NFT’s (Non-fungible tokens) have been a big trend in 2021 though they have been around since 2014. So why are they gaining so much popularity now? It’s difficult to pinpoint the main reason for this digital craze, but it’s certainly due to the culmination of many factors that have occurred around the world in 2020.
Before we go over some NFT trends around the world, let’s briefly discuss what an NFT is and how they work with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
A blockchain is a type of secured online ledger or database used to record transactions and track assets in a business network.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital assets that are created on the blockchain with their own unique code like a serial number on the dollar, and have a limited supply that can’t be duplicated or divided.
NFT’s can be purchased and sold through NFT marketplaces with fiat currency or cryptocurrency, the most popular being Ethereum or ‘ETH’. A cryptocurrency is a digital currency or token that can be exchanged online for goods and services.
NFT Trends Around The World
NFTs are gaining popularity all over the world ranging from all sorts of art forms and information tracking. In Spain, a Pokémon Go-style augmented reality company named OVR “open-source, decentralized augmented reality platform”, has offered treasure chests with their native coin $OVR in their open world platform for early adopters.
In the OVR universe users can buy, sell, and trade digital and real life goods, services and virtual land as well as enjoy concert events and shows.
Ecomi, a Singapore-registered firm in the augmented reality space also backed by crypto and NFTs have boomed in popularity as well. In the past three months, Ecomi and its NFT marketplace VeVe saw its user base increase by some 11,225% to over 86,000%.
In China, NFTs are making their way into art exhibitions by many famous artists in the crypto space. In early April, the first-ever crypto art exhibition was opened in Beijing and curated by Sūn Bóhán 孙博涵, the CEO of BlockCreateArt (BCA), Asia’s first crypto art trading platform. BCA recently raised $2 million from angel investors, making it the largest NFT-related business in China.
NFT Trends in Japan
In Japan, notable artist, Hajime Kinoko, will debut his first virtual installation entitled “Samsara” as an NFT on the Ethereum network. “Samsara” is an ambitious, one-of-a-kind project combining performance art, cryptocurrency and 3D imaging as an NFT.
Other companies such as Capcom and Sega are licensing NFTs in the forms of digital trading cards and 3D collectibles.
According to Google Trends, NFT related searches in Japan have increased in interest around 30x more in the past 12 months with a high of 50x more in March compared to previous years.
However, art is just one expression of what an NFT can be with a whole new economy of blockchain-based virtual worlds coming about where land, buildings, avatars and even names can be bought and sold as NFTs. This is the new asset class for the future economy.
Examples of Current NFT Trends in Japan
VR art piece sold for over $120K in Japan
3D drawing in virtual reality space that depicts breaking through a dimension and entering a new one. (Credit: Aimi Sekiguchi)
Virtual sneaker sold in 9 min
1Block, a digital fashion label launched within 1SEC, exhibited a one-of-a-kind collectible virtual sneaker (NFT) “AIR SMOKE 1™”. It was sold in just 9 minutes for approximately $12,806.57 USD (5 ETH).
Japan’s first virtual sneaker “AIR SMOKE 1 (TM)” (Credit: 1SEC Inc.)
Shueisha Inc. initiates the SHUEISHA MANGA-ART HERITAGE project
Shueisha Inc. utilizes the original drawing (genga) digital archive project to make classics such as ONE PIECE, the Rose of Versailles, and Innocent available around the world to help create a global manga art market.
Manga Art from ONE PIECE by Eiichiro Oda (Credit: Eiichiro Oda)
The possibilities and potential for NFTs are endless. Digital ownership is incredibly hard to trace, especially when it comes to artwork. But blockchain technology is making it possible to prove ownership and assign value to digital assets that otherwise could not.
Creating NFTs can be one of the best ways to learn about entrepreneurship, learn in a community with broad scopes of design skills, and invest in cryptocurrency without investing in it directly.