NFTs have seen explosive growth in usage in 2021. OpenSea has had more volume than Uniswap at times and the numbers are astonishing. Another interesting point is that NFT floor prices do not correlate with the crypto markets sentiment. Whether the prices were falling or rising, the NFTs growth is untouchable.
Still, there are many unexplored areas & applications of NFTs that we are yet to see, which can lead to further expansion. There are also some possible uses that are well known but hard to build. For example, NFTs as collateral for borrowing stablecoins or lending NFTs on-chain. We will now explore some of these ideas in more detail here:
No-code tools for creating NFT collections
Right now, most of the projects manually code smart contracts for their NFT collections, but the development cost is very expensive. Most ERC-721 contracts are very similar, so automating this into a 1-click tool with a few settings for metadata and royalties would be a game-changer. There have been some attempts, but it’s inevitable we see some very good solutions in 2022.
Audio/Music NFT support & tools
The most popular marketplace OpenSea is centered around visual art NFTs. That fits well for profile picture collections, generative art, and photography, but it’s not suited for audio files at all. There is definitely a place for a new contender.
All the existing tooling for NFTs is based on visual art. So, there is a lot of unexplored space here to adapt existing tools or make new ones better suited for audio/music NFTs.
If you are interested in this field take a look at Sound.xyz and Catalog.
Play to Earn Games
There are already some pretty successful gaming projects out there that use NFTs and ERC20 tokens well. In these projects both the team behind the game and the players benefitted immensely. Although we have also seen a lot of big gaming studios abandon integrating NFTs into their games after community pushback. Mostly because of concerns of energy use of the current blockchains.
This is only a temporary issue until Etherem switches to Proof of Stake and even now we have some zero-emissions protocols that are very viable solutions too. But this gives an even larger opportunity for crypto-native gaming studios to saturate the market with their games and AAA studios will later have to play catch-up with them.
Play to earn is a new concept and we have just seen the first success stories. Better scalability of blockchains is required to enable truly interactive games. Only then we can expect it might have a chance of going mainstream.
Games are playable only on chosen chains so you can check which ones are hot right now on DappRadar.
NFT Lending & Renting
Liquidity is an issue with many NFT collections. Collectors can sell their NFTs on various marketplaces but that takes time sometimes. So any kind of instant liquidity for recognized NFT collections will have a huge market to grab.
Another interesting application is renting NFTs to someone else. There is already a market for this in the gaming space where you usually require an NFT to play the game. Usually, these player NFTs cost quite a bit, and to be able to rent them trustlessly, on-chain will be a great boon for growing the popularity of these kinds of games.
NFTs renting products will become much more attractive when protocols open the door for uncollateralized NFTs loans. Then the borrower doesnt have to stake a more significant amount of tokens to secure the loan. For this to be possible, NFT platforms have implemented the dept position logic on their contracts to guarantee the return of the NFT after the loan expires.
Stock photo websites are very popular among photographers for cashing in on their work. These existing platforms take considerable fees from both the buyer and the seller. Using blockchain technology to distribute photo ownership with unlockable full resolution photos for NFT owners seems like an interesting application we haven’t yet seen in full glory.
Up and coming project: 0xphotos
Metaverse – the 3rd dimension
Metaverse worlds are just starting out and new players are entering the market constantly. NFTs are the deeds of ownership for the land in these digital 3D worlds and this is already well established.
Also displaying NFTs in gallery-like environments is hot right now for digital art collectors, check OnCyber to get the idea. With better VR/AR headsets on the horizon, we might see even more demand for unique applications like these.