Once considered a fad phenomenon, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) show no signs of stopping. In fact, this new investment trend appears to be gaining in popularity. In fact, there were $2.5 billion in NFT sales in the first half of 2021, according to Forbes, and $1.2 billion just in the month of July. Clearly, NFTs have expanded well beyond cute digital penguins.
NFTs are digital assets representing ownership of virtual items, such as computerized art and sports highlights. They’ve been around since 2014, but NFTs have hit it big recently. Christie’s rocked the auction world in March of 2021 with their record-setting $69 million sale of the digital work by Beeple.
Several big names are jumping on the NFT bandwagon. Tom Brady’s Autograph provides a way a way for fans and collectors to own a piece of iconic moments in sports and entertainment, for example. The platform will sell authenticated and official digital collectibles from high profile athletes, such as the football legend’s friend Derek Jeter, hockey star Wayne Gretzky, and 1980s skateboard legend, Tony Hawk. Other notable athletes have signed on as well, such as G.O.A.T Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, Tiger Woods, and more.
Major brands are now acquiring popular NFTs. Following a number of household brands, such as Snickers, Milky Way, Axe, Slim Jim, Burger King, Oscar Mayer, Budweiser entered the world of digital art collecting with its first purchase of art pieces created by Tom Sachs. The artwork, named “Life of the Party,” depicts a rocket made from the Budweiser logo and sold for just over $25,000.
Several big names, such as Gucci and Burberry, are offering limited-edition items exclusively on blockchain. Gucci partnered with Christie’s to present its first NFT: a digital drawing inspired by the brand’s latest fashion film presentation of the spring 2021 collection, “Gucci Aria,” directed by Alessandro Michele and Floria Sigismondi. By the auction’s close on June 3rd, the NFT fetched $25,000.
On August 4, 2021, Luxury clothing brand Burberry introduced its non-fungible token (NFT) collection in Blankos Block Party, a popular blockchain game by Mythical Games. The game features NFT vinyl toys, known as Blankos, that users can collect, upgrade, and sell. Burberry will release a limited-edition, limited-quantity Burberry Blanko – a shark named Sharky B – for the game. Burberry will launch its own branded in-game NFT accessories, such as a jetpack, pool shoes and armbands that players can apply to any Blanko they own. Burberry Blankos not only provide a way for players to up their style, they also pave the way for player ownership in gaming.
Decentraland is a user-owned virtual world in which participants can game, build marketplaces, and even attend NFT art shows. Decentraland also offers wearables for avatars, such as cat eyes, a creepy mouth, patchwork sweaters, hats, pants, and earrings. NFTs can allow users to move in-game items, such as wearables, from game to game. Someone could win a new skin for an avatar in one game, for example, and transfer the skin to a different avatar in a different game.
The new generation of NFTs also make it possible to create and maintain a persistent identity across multiple games and even across multiple platforms. Many platforms allow you to create a unique avatar for each game you want to play. Unified identities could replace the slew of avatars with a single identity, one that allows other users to recognize you between the various games and platforms.
Investors are taking notice of NFTs. Mark Cuban took a stake in the Singapore-based startup, Alethea AI, which is creating “intelligent” versions of NFTs. Users can embed AI animation, interaction, and even voice synthesis into digital art. The company sold one intelligent NFT (iNFT) at a Sotheby’s auction in June for $478,000. The iNFT, named Alice, answered questions in real-time in a live Twitter feed just before the sale. Today’s iNFTs are fun and entertaining today, they also lay the foundation for unimaginable interactivity tomorrow.
NFTs are also funding television shows and movies. An NFT project will fund Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher’s upcoming show, Stoner Cats, in which big names like Chris Rock, Jane Fonda, and Seth MacFarlane provide voiceovers to a cast of mischievous cartoon felines. The new series is only available to NFT holders, who snapped up more than 10,000 NFTs in just over 35 minutes at the end of August, 2021. The sale raised more than $8.4 million.
On Aug. 23, Visa announced that it had purchased Crypto Punk #7610 for just under $150,000. Why? Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa and an NFT enthusiast, says that the company believes “NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment, and commerce.” He says that NFTs will also make it easier for companies to pay their partners across borders.
While corporations are raking in big revenues with NFTs, smaller entrepreneurs are also benefiting. Benyamin Ahmed earned more than $255,000 in a single day from his second NFT collection, Weird Whales. Ahmed earned another $95,000 from the resale market. Not bad for a 12-year-old! This budding coder is already working on another NFT project.
Young coders like Ahmed and big investors will change how we use NFTs. While it is hard to imagine what NFTs will look like in the future, one thing is for certain – NFTs are more than just a passing phase.
ABOUT FRANK MAGLIOCHETTI
Frank Magliochetti owes his professional success to his expertise in two areas: medicine and finance. After obtaining a BS in pharmacy from Northeastern University, he stayed on to enroll in the Masters of Toxicology program. He later specialized in corporate finance, receiving an MBA from The Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University. His educational background includes completion of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and the General Management Program at Stanford Business School. Frank Magliochetti has held senior positions at Baxter International, Kontron Instruments, Haemonetics Corporation, and Sandoz. Since 2000, he has been a managing partner at Parcae Capital, where he focuses on financial restructuring and interim management services for companies in the healthcare, media, and alternative energy industries. Last year, he was appointed chairman of the board at Grace Health Technology, a company providing an enterprise solution for the laboratory environment.
Frank is the CEO of ClickStream, ClickStream’s business operations are focused on the development and implementation of apps that disrupt such as WinQuik™, a free to play synchronized mobile app and digital gaming platform. The platform is designed to enable WinQuik™ users to have fun, interact and compete against each other in order to win real money and prizes. Twitter at @ClickstreamC @WinQuikApp, Nifter™, a music NFT marketplace that allows recording artists to create and sell limited edition authenticated NFTs, and their ever expanding foreign language exchange social learning app @HeyPalApp.
Frank was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Designer Genomics International, Inc. The Company has accumulated a growing body of evidence that highlights a link between alterations in the immune and inflammatory systems and the development of chronic human disease. The Company is visionary and has established itself as a leader in the field of inflammatory and immune genetic DNA and RNA biomarkers that play a causative role in debilitating conditions, such as atherosclerosis/heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and cancer.
A proprietary state-of-the art data mining bioinformatics program, called ‘cluster analysis’ will be used to measure disease development susceptibility with potential for earlier diagnosis and intervention. The company is developing a healthcare program based on its proprietary genetic panels that will allow people to be their own healthcare advocate and take an active role in their health status as well as longevity.
Frank is a highly sought after multifaceted senior C level executive.