Given the background on Collectible NFTs, what does the future hold? Here are my predictions for the collectible NFT space.
1) There will be a huge proliferation of Art
We are in the midst of a gold rush of speculation in NFTs. Tens of thousands of new artists and companies are creating every type of NFT imaginable, trying to copy previous NFTs that are successful in the hopes to make a quick buck. Art that once seemed unique is going to become commonplace. Didn’t get a CryptoPunk? You can now get a CryptoCorgi, a crypto weed-smoking-punk, a Crypto-Unicorn, you name it. Missed out on a unique Beeple NFT? You can now generate your own with a BeepleGenerator that generates new artwork in his style.
We are about to be inundated with every type of art (and copy of existing art) imaginable.
2) The bubble pops
The speculation bubble will pop as the price of bad art becomes worthless and the space gets inundated with artwork. What once was scarce will now be plentiful as thousands of great artists will put out hundreds of millions of interesting art-related NFTs. Aspiring entrepreneurs will use AI and computers to automatically generate millions more. (We are already seeing this!)
Like in the off-crypto world, the creator economy will trend towards a hit-driven industry. A few new artists will become super popular and wealthy, but the vast majority will struggle.
Do not underestimate human’s mimetic behavior. Due to our nature to copy each other, we tend to copy tastes. Once one artist becomes somewhat popular, chances are the popularity will boom. Likewise people’s tastes tend to revert en masse as well. Once one pop culture item goes out of vogue, it’s popularity can sink pretty quickly.
3) The big brands enter
On top of this, big brands are about to enter and will leverage their existing emotional connections with their customers. We have already seen the first example with NBA TopShots - selling video snippets of events as NFTs.
Imagine the Star Wars franchise selling NFTs of favorite moments of their series (or even planets from the storyline!). Imagine Harry Potter selling NFTs of individual wands. Imagine Disney creating NFTs for each frame of one of their movies. Are you a Disney fanatic who loves Elsa & Anna? One day, you can own the one Disney NFT frame of them from the movie throwing snowballs at each other. Disney has sold frames of their films and TV shows for years (until they went digital). Thousands of businesses that have an existing emotional connection (singers, movies, clothing brands) are going to be launching NFTs to leverage that connection.
4) Celebrities Enter the Fray
We’ve already seen a few celebrities dabble in NFTs of records and items. Expect that to explode as managers realize it as a new revenue stream to bind celebrities to their most avid fans.
- Imagine celebrities wearing a custom designed dress and then issuing NFTs of that item.
- Anytime a celebrity wears a new item, an NFT of that item is printed.
5) Collectible NFTs will mostly be linked to access
For most collectibles, the value of emotional connection will be superseded by access. Superfans like owning collectibles of their favorite artists, but they will value exclusive access to those artists and a private community of like-minded people even more. Expect Collectible NFTs to continue adding exclusive access to communities of other NFT holders and access to celebrities or artists via video chat, Ask Me Anythings, or other more intimate settings.
6) VR Clothing and Accessories Will Eventually Take Off In Virtual Worlds
Fortnite, Pokemon Go and dozens of other games have made hundreds of millions off of just selling different outfits as a way for players to express themselves. This trend is going to continue as virtual worlds start accepting artist creations as NFTs. Opening up a virtual world to artist creations will let platforms explode from dozens of designs to millions of unique designs. The platform will share in the proceeds, the creators will act as marketers boosting sales and members will be happier finding custom clothing that makes them completely unique in the virtual world. This is definitely going to happen in a future virtual world and the market will be huge.
How Should A Creator Capitalize on NFTs?
Be completely unique
In the next month or two thousands of artists will try their hands at NFTs creating very similar art to what has sold well. To succeed now creators need to be radically unique - either first in a new gimmick or technique or unique in a way that cannot be replicated.
For developers, create the “Hot Potato” NFT - an NFT of an ugly item that no one wants where you pay to have it moved from your wallet to someone else’s. Or a Rick-Roll NFT that you place into people's wallets. Or Create NFTs of existing open-sourced items that generate emotions. (Think NFTs of bible verses, or famous book characters).
Leverage your existing super-fans
Existing popular creators should be able to leverage their existing fanbase by creating NFTs and then selling them directly to the super-fans. New platforms are emerging to help these creators create NFTS of items and give access to their fans .
Join a popular collective
If you do not have an existing large fan base, try to join an existing platform or collective (like Foundation, The Most Famous Artist, etc...) where your work can be promoted. This may mean giving up the majority of proceeds but it is better than the alternatives. There will be so many new pieces of art thrown into NFTs in the coming months that it will be very hard to stand out and get distribution.
Create for Virtual Worlds
As people start interacting more and more with virtual worlds their desire to show off their individuality and status will skyrocket. There will be large opportunities for creators to create unique virtual items and clothing that allow customers to express themselves. A few new major digital brands will emerge from this.
And I'll add some other ideas for collectible NFTs:
Donor Badges as NFTS for non-profits
Donor’s love to be publicly recognized for their contributions. Imagine if in addition to any other promotions, a donor of $500 to a zoo or a museum gets an NFT commemorating that. The Donor could then showcase the history of all of their donations across multiple organizations via a wallet.
Taxes for NFTs
Tax companies may already have this, but there is going to be a customized tax program that can take in all NFTs purchased/sold and summarize the gains and losses for tax purposes.
Universal Platform for Clothing
At some point we will need a universal standard and 3d framework for virtual apparel so that consumers can buy an NFT of a unique piece of clothing and have it work across all virtual worlds. In one world it might be a dress; in another, it might be a sweater for your alien avatar. This type of decentralized cross-promotion of NFTs as potential to help build a virtuous cycle between both creators and platforms. (If you are interested in working on this, let me know!)
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