NFTs are currently one of the hottest trending topics in the digital world. For the uninitiated, it may seem quite absurd that a grey pixel would be sold by Sotheby’s for $1.36 million, but such is the world of Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs

This new digital trend is catching attention fast, and now there is a full-length feature film starring Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins. Zero Contact, a thriller shot entirely virtual during the pandemic, is the first full-length movie to be sold as an NFT. 

The movie is coming out on Vuele.io, a one-of-a-kind feature film viewing and distribution platform focusing on NFTs and Digital collectibles. Vuele also launched some promotional Golden Ticket sweepstakes, which allow 100 fans each week to access exclusive NFTs and movie-related collectibles. 

This is an interesting angle and may not be the last time we see something like this. It also poses a couple of questions – How are NFTs going to evolve? Will other industries follow suit? Let’s explore.

 

What Are NFTs?

If you are not sure what NFTs are, here’s a quick recap. Non-Fungible Tokens are digital assets that people can create and trade. It is non-fungible, meaning it is not identical to anything, and each one is unique – unlike money, where all notes of the same denomination carry the same value.

NFTs are made possible by blockchain technology. Blockchain is a distributed online ledger that can keep track of information such as ownership and transactions. Most NFTs are based on the Ethereum blockchain, and each digital asset has a unique ID associated with it and can be used to identify the original asset from copies.

This ID and the blockchain entries work in tandem to uniquely identify the asset. It is easy to see how it can help sell digital art and prevent issues such as online piracy. NFTs are also quite popular among those who, much like collectors of physical collectibles, speculate on the value and place bets on purchasing assets.

NFTs are rapidly growing in popularity. OpenSea, the peer-to-peer NFT marketplace, saw record traffic and purchase in the early part of the year and continues to garner interest from the crypto community worldwide, along with other digital collectors. It is also noteworthy that leading auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s have started auctions for digital assets and NFTs. 

NFTs are not exactly restricted to digital assets. The same concepts can be applied to, say, a painting or an extremely rare baseball card. The unique identifier and the blockchain can accurately determine the authenticity of the work and the ownership. But these are just experiments now, and nothing concrete has come of it yet.

 

What Has Been Sold As NFTs?

From truly bizarre to brilliant, NFTs have seen a whole range of items. The most expensive NFT to be sold was an artwork titled Everydays: The First 5000 Days, which went for $69 million. Other digital arts have been sold for such sums too. There is a cat, the Gucci Ghost, the grey pixel art we referred to earlier, and much more. Teenage content creators and digital artists have been at the forefront of popularizing NFTs so far. Jack Dorsey, the co-founder, and CEO of Twitter, sold his first tweet as an NFT for a whopping $2.9 million. 

Artists and musicians have both taken to NFTs owing to the current boom. In February 2021, Grimes sold around $6 million worth of NFTs on Nifty Gateway, an NFT trading platform. Most of these were videos set to songs by Grimes. Kings of Leon was the first band to venture into NFT territory, as they have been selling their albums and other benefits as NFTs. DJ and music producer 3LAU sold over $11 million in NFTs earlier this year. As a result, many other musicians and artists are also considering NFTs for their future launches.

One of the other interesting NFTs comes from the world of the NBA. NBA Topshots is a collection of NBA highlight videos that are sold as NFTs. Fans can buy these NFTs from the Topshots platform. The most popular of this series was a dunk by Lebron James, which sold for $250,000. 

 

A Whole Movie As An NFT: What’s Next?

Zero Contact will be available as an NFT for users to buy once it is released. This does not mean that others can’t watch the movie or that it can’t be copied.  It is a collectible, and probably years from now, if the NFT craze still exists, this could fetch quite a lot of money because of the Novelty associated with it. 

Given the attention and the sheer amount of money that NFTs are generating for creators, we are surely going to see more such initiatives, especially from the creative industries. For digital artists and other content creators, the ease with which their work can be copied and replicated has always been a major issue. Through NFTs, this issue can be rectified.

NFTs have many advantages to offer, especially in the field of art and entertainment. Some of these are below.

Authentication Is Easy

One of the biggest issues facing digital art is the question of ownership and legal attribution, given how difficult it is to track usage of these items across the vast depths of the internet. NFTs have unique IDs and a backing data storage system to make this problem of authenticity and legal use much smaller. Piracy is a major concern for the film industry, and having a way to read deeper into the video and understand where it originates from can help tackle this issue. 

NFTs Are Secure And Can’t Be Destroyed

Okay, maybe way too early to claim that NFTs will exist till the end of time, but it is safe to assume that for people interested in them, the NFTs being created now will still exist for years to come. It is nearly impossible to destroy anything on the internet in its entirety, and with sophisticated technologies like blockchain, it becomes even more difficult to tamper with the originals or to remove it in some way.

Given these significant advantages, NFTs are sure to continue to gather steam. It is also wise to take in the current context with a pinch of salt. NFT is an idea, and it is in its nascent stage right now. Like all technologies, it is likely to go through phases of further evolution. 

Digital art in the form of NFTs will continue to grow as a segment, and it is a great avenue for digital artists to monetize their work. It also makes it easier to track royalties and ensure they get paid what they are owed.

Music is also perfectly suited to NFTs, and we are likely to see bigger names jump on the bandwagon and mint their own NFTs. As more artists come on board, we are also going to see newer formats of NFTs.

 

Will Other Industries Jump In?

 If we look at the digital-first world today, where a big portion of assets being created are digital, NFTs offer a way to create some form of authenticity and originality. There is also a form of scarcity that can be created, which drives the value up. 

Media and publishing are some of the industries that could be keenly looking at NFTs. Magazines, News reports, Photographs-all could be created as forms of NFTs, and for significant events, there are certainly some interested buyers out there as well. Books would be another big NFT opportunity once NFT attains more mainstream popularity.

To abstract a bit, NFTs could be a part of any form of content being sold. If the sale of a tweet is anything to go by, maybe viral videos could be NFT opportunities for influencers. Purchasing a study report or a course could also be adapted to include aspects of NFT to prevent piracy and copyright violations.

Finance is another area ripe for the NFT revolution. It won’t be a surprise if organizations are launching shares and bonds and NFTs. Given how cryptocurrency is already making inroads into business finance, NFTs could also make a similar jump.

Moving ahead, NFTs will also go through a lot of change and evolution. While the more collectible and tradeable NFTs will continue to exist, their benefits are suited to more than this. One of the major talking points on blockchain technology is its application in areas such as cybersecurity. These aspects will perhaps make NFTs more popular than it already is. 

 

Final Thoughts

Where NFTs go from here is hard to say. It is easy for those looking in from the outside to see why there are concerns about NFTs and how they would be sustainable. These concerns are quite valid, as we have not yet seen how NFTs stand the test of time. But if the rate at which the popularity is growing indicates its future, there is a lot of interest and demand in the market. 

Zero Contact is definitely a landmark in the NFT’s short history. A full-length film is a first, and how the community reacts to it remains to be seen. However, this is not likely to be the last time a movie is being released as an NFT. We are likely to see more such endeavors from mainstream movie industries soon. 

Beyond movies, art, and entertainment, how NFTs integrate into other areas like business and finance would be an interesting thing to watch. The success of these endeavors will determine how NFTs as a concept grows. On the flip side, how the value of these assets changes over time is another aspect that no one has any clear picture of at the moment. Till then, there will surely be more single-pixel art NFTs and blockbuster movies as NFTs to talk about!

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