Last year, I asked whether non-fungible tokens (NFTs) were the next big thing. Well, it’s been almost an entire year, so I thought now might be a good time to take a look at the industry and see if things have grown and if so, how they have changed.
It turns out that interest and investment in NFTs have sky-rocketed, hitting more than $17 billion in trading last year. That’s a mind-boggling 21,000 percent over 2020. What else have you ever seen grow so intensely? I can’t recall anything in my lifetime.
What’s driving this, in part, is that it’s not just some unknown cryptocurrency geeks who have been playing with the blockchain for more than 10 years. Today, many companies, brands, and celebrities are getting involved in NFTS, including:
The growth in interest in NFTs has also had an impact on other industries, not just the cryptocurrency world. For example, gig economy marketplace Fiverr has seen a 278 percent uptick in NFT-related services being offered on its platform just over the last quarter of 2021. And former peer-to-peer file-sharing site Limewire, which was shut down in 2010 over copyright issues, is now re-emerging as an NFT marketplace.
But despite this massive growth, is the interest in NFTs sustainable? As has been the case with many cryptocurrencies, excessive activity and buzz is garnering interest from regulatory bodies. The SEC, which enforces regulations for buying and selling investment products, is now looking into NFTs to determine 1) if they can be considered securities and 2) if their structure aligns with or defies regulations on securities. These types of investigations, of course, can often have a chilling effect on marketplace activities.
Of course, whenever someone says a trend is dying, it almost always has a way of coming back stronger than ever before. Last year, for example, at least one media outlet said the NFT market had collapsed. Of course, that…