How Utilities Are Essential In Differentiating NFT Projects

As the world of NFTs continues to evolve, the utility of projects will develop with it

By Deep Baliyan

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Digital assets have been exploding over recent years, with a 187 per cent increase in total market cap last year alone. This growth can be attributed to the increasing popularity of NFTs and the need for secure and transparent digital transactions.

Paul-Adrien Lamoureux, co-founder of the token-gating platform Sentr3, has spoken to hundreds of brands launching NFT collections. He had the opportunity to interview leading projects to highlight the most intriguing utilities coming down the pipe.

"We are still exploring and experimenting with utilities for the holders. It's super exciting to get a chance to speak with the teams of leading NFT projects and understand how they approach the utility for their holders," said Paul-Adrien.

I see you, do you see me?

One of the most exciting types of utility for holders is access to in-person events. Lots of people tend to assume that NFT utilities are limited to digital space. But as we'll see throughout this article, physical utility is just as important as virtual.

Justin Mezzell (co-founder of Proof and Moonbirds) recently went on a tour of European cities where he and his team held IRL meetups for Moonbirds and Proof NFT holders.

"For Proof and for Moonbirds, we knew that one of the things that we needed to do when it came to community was to ensure that there was local activation. We wanted there to be actual moments where you can see the people that you meet online and within these disparate digital communities face to face."

Meetups were held in Berlin, Paris, Lisbon, and London. Each location was chosen for its uniqueness and cultural significance.

World of Women (WoW) has also had success in offering in-person meetups to its NFT holders.

"We have a project called WoW Meetups, under which [NFT holders] can apply for funding to organize gatherings with other local holders. We've had two events in LA, and two events in New York. We've had one in South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Toronto, and one in Vancouver coming up," said Kashvi Parekh.

With such a diverse portfolio of locations, these NFT memberships truly offer a unique and one-of-a-kind experience. But what else can these tokens be used for?

Will NFTs be the new access to streaming?

One of the most exciting and innovative use cases that we've seen via this interview process comes from Krapopolis. It is a new TV show coming up on Fox next year by Dan Harmon, the co-creator of Rick and Morty.

Stephen Byrne, VP at Blockchain Creative Labs, owned by Fox, talked about the value NFT holders will be getting.

"We have a token-gated viewing room so, if you are a Krap Chicken holder, you can actually access this token-gated viewing room. You can see animatics at the moment, and I'm just super excited to get more items into that viewing room."

While the sky's the limit when it comes to the utility Krapopolis can offer holders, exclusive content and early access to new episodes are probably the most enticing.

One-two, one-two, do you copy?

A common theme among some of the projects was the challenges involved in handling communication between token holders. Some solutions are sculpted by the makeup of the community, as is the case with World of Women.

Kashvi Parekh provided some insight into how they're engaging with their community and beyond: "Currently, Discord is the number one place where the WoW community interacts. But an interesting statistic that we've seen is that a lot of women in our community don't like to use Discord."

In that case, group interactions have naturally moved to other mediums such as Instagram.

Lootverse, on the other hand, ran into different problems that they had to find a solution for. The communication channels they provided their NFT holders were overrun with trolls and people promoting their own products.

Lootverse's solution may seem counterintuitive but has been amazingly effective. Sumaroo shared the project's interesting take and how it has affected its community: "Every message that you post, you actually pay a very small fee to post messages. This effectively eliminates all spam and trolls and things like that."

My NFT, my rights

The true strength of NFT-based projects is that the holder of the NFT is the sole owner of it and anything that comes with it.

World of Women has harnessed that fact for the benefit of the artists who hold its NFTs. Kashvi Parekh points out that the intellectual property of the art they create belongs to the NFT holder: "This means that WoW and WoW-G holders can take the artwork, and start their own businesses with it. They can use it as the logo, or an integral part of their branding for any products or services that they launch."

This dramatically lowers the barrier to entry that artists and entrepreneurs normally face when monetizing their work.

In real-life redemption

We've seen projects invest in real-world meetups, but some have gone even further than that.

Exclusible melds luxury brands with the digital world. To that end, Exclusible NFTs often come with real-life products as well.

One example was their Bugatti drop. In addition to the NFT, holders received a sculpture of the contemporary Bugatti La Voiture Noire. There have been many others though, such as the Hogan drop.

"All the NFT holders of the Hogan drop, if they went to a physical store, they would receive special treatment like goodie bags like, welcome to the community," said Sara Teixeira of Exclusible.

While Exclusible is ahead of the curve, adding real-life value to NFTs is something other projects are going to have to do more of to stay competitive in the future.

Big names stepping into the space

Adam De Cata is bringing the real world into the metaverse. He has been heavily involved in the blockchain space as the Head of Partnerships for Decentraland, CEO at NFT Tech, and worked at Warner Bros.

The metaverse represents new real estate that consumers are spending their time and attention on. Adam is responsible for bringing big names like Coca-Cola and Wimbledon to the metaverse. He is also working on an Elvis NFT collection that, obviously, comes with a large, preexisting fanbase.

Regarding his work with Decentraland, Adam said, "I think for us, it was about building a purpose, building something really interesting and engaging, having a high-quality project that then inspires others around us to think differently."

The future of utility in NFT projects

As the world of NFTs continues to evolve, the utility of projects will develop with it. Paying attention to the various utilities associated with projects will help you identify which projects can be sustainable and contribute to the growth of the space as a whole.

Note: Investment in cryptocurrency and crypto assets is subject to financial risk and readers should do their own due diligence. Entrepreneur Media does not endorse any such investment.

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