The rapid development of crypto has left people either on the edge of their seats or off the bandwagon entirely. What began as a way to create a one-of-a-kind digital asset became a billion-dollar industry where, as reported by Reuters on January 11, 2022, the estimated total of NFT sales were over US$25 billion by the end of last year.
At the time of writing, however, an article published by The Wall Street Journal revealed that NFT sales had plummeted by a drastic 92 per cent. While the sudden influx of phishing scams and hackings haven’t helped the situation, buyers reportedly found themselves unable to re-sell the NFTs they bought—especially the ones that were worth four to five figures. Sina Estavi, the crypto entrepreneur who bought the NFT of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet for US$2.9 million, was only able to get a top bid of over US$6,800.
Read also: NFT—Why Digital Art is Here to Stay
Looming uncertainty in the NFT market aside, there's no denying how it drew people into the digital space and the potential this technology could bring to the creative field. We discover more with help from four industry experts in a panel discussion. They are:
- Red Hongyi, a Malaysian artist whose last NFT project, Memebank, an art collection comprising five banknotes both digital and physical, traded for a total of 227ETH (approximately over US$84,000 at the time of sale) on OpenSea
- Xaix, the founder of Punks Malaysia, also known as xaix2k on Twitter, is an anonymous collector whose NFT platform had traded over 10.6ETH (approximately over US$37,000 at the time of sale) at OpenSea
- Nicole Yap, the founder of 8SIAN, an NFT project-turned-community comprising 8,888 NFTs of Asian women that traded a total of 4,500ETH (approximately US$8 million at the time of sales) and was ranked the number one project on OpenSea in 2021 based on the volume traded in just 24 hours
- Ihsan Zolkipli, the co-founder of NFXT is a community leader that leads one of the pioneering NFT platforms in Malaysia that seeks to empower local artists by elevating them within the digital sphere
The crux of NFTs lie within the Ethereum blockchain
Ihsan Zolkipli (IZ): Before NFTs, (the conventional model of how the creative industry worked) was that you'd have the guy who fronts the business, the technical guy who runs the backend, and the artist who does the logos as well the collaterals (any kind of media used to promote a company's products and services). The artist is usually the one paid the least. With NFTs, everyone is on the same level; people realise they actually need one another to make things work. The business people need the artists to give them credibility, and they need the technical guys to build the smart contracts and the communication channels.
Xaix (X): The thing about NFTs is that it doesn't have to be an artwork. It can be anything. The next big thing you'll see trending (with the advent of the Metaverse) is NFT gaming. Essentially, when you play games like Fortnite, every item that you get in the game will be an NFT. And if you buy watches, the NFT would come as a digital certification. And because it runs on blockchain technology, the blockchain is a public digital ledger that is immutable. Whatever data you put on the blockchain therefore cannot be deleted or altered in anyway. It's permanent.
Nicole Yap (NY): Again, because it records your digital assets, you can even digitise your passports or house grants without needing the physical thing. All you have to do is just have a crypto wallet that stores these things. It's the convenience that this technology could bring to the table that's the most exciting for me. Think about the Metaverse. (Ideally) you can run your whole life there. Whether it's getting an education, e-commerce, meeting your friends, playing games to earn money... There's just so many things for you to do in the virtual world