Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have a wide range of real-world applications across different industries; gaming, healthcare, ticketing, fashion, real estate, and more.
It’s not just about expensive Bored Apes jpegs or extrinsic artwork —it’s blockchain technology that allows NFTs to be put to practical use in different fields, which can consequently increase their growth and large-scale adoption.
NFTs can be anything: videos, images, artworks, and real-life assets, so in this article, let’s see how they can apply to the real world.
1. Real Estate: Buy and Sell NFT Property
The real estate market can have high entry barriers and many intermediaries —notaries, banks, lawyers, and estate agents— that add up to the expenses of buying and selling property.
Through smart contracts, NFTs can ease the burden by providing and verifying the ownership and rights of a property. Through a peer-to-peer process, they can accelerate the buying/selling of property both in the real and digital worlds.
For example, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington sold his Kyiv apartment as an NFT through an auction carried out by real estate platform Propy.
NFT real estate has emerged as an alternative for investors in the digital world. Through blockchain-based virtual worlds such as Decentraland and the Sandbox, users can buy, sell and lease land plots directly in the form of NFTs. What’s more, NFTs allow fractional ownership of a property, meaning that one part of a house, for example, can be put up for sale or rent, allowing average investors to have exposure to the real estate market, digitally or in real life.
2. NFT Ticketing – Revolutionizing Event Management
The ticketing system is rife with fraudulent tickets, excessive commission fees, and ticket scalping (reselling tickets), which is illegal in many countries. These two problems can cause massive delays at security checkpoints during sports events, concerts, or festivals. While there are barcodes or QR code-based tickets, these can be falsified.
Several NFT marketplaces offer NFT-based ticketing solutions for the music, sports, and entertainment industries. Unlike their counterparts, NFT tickets use QR codes that can’t be falsified, thanks to the immutable and transparent nature of the blockchain.
An example is YellowHeart, an NFT marketplace that offers NFT tickets through its mobile app. These tickets come with a QR code that ensures only redeemed tickets are validated, and only the owner can redeem them. The QR code is verified via Polygon, the Ethereum sidechain, eliminating the need for intermediaries.
NFT tickets make room for innovation for all parties. For example, artists and sports clubs can engage directly with their fans by allowing ticket holders to unlock exclusive content and announce airdrops or NFT collectibles from their favorite teams or artists.
3. Music and Tokenized Albums
Similar to our previous point, NFTs allow artists to generate better revenue on resale royalties instead of music labels acting as intermediaries and taking a huge commission fee. This is because blockchain enables musicians to keep track of all resales on their albums.
They can also integrate exclusive content within the tokenized versions of their albums, such as never before seen content and other revenue streams.
This way, fans have actual ownership of the songs or albums, unlike music platforms or retailers, who only provide them the right to listen to the song.
4. NFTs in Gaming
The concept of game collectibles is nothing new in an industry with over 2 billion active players worldwide. But, let’s face it: players don’t actually own their in-game collectibles. The gaming industry went from publishers creating and selling video games to creating in-game economies that exaggeratedly benefit the developers with little room for gamers.
This is why NFTs are a perfect match for players who want to own —and not the developers— in-game assets, verify their provenance and authenticity, and sell them in exchange for cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain-based Play-to-Earn (P2E) video games like Axie Infinity are good examples. In P2E games, users can transfer their in-game assets to other players for profit or just move them to their third-party wallets, unlike traditional centralized institutions.
5. NFTs in the Healthcare Industry
Hospital records are sensitive data that patients usually have little to no control over. This is a massive problem coming from the current healthcare system, in which patients don’t know where their health information ends up after being collected and can be sold or exchanged without their consent.
Simply put, NFTs can apply to medical data by giving patients the right to own their health information. This allows them to track their data and decide whether or not they want to sell it, by themselves, of course. In addition, medical professionals can access tokenized health records whenever necessary to provide patients with the proper treatment they need.
Source of supply, sudden labor shortages, logistic issues, equipment availability. These are a few pain points that the supply chain industry deals with —and they were heavily accentuated with the advent of COVID-19 in 2020.
Let’s use car manufacturers as an example. Cars are complex machines with thousands of parts integrated within. These parts are shipped worldwide, but if just one piece is missing, the manufacturer cannot complete its production, and the entire facility will halt.
NFTs can address these issues by creating a token ID embedded into an item through its lifespan. This allows participants to track the provenance of the item, its quantity, condition, current location, and more. NFTs can also reduce information discrepancy, reassuring product reliability.
Closing Thoughts – NFTs and Real-World Use Cases
NFTs might be in their infancy but can potentially remap the landscape for different industries on a global scale. As time passes, more investors, musicians, and the average individual are acknowledging the advantages of NFTs and blockchain over traditional systems, which offer little innovation or practical solutions to current problems regarding ownership, identity, data collection, and more.
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