Companies, institutions, artists or even sports clubs, more and more of them are imagining the NFT as an object of utility, passport or access key, well beyond the mere use of the collection that has been widespread for just over a year. .
Drawings of monkeys (the Bored Monkeys), the line of the first tweet ever posted or the animation of a Donald Trump naked in the grass, here are some of the NFTs that have each sold for millions of dollars since the beginning of 2021, under the eyes of a large fascinated and circumspect audience. Non-fungible tokens, unique and tamper-proof digital objects, have opened a new collection market into which tens of billions of dollars have flowed.
However, “NFTs are very rudimentary at the moment”explains Sandy Khaund, founder of the start-up Credenza. For him, beyond the world of art, “They don’t have many functions, utilities”. “Most are monkeys or useless stuff”, Juan Otero, general manager of the online travel site Travala abounds, in reference to the famous Bored Monkeys. Starbucks, which will soon be launching its own NFTs, sees it more as a “Programmable active, which can also be pass”.
Possession of a non-fungible token with the colors of the coffee giant will open access “Unique advantages”, as well as a “community”, a new vision of a blockchain-based loyalty program. This technology, on which cryptocurrencies and NFTs are based, allows the same module to be used for different applications.
On the institutional side, last July, the small Republic of San Marino, in the heart of Italy, launched a vaccination passport against the coronavirus, behind which an NFT was hiding. While the European digital Covid certificate was designed for the European Union, this passport had to be verified everywhere, without requiring a dedicated mobile app.
A “Madness guaranteed thanks to rarity”
Credenza, for its part, is being discussed with sports teams and leagues to implement a vision of the NFT in the Swiss army knife version, adapted to new uses. NFT and blockchain are “accessible in multiple universes, whether you want to go to an NBA game in the hall or a concert in the metaverse”illustrates Sandy Khaund, referring to this digital universe in which one can lead a virtual existence, like in video games Roblox Where is it Minecraft.
Jenn McMillen, of the marketing firm Fire, also cites the example of the indie rock band Kings of Leon. As part of the NFT version of his album When you see yourselfissued eight “golden tickets” which each guaranteed four front row seats for all future tours of the band.
“If you are a brandexplains Jenn McMillen, think about the most desirable experiences, the most exclusive access, or something that is sure to go viral and wrap it up in an NFT all accesses. It will be insanity guaranteed thanks to the rarity “.
Among the most successful examples is the Travala travel booking platform, which boasts over 300,000 monthly active users. In January, the site, which was already accepting cryptocurrency payments, launched the Travel Tiger loyalty program. On the surface, each of the 1,000 NFTs distributed to the platform’s customers is a digital drawing of a tiger, reminiscent of bored monkeys. But it’s associated with a number of privileges, from admission to exclusive events, in the real world and the metaverse, to discounts or loyalty points.
With Travel Tigers, Travala’s ambition is not to generate revenue, but to create loyalty. “It is a question of retaining these users, who continue to use the platform”, admits Juan Otero. Despite the attention they generate, “It will probably take two to three years for NFTs to reach the general public and traditional businesses.”, admits the co-founder of Travala. But “when will the next wave come”announces, together with that of the metaverse and Web3 (new decentralized version of the Internet), “I think it will be unprecedented”.