Over recent months, the success of blockchain-driven cryptocurrencies has paved the way for a second wave of digital opportunities – namely, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and influencer stocks.
For those less familiar, “non-fungible” means unique and non-interchangeable, while a “token” lives on a blockchain. You can think of an NFT like a one-of-a-kind collector’s item – only digital. In short, investing in an NFT provides a blockchain-recorded certificate of authenticity for a digital asset – whether it’s music, a video, or an artwork. But what’s interesting about NFTs is that they challenge the concept of asset ownership. Because when an investor buys an NFT, they don’t own the asset itself – rather, they just own the token and record of ownership registered on a blockchain digital ledger (which they can sell). Regardless, this hasn’t stopped the popularity of NFTs, whose novelty has created a new medium for collectors and a lucrative monetisation opportunity for artists. In the same vein as NFTs, sports fans can access the NBA Top Shot platform, which allows users to buy, sell and trade NBA “moments” or card-like “packs”. One LeBron James moment sold for USD $208,000.
Investors have also begun accessing another kind of token – one whose value is based on the popularity of public figures. As a crypto social network that monetises celebrities, BitClout allows investors to assign monetary value to public figures by buying Creator Coins which fluctuate in value depending on the popularity of their profiles on the platform. In turn, public figures who “claim” their BitClout profiles (thereby showing their support) are entitled to a share of the profits. However, BitClout has raised some concerns among cryptocurrency specialists. For one, the platform has capitalised on celebrity profiles without their consent. And while investors can transfer funds into the platform, there’s currently no way for them to withdraw them, leading some to question its legitimacy. Wouldn’t be the first time, though, as investors experienced with BitConnect – a Bitcoin investing platform labelled a Ponzi scheme for its pyramid structure and aggressive marketing strategy promising big, fast profits before shutting down its lending and exchange services.