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Binance Australia: Opportunities of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) in Australia

2021-06-24

Best described as the latest wild new frontier in the digital goldrush, Non-Fungible Tokens (better known as NFTs) are driving the creative yin to cryptocurrency’s robust technical yang, creating an entirely new sphere in which art can be created, examined, curated and explored. Coming from humble beginnings with 2017 foundation projects like CryptoPunks and CryptoKitties. NFTs have been on an upward climb to prominence ever since, with the occasional glimpse coming from those in the crypto space and broader internet community.

NFTs truly reached the limelight as we came into 2021 with global media coverage and a general groundswell of anticipation building around the disruptive technology and its implications for creators. Art is finally becoming accessible for the masses and owning a curated collection isn’t just a pipe-dream.

Why Non-Fungible & Why Blockchain?

At this point, it’s probably best to clarify what “non-fungible” actually means. If something is fungible, it’s able to be exchanged like-for-like with any other of its kind - think an Australian dollar. Non-fungible means that it isn’t. Therefore, an NFT is something that is unique to those even in its own class (i.e. a 1/100 collectible card).

The collectible card example gives a pretty succinct reason as to why you might want to own something non-fungible, however, the real kicker with an NFT comes from it being blockchain-based. You now have verifiable non-fungibility, in a digital space. On top of this, you have the ability to see its journey, as well as control the conditions of its use.

The opportunities created by these characteristics and features are numerous and ever-expanding, with both creator and curator alike having some pretty incredible options available. Creators have the obvious benefit of being able to monetise their work as featured in an NFT, while also being able to maintain a tangible and verifiable legacy through it. Curators have the opportunity to display, as well as benefit from a potentially lucrative verifiable investment vehicle - imagine having ownership of a first print edition of Wu-Tang’s “Once Upon A Time In Shaolin”. As you’ll see below, these are the most basic of NFT opportunities available today; the future promises only more.

Who are the creators getting into NFTs in Australia? 

Like many things in crypto, NFTs have an intrinsic connection to memes, meme culture and that intangible spirit of the internet. This has been made pretty clear by the earliest projects, as well as some of the most endearing recent additions - the “oh-so-10s” icon that is Nyan Cat recently sold as an NFT for 300 Ethereum with its creator Chris Torres commenting that the doors were now open to owning these defining pieces of the internet. 

Even music is not immune to the power of memes as proven by the rise and continued success of Lil Bubble. Another niche embracing this new frontier is the graffiti and street art world - with global megastar artists including one of Australia’s most endearing icons Lushsux leading the charge in the adoption of NFTs as a vehicle of their art. With half a million made, who can blame them for not seeing the potential? Recent auction results show that there’s more than just a few select attractions, with Beeple’s record-setting $69 million dollar NFT and the $15 million dollar resurgence of CryptoPunks

One of the most obvious and widely used applications of NFTs is as limited trading cards, bringing the centuries-old collectables into the digital age. Capturing athletes and their performances isn’t just limited to large entities like the NBA, however, with individual athletes taking control of their achievements and giving fans a way to support them directly. One such athlete embracing this is James Newbury (4 times Australia’s Fittest Man, CrossFit and Bobsleigh athlete), capturing his defining iconic moments and letting them build a legacy for him beyond his career. 

Another key area of NFT development can be found in the gaming world, with projects like Decentraland and Gods Unchained offering potential blueprints of what is to come. With many online role-playing games already featuring player-driven in-game economies, NFTs seem like a natural progression to truly bring these online ecosystems to authentic life.

The next chapter of NFT in Australia 

With athletes now able to capture their own iconic Ali-Liston style moments and artists now beginning to take destiny into their own hands, the sky is near limitless. Shackles that used to tether the ability for these incredible creators to get their work out have fallen away.

NFTs have and will continue to redefine the art industry, both digital and traditional, creating exciting new opportunities for creators regardless of size, clout or connections. Whether you’re a potential creator, curator or aficionado, there’s a whole suite of ways to engage with the space.

Australia is already positioned at the very forefront of this, with a vibrant and tech-forward art community already showcasing some of the very best our nation has to offer. Hobart’s Museum of Art & Philosophy (MAP) is on track to host Australia’s very first physical NFT exhibition, so who knows what’s next?

Check out the panel we hosted with local NFTs creators Lil Bubble, Bianca Beers, Demas Rusli and Sekure D discussing the opportunities of NFTs in Australia. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGr88JjACVg&t=1730s

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