The already flourishing non-fungible token (NFT) market will experience a tremendous surge in volume over the next year as more major investors jump on the bandwagon.
So said Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, following the Visa’s announcement that it bought a 'CryptoPunk', one of thousands of NFT-based digital avatars, for nearly $150 000 in ethereum, as well as Marvel Entertainment unveiling its first official NFTs in the form of Spider-Man ‘digital statues.’
An NFT is a unit of data stored on a blockchain, that certifies a digital asset to be unique and therefore not interchangeable. It is designed to represent ownership of a virtual item, such as artwork, music, a video clip, or tokenised tweet, to name a few
According to Green, the market for NFTs reached new heights during the second quarter, with $2.5 billion in sales so far in 2021, nearly 20 times more than the $13.7 million recorded in the first half of last year.
“With soaring interest from major investors like payments giant Visa, who understand and value that the future of almost everything is geared towards digital, demand is set to explode,” he added.
As more big names follow suit, their capital, expertise and reputational pulling power is expected to attract an increasing number of other investors looking to get into the market.
Green believes demand will also be driven by a growing number of NFT marketplaces where users can make purchases, and the fact that more and more artists, musicians, sports, fashion, entertainment, gaming and retail brands are producing digital assets to engage with consumers, customers and fans.
“This is a market which is just getting started. There’s been a surge of interest this year but I believe 2022 will be the breakout for NFTs. We expect there to be a massive increase in volume in the market over the next 12 months.”
Although NFTs could be considered something of a novelty at the moment, Green said that with the accelerating pace of the digitalisation, digital assets will become increasingly valuable.
Demographics are anothe reason NFTs are set to soar, as millennials and gen Z particularly live digital lives and will want to take digital representations of luxury brands, sport, music and art into these worlds, which is enabled by NFTs.
“Plus, millennials are becoming the beneficiaries of the great wealth transfer," adds Green. "According to some estimates, $68 trillion in wealth is to be passed down from the baby boomers – the wealthiest generation ever - to their children and other heirs over the next couple of decades.”
As with any kind of investment, the key is being able to pick the winners and avoid the losers in what is a volatile market driven by fast-changing trends and tastes.Nigel Green, deVere Group.
Another reason why NFTs are here to stay is that they are changing business models for the better, particularly in the creative industries. “Artists and musicians for example can provide enhanced virtual experiences for collectors and buyers, they can prove if their works are counterfeited, and they can include criteria to get royalties every time their works are re-sold in the future.”
Green said with NFTs, the world is experiencing the meeting of an Internet of information with an Internet of value, which is attracting large investments coming from multinationals, funds, and VC firms, and others, into the market.
He issued a caveat as the market is in its infancy, is highly speculative and caution should be exercised. Some of the NFTs on the market now will have little value in a few years, while others will be worth a fortune.
“It’s a similar situation to Web sites in the early days of the Internet. As with any kind of investment, the key is being able to pick the winners and avoid the losers in what is a volatile market driven by fast-changing trends and tastes.”