Decoding NFT: So, is NFT just a jpeg image?
To a certain extent, this misunderstanding is caused by the eye-catching headlines across media outlets — 'JPG File Sold for $69 Million, as NFT Mania Booms’, 'JPG Just Sold For Nearly $70 Million, wait, what?!’ etc.. NFT definitely is not just a jpeg image. Hong Kong musician Hanjin Tan's single 'Nobody Gets Me', Namewee's songs , NBA stars' video clips, Twitter's first tweet, game props, and more, are all NFTs. All these examples prove that NFTs are not just jpegs, but it can also be texts, videos, or other forms.
The term‘work', indeed, objectively describes that NFT developers are doing some creative work. However, if we keep using the concept of 'work' to understand NFT, it is just limiting ourselves to imagine its prospects and potentials. So, what is NFT? The answer is: anything that can be tokenized.
Let’s take an NFT product on OpenSea as an example. A while ago, a friend sent me an OpenSea website link, titled ‘NFT Music Group Membership #00.066’. Out of curiosity, I checked out the website, and yes, it's a 'Membership Card' as the name stated! This '066 Membership Card' featured an array of membership benefits: lifetime access to the social media platform; opportunity to connect with record managing company, producers, engineers, songwriters; professional mixing and mastering; music distribution & marketing service etc. To sum up, it is a integration of record production services, music platforms and fan communities, all in one in the form of an NFT 'membership card'.
It got me intrigued to discover more about this membership thing by searching on OpenSea with the keyword ‘member’. An interesting discovery: an NFT membership card of a mysterious club that allowed the member to ‘enjoy fine wine and cigar with luxurious ambience and premium service’. There was another one— 'member welfare gift card'— which allowed the cardholder to redeem prizes or courses on the designated platform, and you may even directly transfer ownership of this card to others.
'Membership card', however, is not new idea at all. Don't you remember that Time Magazine cover photo NFTs also came with a lifetime membership of the Time.com? And the NFT works of Yua Mikami, didn't they feature some real-life gifts? In other words, what people are doing is BREAKING DOWN the elements of their products or service, RECOMBINING them, SUGARCOATING the 'new' products with NFT, and finally, SELLING them!
Based on this formular, a wide range of commercial organizations can actually confidently enter the NFT world: can the e-book platforms and media organizations turn their content into NFTs and sell them together with memberships? When sneaker brands produce limited editions and relaunch classic styles named after stars, can they issue corresponding NFTs at the same time, and then establish a community to facilitate long-term customer relationship and follow-up promotion?
If brands or creators can issue NFTs to customers or supporters who provide feedback and contribute content, wouldn't NFT membership card be more trendy than cash coupons? The bonding created through this community engagement is stronger than ever. There are certainly more variation of such usage. What matter is, do you still think that NFT has nothing to do with you or your business? By now, you should be thinking: how to turn what you are doing into NFT and use NFT as your tools to enhance your business.