Non-fungible tokens, better known by the acronym NFT (non-fungible tokens, in English), are enjoying growing success, in the wake of the rise of cryptocurrencies. “The world is being tokenized, it is our conviction,” assures Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel, co-founder of the Arianee platform, specializing in NFTs for the luxury and fashion sectors. According to him, many elements of our digital life will tomorrow be represented in the form of tokens. “The reputation, the visibility, the ego depend on these assets that one can have.”
NFTs, issued on the blockchain, make it possible to certify the authenticity of a good on this technology which is similar to a distributed, public and decentralized register, accessible to all. These tokens are used in particular in the art sector today, to guarantee the traceability of a work and to certify the identity of its owner. But what is the point of buying a digital work via an NFT, when this same work is accessible to everyone on the Internet via a simple search on the web?
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“The first reason is to be part of what has it and to show it, on social networks for example”, explains Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel. NFTs, like the CryptoPunks series representing pixelated avatars, do not a priori be of immense interest from an artistic point of view. But having it gives the feeling of belonging to a community. And the mass of buyers around the world are fueling speculation.
NFTs are now worth hundreds of thousands of euros, representing real financial investments. Some only acquire them with a view to reselling them later, hoping to realize a substantial gain in the process.
Access services and benefits
Besides the purely speculative dimension, “the second reason is to be able to access the advantages to which NFTs open”, according to the boss of Arianee. By acquiring NFTs through a digital wallet, for example, you can gain priority access to a new collection of digital goods. In other words, buying NFTs will make it easier for you to get new NFTs. Not enough to convince the skeptics. But NFTs can also provide access to services, these non-fungible tokens not confined to art. The French startup Sorare thus makes it possible to play online with its professional footballers cards, to be collected in the form of NFTs.
Read also – Sorare raises 580 million euros, a record amount in the history of French tech
In the fashion and luxury industry, an NFT could be used to certify that you are the owner of a physical asset, such as a bag from a major brand. And it could also open the door to advantages, even exclusive services, such as private sales or the possibility of speaking with a designer, for the most loyal customers.
“There is a need to create the right tools so that those who issued the tokens and those who own them can interact. An entire infrastructure remains to be built, with fundamentals radically different from web 2.0, in which we exchange our data for access a service, with centralized bodies, “said Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel. He dreams of a world in which NFTs will allow us to connect, without sharing our data, to discussion spaces, commercial spaces and social networks.[display-posts orderby="rand"]
For brands, NFTs also make it possible to create a digital link with their customers and potentially reinforce “engagement”, an important dimension in the marketing world. These digital tokens should promote the creation of a “community loop”.
Support an artist
In the field of art, buying an NFT also aims to “support a creator that you love, in a world that is becoming more and more digitized”, argues Stanislas Mako, founder of the Kalart platform, dedicated to digital art. Internet users, for example, will buy the script of a video in the form of an NFT to support the work of its author and have something that reminds them of his work.
“There is a desire to make works unique, outside of social networks, and to be able to collect them, not as posters on the wall but on your wallet (digital portfolio, editor’s note), explains Stanislas Mako. In addition, helmets virtual reality already allow a kind of visit to its virtual art gallery. “It’s a new way of conceiving and consuming works.”
Read also – You can become the owner of a digital work via an NFT without breaking the bank
Other Internet users will still be able to access the same work on the web as the one owned in NFT. “It’s the same with the Mona Lisa. If you search for it on Google, you will see it, you don’t have to own it. Anyone can see it, but not everyone can have it,” nuance the pattern of Kalart. On the other hand, if you buy a painting and keep it in your home, only you and those you invite to your home will be able to admire it.
If digital works undeniably require in-depth artistic work and real talent, as the Beeple productions illustrate, it is difficult not to fear an overall speculative bubble on NFTs. “Speculation is undeniable, as with any novelty in general, as in 2001 with the Internet bubble”, recognizes Stanislas Mako. “Which doesn’t mean the internet was a bad thing,” he adds with a smile in his voice.
It remains to be seen whether NFTs will also become essential in the future, and do not boil down to a simple fad, a passing fascination for a new technological tool.
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