The idea of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) did raise some eyebrows, but the kind of show it has put up in the year 2021, or before is quite commendable. Let’s talk stats, the NFT trading volume added to almost $11 billion in Q3, per week NFT sales touch millions, OpenSea’s trade is surmounted over 800 per cent, the most expensive NFT was sold for $532 million; these numbers are just the tip of the iceberg, there is a lot that NFT has to offer this year as well. As we usher into 2022, we will surely see NFT growing beyond imagination. As it does, we find the trends that will get leverage in 2022 and beyond.

1. The confluence of metaverse and NFTs

“We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet. We’ll be able to feel present – like we’re right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are,” said Mark Zuckerberg when he unveiled metaverse. So, when it comes to metaverse – privacy, legitimacy, and safety, could be the biggest concern, as it allows everyone to exist in the digital world.

Metaverse gives us a chance to connect with people. Using AR, blockchain, and VR, a digital and simulated environment is created giving all a rich experience of the virtual yet real world. Such experience can benefit all to purchase or sell digital assets, art, etc., and safeguard it for lifelong. And when it comes to giving value to digital assets, NFTs can play a big role. There is a hush-hush, that NFTs could probably become the official currency of metaverse. And why not? NFTs provide proof of ownership, tokenizing collectables, security, copyright, and other perks which everyone is looking for.

There are rumours that in 2022, retail giants Walmart has plans to drop their cryptocurrency and NFTs on metaverse. “Walmart is continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences,” said a Walmart official. The year 2022 comes with golden opportunities, and this is where the creators should encash on cryptos, NFTs, blockchain, and the metaverse.

2. Ethereum 2.0 might go green

Since the time of its inception, Ethereum has faced the wrath of environmentalists for a creating huge carbon footprint. The kind of energy it consumes for a single transaction is uncanny. As per Statista, it consumes 238.22 kWh of energy per transaction. Moreover, Ethereum’s one transaction has a carbon footprint equivalent to 140,893 Visa credit transactions. That’s seriously harming the environment.

‘Ethereum needs to be greener,’ Ethereum’s website reads loud and clear. It is trying to become greener via staking which is for the Ethereum ecosystem. On those lines, they are taking big steps to cut down the harm they are causing the environment. This shift will happen in phases. The first step is to replace the current Proof of Work model with the Proof of Stake mechanism, termed Ethereum 2.0. This ambitious pilot hopes to make Ethereum 2.0 more scalable, more secure, and more sustainable. “Although staking will be introduced by the Beacon Chain, the Ethereum we use today will run in parallel for some time, before it ‘merges’ with the Eth2 upgrades,” stated their website.

The Beacon Chain, which lays the groundwork for future upgrades, brings staking to Ethereum, and in no time will coordinate with the new system, is up and running. The next phase is termed as ‘the merge’ where Mainnet Ethereum will unite with Beacon Chain’s proof-of-stake system, marking the end of the proof-of-work approach. This is estimated to happen sometime in 2022, and reports claim that this upgrade promises to cut down the network’s energy consumption by almost 99 per cent. The last phase will happen in 2023, and the phase is known as Shard Chains. This will improve Ethereum’s scalability and capacity. This will also keep the hardware requirements low. All said and done, only 2022 will tell us if Ethereum 2.0 will go green or not!

3. Non Fungible Fundraising

 The concept of NFT, its artists, buyers, sellers, and others are not just working for applause, they sure are working for a cause as well. Last month, embroidery artists – Katerina Marchenko, Aline Brant and Ninni Luhtasaari showcased the softer side of the NFT industry. They will soon be auctioning their NFT art piece for a social cause. The proceeds from the auction will be handed over to a charity organization Hope for the Future (HFTF). While applauding the work of the artists, and talking highly of NFTs, Andera Staundenherz, founder of HFTF said, “It’s incredible that these renowned embroidery artists, at different sides of the world, can now support our charity’s work via Orica. We see ourselves as an anchor of hope for the survivors of human trafficking. These NFTs are giving us the hope that we could fund five days a week of training in 2022. Our current budget only stretches to four.” 

Not just that, there are big names involved in this who are sharing the auctioned money as charity. Last year, Beeple, a digital artist donated $6 million to the Open Earth Foundation, by auctioning one of the arts called ‘Ocean Front’. Around August 2021, Ellen DeGeneres, an American comedian, television host, actress, writer, and producer, raised $33,495 only to donate the proceedings to a food-relief organization World Central Kitchen. There is countless amount of money that NFT has to offer. This kind of money will change the lives of the ones who are in need. Sure, this concept is only at an early stage. But the year 2022 will surely come in as a ray of new hope for many.

4. Let the games begin!

 “Give it 10 years and you won’t find a single game not being built on the blockchain,” states Kieran Warwick Co-founder, Illuvium, in a survey conducted by the Blockchain Game Alliance (BGA) 2021. NFT Gaming sure is a rage these days. With that said, Axie Infinity, Gods Unchained, The Sandbox, Sorare, etc., do these names ring any bells? Well, these NFT games were the highest-grossing games in the year 2021. Just to assert the stats, Axie Infinity became the first game to cross $1 billion in NFT sales, and currently, it grosses over $4 billion. These play-and-earn mobile games were able to keep millions of gamers on their toes. Seeing this trend, this segment of NFT attracted several investors last year. Around December 2021, as per a report published by BGA, the NFT gaming segment generated $2.32Bn in the third quarter.

Although it might seem that NFT gaming is at an early stage, it has managed to attract several investors, who are ready to put in billions more in this vertical. The year 2022, will provide a stage for several other NFT games that will give the gamers a sense of freedom and a chance to explore other grounds of this vertical. In-game items, cryptocurrency tokens, and a few other aspects are here to be explored. And not to forget, metaverse and NFT go hand in hand. In 2022, game developers should incorporate metaverse and parallelly add in NFT as tokens. Studies suggest tokenization will take NFT gaming to a different level. And just so you know, the play-to-earn games will certainly rock your world in 2022.

Image Credit: Florian Olivo/Unsplash

5. Personifying Music

This digital platform has revisualized the way the music industry functions. Tokenizing this art has provided a sigh of relief for musicians and further proves that this platform is authentic. Although NFTs are yet to seep into the music industry completely, several musicians have earned millions just by putting their work on this platform. Talking highly of this platform, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda recently tweeted, “Even if I upload the full version of the contained song to DSPs worldwide (which I can still do), I would never get even close to $10k, after fees by DSPs, label, marketing, etc.” He raised about $11,000 for his first NFT. In December 2021, Shinoda instantly sold off 5,000 NFT of his Ziggurats musical collection, further giving us hope that 2022 will be nothing but melodic, courtesy of NFTs. In 2022, this space will give musicians a better chance to build a community with their fans or listeners, it will give them more power to create music that is unheard of, and could make crypto adoption easy. Platforms like The Catalog, Stationhead, AirNFTs, and others will co-exist where creating, selling, and listening to music will be smoother than jazz.

What 2022 beholds for NFT?

The rise and rise of NFTs have proved its worth time and again. NFTs with utility, music, art, real estate, official contracts, collectables, etc., is proof of legitimacy. When the problem of security and faith is solved, any concept will have a bright future. That means the concept of NFT is here to stay for eternity. The year 2022, will see the new face of NFTs. With Ethereum planning to go green, play-and-earn concept gaining traction, NFTs for good showcasing its softer side, exploring the new world of meta, giving a new dimension to fashion and music; NFTs are here to welcome 2022 with open arms. To know more about NFTs and how they can help your organization, kindly contact:

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