Aside from the success of play-to-earn games and avatar projects such as Bored Apes, non-fungible tokens are also beginning to have an impact on other industries.
In this post, we uncover a handful of fledgling use cases that could one day require almost all enterprises to hold and manage NFTs in their day-to-day operations.
Almost every company has a website. But what if it doubled as a login to decentralized applications and a wallet address for trading crypto assets?
Ethereum developers and crypto companies (including Qredo) have been scooping up Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domains to get ahead of this trend.
These ENS domains are but one example of NFT domains, which today mostly act as a human-friendly tag for easy transacting, but have the potential to become broader blockchain-based decentralized digital identities.
(Oh, and it's Qredo.eth, in case you were wondering!)
The immensely popular Bored Ape Yacht Club has proved an important NFT use case: non counterfeitable online membership cards that grant holders special permissions.
Several companies have used NFTs in this way to control access to real-world clubs and organizations, sell subscriptions, and give customers exclusive perks — simply by connecting their wallet.
For example, Gary Vaynerchuk's VeeFriends project holds special events for NFT holders, while the Crypto Packaged Goods community gives NFT holders access to deal flow and other benefits without the friction of supplying personal data or inputting forgettable passwords.
Opaque supply chains are on the way out. Consumers today want to be assured that their coffee is coming from sustainable plantations, and not from exploited farmers relying on child labour.
Public blockchains and NFTs can make supply chains almost completely transparent. Anyone can peer into the blockchain ledger to view a completely immutable record of the journey from production to sale, and NFTs can act as digital certificates of authenticity for each item.
The industry in which this idea has gained the most traction is high-end fashion, where
luxury brands including Prada and Cartier have formed a blockchain consortium to issue NFTs that authenticate the origins of watches and handbags. Elsewhere in the same market, brands such as Swissborg have been experimenting with NFTs to authenticate secondary trading.
Another of the unique qualities that make Bored Apes so successful is that — unlike most other NFT collections — each Ape comes with intellectual property rights, enabling owners to legally use their avatar to make unique merch.
This speaks to another broader use case: using NFTs to manage intellectual property rights (IP).
IBM and IPwe have been experimenting with using NFTs to help businesses manage the ownership of trademarks and patent applications, a use case that promises to introduce greater transparency and security in the transfer of IP ownership, and could potentially help automate royalties and related revenue streams.
Much like the hype of the ICO craze was gradually replaced with more sustainable token-based fundraising, we could expect to see NFTs follow a similar trajectory as alternative use cases come to the fore.
As critical components of the enterprise inventory, NFTs will then need to be managed as carefully as the corporate treasury; governance must be aligned with organizational structures, and institutional-grade security put in place to protect against hacks, internal errors, and insider threats.
Through Qredo's groundbreaking integration with MetaMask Institutional, organizations of all sizes are taking secure independent custody of their NFTs across multiple different blockchains. Get in touch today to find out how we can help your organization.