching about $95 million in February and climbing up to $150 million by June. However, the current bearish trends in the cryptocurrency market are also being reflected in the NFT market. Despite that, OpenSea still remains the top NFT marketplace, with a trading volume of $637.85 million and a 1.98% fall in the number of traders on the platform. Axie Infinity comes in second place, with a trading volume of $60.03 million and a 12.46% fall in the number of traders. Coming in at third place is Solana’s Magic Eden, which has a current trading volume of $51.03 million and has seen a rise in NFT traders by 12.7%.
Taking a glimpse at the top-3 NFT collections in the past week, it’s surprising that CryptoPunks isn’t even on the top-10 list. The first spot is held by the “CloneX RTFKT x Murakami” collection with a trading volume of $131.08 million and more than 3700 traders. Coming in at second place is the “Axie Infinity” collection, with a trading volume of $83.72 million after falling 26% this week. In third place is “adidas Originals Into the Metaverse,” with a volume of $44.42 million. The bearish crypto market trends have reduced the trading volume and number of traders for both the top NFT marketplaces and top NFT collections.
Lotte Cinema in South Korea Gives Out Free NFTs
As a result of this hype, many industries are jumping on the NFT bandwagon. One of them is a cinema in South Korea called Lotte Cinema. It is giving out free NFTs for people who have booked tickets to the latest Matrix movie, “The Matrix 4,” the successor to the Matrix trilogy.
Partnered with Warner Bros. and the NFT tech startup called W.CRAFT, Lotte Cinema will give out ‘secret codes’ to those who have booked tickets for the movie. Users can then go to W.CRAFT’s webpage, enter the code, and redeem the NFT for free.
The NFTs will contain 3D characters and symbols in The Matrix 4. Although the NFTs won’t be tradeable for now, Lotte Cinema plans on giving out tradeable NFTs in the near future. Apparently, the cinema industry has started using the hype of NFTs to its leverage by incentivizing NFT enthusiasts to buy movie tickets.
The cinema industry isn’t the only industry that’s leveraging the growth of NFTs. While NFTs were initially launched on platforms like OpenSea, Rarible, and Mintable, where users could only trade NFTs like cryptocurrencies, they have gone through a gradual evolution where they’re now incorporated within games and other interactive applications.
Voodoo Sets Eyes on Developing Blockchain-Based Games
Users can now play blockchain-based games to not only trade NFTs but also earn cryptocurrencies as a reward. Numerous companies have opened up to the idea of blockchain-based gaming. Platforms like Axie Infinity have grown exponentially and offer a place where gamers can buy and sell NFTs to progress in the game.
Voodoo is a similar platform that’s working on blockchain-based gaming. Currently, Voodoo is known for its hyper-casual games such as Crowd City and Helix Jump. The company has seen remarkable success over the past few years. In total, Voodoo’s games have over 5 billion downloads. However, these games aren’t built on the blockchain, which means users can’t trade NFTs on them or earn crypto rewards while playing the games. That’s why Voodoo wants to develop blockchain-based games. In the pursuit of doing so, it claimed that it would secure a $200 million investment in the coming years.
Voodoo is on a skyward trajectory as it already has ten studios dedicated to making blockchain-powered games and has set eyes on opening 20 more. In 2021 alone, it acquired eight gaming studios. It’s also very likely that Voodoo will, at some point in the near future, allow NFT trading in its games, especially considering that it will acquire a $200 million investment.
It’s difficult to tell what kind of model Voodoo will employ on its blockchain-based games. It’s very likely that it will follow the existing trend, i.e., the play-to-earn model that’s being used by major NFT gaming platforms like Axie Infinity. With play-to-earn, gamers can earn cryptocurrency or win NFTs playing the game.
Dr. Seuss Enters the New World of NFTs
While interactive games have been an important medium to trade NFTs on the blockchain, an equally important medium for the NFT industry is brands. In simple words, brands are NFT stores or collections like Beeple and the Bored Ape Yacht Club, names that have become synonymous with one of the most expensive digital art that exists today. A similar brand jumping into the NFT market is the NFT startup Tibles.
Tibles, which has also previously invested in Dapper Labs, has rolled out Seuss-themed NFTs on the Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain. The NFTs are themed after iconic characters like Grinch and Cat in the Hat, called ‘Seussibles.’ Seussibles make up an entire collection of NFTs that can be bought in packs, starting at $4.99. Tibles’s NFTs are likely to become very popular among young audiences but apparently not, because the app requires the user to be over 18 years of age, which means it will probably be the parents who will do most of the buying.
Melania Trump Wants To Ride the NFT Wave
Although NFTs still seem quite alien to many people, they are making their way into the mainstream rapidly. NFTs have become so hyped that even celebrities and political figures want in on the fun. Logan Paul, a famous American YouTuber, and Grimes, a Canadian musician, have made millions selling NFTs to their following. Stars like Justin Bieber and BTS have also entered the NFT world, but perhaps the most interesting entrance is that of Melania Trump.
On December 16, 2021, Melania Trump, the former First Lady of the United States and the wife of former President Donald Trump, announced that she is launching an NFT platform that’s exclusively accessible on melaniatrump.com, and will host a range of NFTs that embody Melania’s passion for art.
Her first NFT is called “Melania’s vision,” which is a watercolor painting of her cobalt blue eyes. It also includes an audio recording called “the message of hope,” personally recorded by Melania. The message reiterates Melania’s ‘Be Best’ campaign, a campaign that focuses on fostering the well-being of youth and standing up against cyberbullying. Sales from her collection will go toward furthering Melania’s ‘Be Best’ campaign.
“Melania’s Vision” costs $150 and is available for purchase until December 31, 2021. Payments can be made through Solana (SOL) since Melania’s NFT venture will be powered by the Solana blockchain, and through credit cards on MoonPay. Melania also stated she will be rolling out new NFTs regularly starting from January 2022.