Brokerage Firm Bernstein Says NFTs Are Not Dead

The business of non-fungible-tokens (NFTs) is getting serious. While they may have started out looking like speculative jpeg images they are now redefining the “crypto consumer stack” in terms of games, social, content and commerce, brokerage and research firm Bernstein said in a research report Monday.

The early success and subsequent decline of NFT activity has multiple lessons, but the sector is still in the early stages of adoption, and NFTs are “how crypto would go mainstream and onboard users,” the report said.

NFTs are digital assets on a blockchain that represent ownership of virtual or physical items and can be sold or traded.

“NFTS are not dead,” analysts Gautam Chhugani and Manas Agrawal wrote, noting that well known collections such as the Bored Ape are still holding a floor price of $100,000, and the number of active monthly users on OpenSea is stable at about 360,000, down about 35% from a high of around 550,000.

The real part of the “NFT revolution” is using these tokens as “Lego blocks” to build a fun game, the note said, adding that crypto games are no competition to the mainstream gaming studios, but it is possible to build a new genre of NFT-powered games in which players can earn and own in-game assets as NFTs.

“Brands leverage NFTs to sell digital goods for real-life experiences,” Bernstein said, and as the crypto consumer base expands, every brand will need to build a NFT marketing strategy, noting that Nike (NKE) already has about $180 million revenue through NFTs.

The success of NFTs will now depend on their ability to deliver a real product, such as gaming worlds, content and merchandise, the note said, adding that blockchain games should not try to compete with the large gaming studios, but innovate on game play that is unique to crypto.

The NFT infrastructure stack will continue to see significant private investment, the note added.

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