Say Goodbye to NFTs?

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A recent report from Chainalysis, a blockchain data platform, says that through May 1, collectors have spent $37 billion in the NFT marketplaces in 2022. That would seem to put NFTS on track to beat the total of $40 billion spent last year. But Chainalysis says that since last summer, growth has come in spikes rather than the steady gains seen in 2020 and early 2021.

The report’s authors say that the “buzz around NFTs appears to be fading,” with Google searches for “NFT” down 50% since early March. Social media mentions are also down, though the report notes that it’s difficult to compare social media chatter about NFTs with other topics because the marketplace is still so new.

In a recent talk for TechCrunch, Microsoft founder Bill Gates dissed the NFT craze, saying it’s “100% based on ‘greater fool’ theory.” That phrase refers to the concept that overpriced assets increase in value only because it’s always possible to find someone willing to pay more for them.

Gates went on to say that NFTs are “not a great use of energy,” and that the technology behind them is “not well-suited” for handling the large volume of transactions that would be necessary for widespread adoption.

While Gates acknowledged that NFTs could have some uses, such as authentication or digital art, he suggested that their current popularity is based more on hype than substance.

But are they really dead?

NFTs have been in the news a lot lately, and not always in a good way. Some people have called them “scams” that allow rich people to buy worthless digital assets for exorbitant prices. Others have praised them as revolutionary new technologies that will upend the way we think about ownership and value. So, what’s the truth? Are NFTs scams or saviors? The answer is probably “both.”

While there are certainly some questionable practices going on in the world of NFTs, there’s also no denying that this new technology has the potential to change the world in profound ways

In addition to other blockchains, NFTs are proving that they can provide more utility than just a profile picture. At its core, an NFT is a compilation of code that proves ownership. Known as a smart contract, this code can be customized to execute a plethora of actions.

Sellers of an NFT can add stipulations that entitle them to a share of the sale every time an NFT changes hands. For buyers, this means that they can engage in resale activity with the peace of mind that they will still maintain some control over their investment. In this way, NFTs have the potential to revolutionize the way we think about digital ownership.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a venture capitalist and founder of VaynerX, a media and marketing holding company. He’s also a well-known figure in the tech world, and his comments on the role of NFTs in professional sports leagues recently caught the attention of many. In an interview with sports media company Bleacher Report, Vaynerchuk was asked how he sees professional sports leagues utilizing NFTs.

He said, “One thing I can guarantee you is that in 25 years our kids are gonna be laughing at us for not understanding the value of these things.” Gary went on to say that he believes NFTs will eventually be used for things like ticketing, memorabilia, and even player contracts.

Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, says his NBA team will start selling game tickets as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). His reasoning is that by using an NFT ticket, the NBA can program smart contracts to ensure that every time a ticket changes hands in the aftermarket, they will earn royalties.

Currently, when a ticket sells on eBay or another platform, the NBA gets nothing out of the sale.Cuban says he thinks other teams will quickly follow suit once they see the Mavericks’ success with NFT tickets. “It’s just another way to engage with our fans and give them options,” Cuban said. “And it’s just good business.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has also said he’s open to the idea of exploring NFTs for ticketing. It remains to be seen whether fans will be willing to pay a premium for an NFT ticket, but Cuban is betting they will. “I think it’s going to happen,” he said. “It’s just a matter of when.”

It’s clear that Gary Vaynerchuk and others are bullish on the role of NFTs in the professional sports world, and it will be interesting to see if his predictions come true.

What's your opinion?