NFT Guide for Brands – How to Launch a NFT Project as a Brand
The rapid growth of the NFT ecosystem as the concept of metaverse catches on has got many global and local brands exploring their options to create a virtual presence. By doing so, they intend to capitalise on the wider reach, ease of transaction and the immense marketing and public relations points they gain from it. While it is good news for the crypto ecosystem, for those individuals and brands still on the fence and wondering what the entire NFT fuss is all about, we will attempt to clear your doubts in this post. Once you finish reading, maybe you will be in a position to decide for yourself whether to take a plunge into the NFT ecosystem or not.
The Basics, what are NFTs?
Let us start by explaining what exactly NFTs are. In simple words, NFTs are digital assets on blockchain that are quite similar to cryptocurrencies but with one significant difference. The NFTs are unique individual assets that are indivisible and non-fungible. Meaning, every NFT is different from the other and can’t be used interchangeably. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies are fungible with each token of a particular crypto representing exactly the same value as the next.
So, NFTs are unique tokens. Why are they so special?
The non-fungible nature of the NFTs enables each token to maintain individuality, which is quite useful as digital collectibles, similar to those limited-edition baseball cards. Meanwhile, the feature also enables tokenization of a variety of digital and physical assets, as well as a mechanism of on-chain record keeping. Tokenizing assets as NFTs will enable owners to keep record of ownership, trade, exchange and even auction the underlying assets over blockchain by executing simple crypto transactions. Similarly, anyone willing to purchase such assets can easily verify the ownership details and history on the blockchain, which is transparent and immutable.
These factors make NFTs special instruments in the crypto and Web3 ecosystems.
What do Brands Have to do with the NFTs?
The main reasons for the brands to adopt NFTs in the early stages is to create meaningful engagement opportunities with its customer base while staying in sync with emerging trends. In addition, it also helps them cater to a wider audience, appeal to their ego, command brand loyalty and not to mention the very real use cases where they get an additional channel to promote and sell their products and services.
The crypto community’s gravitation towards the metaverse has further fuelled the rush of brands towards NFTs as they compete to mark their presence in the virtual domain.
Few brands that have successfully adopted NFTs
A lot of prominent names from F&B to lifestyle brands have entered the NFT space. Some of the brand NFTs that caught the world attention include:
- Coca-Cola with its charitable NFT auction to mark the International Friendship Day and raise funds for Special Olympics International
- Glenfiddich’s liquor NFTs representing 15 limited edition Single Malt Whisky
- McLaren Racing with its McLaren Racing Collective NFT collection representing 22 3D car parts to claim 3D interactive collectible F1 car model
- Louis Vuitton’s “Louis the Game” designed by Beeple with 30 collectible in-game NFTs
- Adidas Originals: Into the Metaverse NFT collection designed in association with gmoney, PUNKS Comic and Bored Ape Yacht Club redeemable for limited edition merchandise.
- Mattel’s NFT Hot Wheels collectables with animated design of Hot Wheels cars redeemable for physical versions of exclusive toy car models.
- Taco Bell auctioned GIF NFTs of Tacos to raise funds for Live Mas Scholarship while offering a USD 500 gift card for the owner of one “Transformative Taco” NFT.
These are just some of the examples of brands using NFTs for a cause or as a marketing tool in the recent past.
People buy NFTs for the collectible value they offer. The unique nature of the NFTs, and the perks associated with platform or brand NFTs including rewards, privileged access to events and other giveaways makes them attractive to the community. Meanwhile, NFTs that are backed by actual assets enable easy ownership of the said asset which can be maintained in safe custody to be claimed on a later date or traded with others.
Overall, the uniqueness associated with each of these digital assets opens the possibility of their value increasing over time with rising demand for NFTs with utilities or other underlying properties associated with them, making them an investment instrument for some.
Search for an Ideal Blockchain Protocol for NFTs
Almost all blockchain protocols support the creation of NFTs. However, only a handful of them have gained prominence due to increased adoption and other factors like community support, ease of development, transaction costs and liquidity.
Ethereum protocol takes the top spot as the most preferred NFT ecosystem as it has a strong community following with a lot of readily available talent to develop and deploy these digital assets. Being one of the oldest and most widely used blockchain networks, it is highly decentralized and relatively stable compared to other protocols. Further, the available liquidity on the protocol is also something that makes it popular for NFT applications.
While Ethereum is recognized as one of the best protocols to host NFT projects, it is also the most expensive one when it comes to transaction fees due to scalability issues that are prevalent in the ecosystem.
The first of kind self-amending blockchain protocol is popular among many brands looking to create NFTs. The future proof protocol adopts a liquid proof of stake consensus mechanism that enables much faster and cheaper transactions. However, when it comes to the community size, Tezos is still in the process of gaining widespread community adoption and has a limited set of tools for individual creators to build NFTs on the ecosystem. Further the liquidity on Tezos is much lesser than that of Ethereum.
Binance Smart Chain
A creation of Binance, the leading global crypto exchange and trading platforms, Binance Smart Chain is a EVM compatible blockchain network with a strong user base. The conformity of BSC to Solidity and other widely used programming languages and a ready NFT marketplace as a part of the Binance network makes it an attractive protocol for NFTs. While BSC seems to have a strong community and adequate liquidity, it is not completely decentralized.
Solana is another fast-growing blockchain and NFT ecosystem based on Proof of History and delegated Proof of Stake consensus mechanism. It is designed to be fast, highly scalable, and inexpensive with good support for NFT applications. However, it is relatively new with a much smaller community amidst concerns regarding the extent of decentralization it supports.
Looking at the most widely used blockchain protocols for NFT projects, it is obvious that no single platform meets all the requirements. Each of these have their own strengths and weaknesses, making it hard to opt for one protocol that takes care of everything. Amid the prevailing scenario, the concept of multichain NFTs have taken shape. These multichain NFTs are chain agnostic digital assets that can be transacted across any blockchain network.
Pioneering Multichain NFTs
ShuttleOne, a Singapore-based blockchain solutions platform is enabling the creation and distribution of multichain NFTs by providing the necessary infrastructure as part of its Metachain. The Metachain is a chain agnostic solution that enables users to transfer assets across any of the supported blockchains through a Metachain bridge. Unlike conventional bridges that connect two protocols at a time, the Metachain bridge supports two-way communication between multiple blockchain protocols at the same time.
Watch ShuttleCast episode about Multichain NFT and the Future for Content Creators:
Having started with Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain and Tezos, ShuttleOne Metachain is expanding its utilities that were previously confined to tokens to include cross-chain NFTs. Using the ShuttleOne Metachain, creators can mint truly multichain NFTs that can be transferred, listed, traded, or auctioned on any NFT marketplace across all supported protocols. Further, irrespective of the blockchain on which the transfer is happening, users can just pay the necessary fees with $SZO – ShuttleOne’s native multichain utility token.
Adoption of multichain NFTs by brands will enable them to enhance their visibility and reach out to the respective communities of each supported protocol, resulting in increased interaction and better returns on investment. The aggregate liquidity available across all the protocols will be able to dictate the value of these digital assets, which will make the brands’ foray into the cross chain NFT space much more lucrative.
Making NFTs Accessible to All
The crypto community is already familiar with the concepts of NFTs, and they are more receptive to the idea of buying a digital asset that may or may not represent some underlying asset. However, those who are not familiar with the cryptocurrencies may find it hard to adopt NFTs even if they wish to be part of it. Unfortunately, non-crypto users make up for a significant population size and providing them an opportunity to acquire and benefit from NFTs is an easy problem worth solving. Brands that are keen on minting and giving away or selling NFTs can make use of their existing websites or applications to establish fiat on/off ramps to enable non-crypto users acquire NFTs through fiat payments. Further, the NFT wallets and marketplaces can be integrated into a user-friendly web interface with detailed instructions so that non-crypto users can understand and start using them as intended. Apart from creating a user-friendly platform, the brands should also start educating people about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as a part of their campaigns.
Platforms like ShuttleOne (Shuttle Wallet) and Crypto.com already have user-friendly, fiat-supported wallet applications in place that can be utilized by brands to enable easy onboarding of non-crypto users into the crypto as well as NFT ecosystems.
The NFT ecosystem is still gaining traction and presents a lot of growth opportunities, making this the ideal time for exploration and adoption. As more projects, brands and people get involved in the NFT space, we are bound to see a lot of developments in the coming months.
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