$25 billion. That’s the value of the total NFTs sold in 2021. From cartoon pictograms, rare videos, exquisite art, and avatars, the Non-fungible Token market buzzed throughout the year.
The art world took the lion’s share of this stash, with auction houses and marketplaces trading NFTs with simple yet unique characteristics. One NFT art from Beeple fetched a whopping $69.3 million at a Christie’s sale.
2021 was also the year where fashion labels and multi-conglomerates cashed in on the blockchain and started exploring the world of NFT, with Coca-Cola, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton bringing their form of digital tokens.
NFT sales in 2021 totaled $24.9 billion, in contrast to the $94.9 million the year before; it was a 250% increase, according to DappRadar. But there are concerns about whether the trend is slowing down or have we reached the saturation point in NFTs in 2022?
What would the future of NFTs be?
Earlier in May, Wall Street Journal brought out a concerning insight, showing signs that the NFT sales curve is flattening, leaving many with questions to answer. The most important of them was ‘whether we’ve reached a saturation point with NFTs?’ or, ‘Has the NFTs lost their flair for innovation?’
NFTs are unmodified digital assets that are unique and hold a distinctive value traded on the blockchain. The NFT sales curve flattening felt a little concerning with Wall Street Journal’s review, but it does not consider that the reported transactions are significantly higher than what goes on the record.
Today, we are at the crossroads of something bigger and better for the NFTs – the next level in NFTs. The last two years have seen significant progress and key technological developments in digital ownership, and several trends have come to light in line with this progression. The new wave of NFTs is also seeing major brands and luxury brands evaluating NFTs as the authentication token for their products to protect them from fraud and counterfeits. Also, with the Metaverse development plans accelerating, there is no way that NFTs are slowing down.
The three pillars of NFTs
NFTs are woven around three primary pillars – community, culture, and utility. When looking out for NFTs, they can combine all three of these items or only one aspect, and we can easily see these in action today.
For example, Bored Ape Yacht Club, or CryptoPunks, two of the highest grossing NFT collections in the open marketplace, are vivid examples of community. CryptoPunks have then proceeded to bring in the NFTs as a cultural attraction and incorporate utility and gaming to take the innovation forward.
Other NFT projects provide greater functionality – both in the metaverse and in real life. Alcohol-based NFTs are one such venture where NFTs are used to validate and authenticate restricted items that hold value. This also entails the creation of a selected group of individuals to claim intellectual property for the physical good and ensure that the ownership is tracked.
Especially with luxury goods, this is usually the case, and NFTs can help trace back the ownership and limit it to a selected class.
In a similar level of authenticity and innovation, the future of art is in the NFTs.
Art and NFTs
Art is an ever-evolving industry with time and movements; with its disruptive nature, it envisions expression. However, along the lines of progression, the biggest leaps forward in the industry have come with NFTs. NFTs are not just providing a new model for artists to express themselves but are also coming to challenge the stereotypical practices in the industry that aim to disrupt them.
NFTs are changing how individuals can purchase art and the medium of expression. One of the main drivers that impact the change in the art sphere is the innovativeness of the NFTs. There are limitless possibilities that the industry is now exploring.
Recognition & Patronage
A rising trend in the industry is how there is patronage and recognition for the artists, and blockchain technology enables artists to be reimbursed for their work directly. This results in better recognition and patronage for art. Artists no longer need to seek corporate approval and spend years making a reputation for building a steady income stream. Instead, they can showcase the work they want to produce directly to their audience.
Utility is another avenue that is closely looked upon in the NFT arena. Beyond the promise of a digital collectible, today, there is a growing movement for additional utility for the token owners, where several benefits are looked beyond the digital token.
With this in mind, projects and movements have collaborated to bring benefits and usages beyond the metaverse. These added layers increase functionality and the value of the art, encompassing the features of the NFT ecosystem, including blockchain security, verifiable ownership, and smart contracts.
Ikona is one such initiative that uses the NFT ecosystem, building a brand new ecosystem, procuring art, and ensuring that the true passionate admirers own art. In other words, Ikona is an art gallery on the blockchain that provides you ownership of valuable art pieces on the metaverse and in real life.
The True Collector’s passion
While NFTs have expanded from being just digital collectibles, Ikona comes into play to be a modern-day art gallery that procures art for you and uses NFTs as a source of authentication and verification.
The concept behind Ikona is to be able to have the painting physically with you and also ensure that you own the art on the metaverse. Tagged to the Polygon blockchain, the process of ownership is quite straightforward.
Ikona takes special interest and care in procuring some of the most exquisite pieces worldwide through mutual contracts with the original owners. The art is then tokenized, and its rarity is decided. Next, when you purchase art, where you may be, you will receive the NFT and the real-life copy.
The print will be delivered to you, and in the meantime, the token will also make its way. On the print, you will find a scannable code to verify the authenticity so that you can trace the ownership easily.
Through this system, your art holds value, and the chances of you getting hold of a counterfeit are highly less. The same applies at the time of sale as well. You will need to deliver or transport the physical art and send it across the NFT through the blockchain when you want to sell.
The new owner could be anywhere across the world, and since you are transacting on the blockchain, you can easily verify and send the art to someone who appreciates art just like you. The new owner could scan the NFC tag on the art to verify if he’s got the correct work.
Building an ecosystem
There are also plans to create a unique token woven around this ecosystem to create an added benefit for the holders of art through the Icons of America art collection. This token, called the Authenticity token, is a special in-house concept like the original photo’s digital negative.
The owners of the NFTs will be entitled to receive the token and thereby be eligible to receive profit from every artwork sold by Ikona. A percentage of the sale will always be proportionately distributed among the existing holders of the token.
The token plans are currently in the planning phase and will be released towards the end of the year.
Changing how we own art
Earlier, the ownership of art was a limited niche, and gaining access was a troublesome affair with several questions of originality, access, and reliability. Ikona tries to address these issues and bring a solution that could become the model the entire world could adopt going forward.
As we look forward to 2025, innovative NFTs will be the only ones that will thrive on being successful. In this narrative, the proposition of what projects like Ikona bring with their Icons of America art collective is beyond impressive.
Read more about Ikona here and stay updated about their roadmap here.