The NFT market has now surpassed $40 billion, after tripling from 2019 to 2020, and it’s on the road to mainstream adoption faster than anyone would have anticipated for such an existentially challenging … product.
And Youtube might be the next to jump on the non-fungible token train.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has suggested that the company is looking to branch into NFTs in the future as another source of revenue for creators.
“We’re always focused on expanding the YouTube ecosystem to help creators capitalize on emerging technologies, including things like NFTs, while continuing to strengthen and enhance the experiences creators and fans have on YouTube,” she said in the letter outlining the company's 2022 priorities.
It’s still unclear how NFTs would be offered on YouTube or what they would look like, but it’s tantalizing, nonetheless.
Last week, Twitter launched its first NFT feature by adding support for NFT Profile Pictures.
In the last couple of months, several major tech companies such as Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and others also said they were exploring the NFT market possibilities.
NFTs are unique cryptocurrency tokens used to represent assets such as digital art, real estate, sport, movies or music. A token can be bought and sold like any physical asset; however, they have the big advantage of running on blockchain, meaning ownership and validity of the asset they represent can be accurately tracked
For example, an art creator can put an NFT-based piece of artwork up for sale where a buyer can purchase a unique token that represents the asset and use it to prove ownership and authenticity of the digital art through blockchain.
Overall, the tokenization market will be driven by new players. Those newcomers are building up their own NFT infrastructure. Traditional players–like the big tech outfits–are working towards mainstream adoption. When the two come together, the NFT market will explode.
"Shark Tank" investor Kevin O'Leary told CNBC recently that the NFT market’s ability to serve as proof of ownership might help it potentially grow bigger and "more fluid" than the market for bitcoin
"You're going to see a lot of movement in terms of doing authentication and insurance policies and real estate transfer taxes all online over the next few years, making NFTs a much bigger, more fluid market potentially than just bitcoin alone," he said.
Even Mark Cuban, the billionaire who has previously expressed serious misgivings about the bitcoin/crypto craze and likened it to the Dotcom bubble, has just acknowledged that NFTs are the real deal, saying, “you can sell anything digital using NFT”.
Last year we saw NFT popularity skyrocket with multimillion-dollar sales, major brands and a lineup of celebrities, including Melania Trump. Hollywood stars, sports celebrities and big brands like Coca-Cola, Gucci, Nike, and Adidas, all dipped their toes in the space.
The most valuable NFT sale last year was a digital collage called “The First 5,000 Days” by artist Mike Winkelmann (aka “Beeple”) for $69 million. Another Beeple piece, “Human One,” went for $29 million.