The NFT market has surged to $2.5 billion in sales during the first half of this year, while it was worth just $13 million at the same time last year. A number of NFT trends are riding this towering wave.
The Rise of the Sophisticated Metaverse
The first trend is the rise of the sophisticated metaverse. In the current metaverse, you can buy virtual land, digital artworks, avatars, and more NFTs. These assets are non-fungible — meaning that each one is unique and cannot be replicated or cloned. This provides an immutable record of their ownership which can’t be tampered with without their permission.
But what if these digital items were smart enough to make decisions on their own? What if they displayed personality traits and opinions? Is it possible for a digital item to become “intelligent”? In many cases, the answer is yes.
These so-called “intelligent NFTs” are just starting to emerge from startups like Alethea, which has just raised $16 million. This startup is working on developing AI-based software that will allow digital items to develop their own intelligence within a blockchain — with a long-term vision akin to self-aware AIs in SciFi movies like “Her” and “Blade Runner.”
The development of AI technology has accelerated recently due to new investments by major technology firms like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft into artificial intelligence research teams. These technological advances will further accelerate the development of intelligent NFTs in the future as well as enable them to interact with humans in meaningful ways.
The Parallel Rise of Virtual Real Estate
The concept of owning digital assets has been around since the early days of the internet, but it wasn’t until recently that people started to realize that they could own digital versions of collectibles with a decentralized ownership structure that was actually viable.
Decentralized ownership, including ownership of virtual real estate, will be another key component of the metaverse. Indeed, you can now buy your very own piece of virtual land from Next Earth.
The ability to both create and buy land within a community is something many gamers have been asking for since the inception of online communities; it’s why Second Life launched with such promise back in 2003 (and why it still has such devoted fans).
It’s also why gaming environments are investing so heavily in art asset development – creating not only fully licensed art assets that bring additional value to their creative experience but also creating opportunities for artists to sell those assets on marketplace sites as well.
Nurturing Cyber Relationships
In addition to allowing creators to monetize their content outside of traditional advertising models (which are notoriously unreliable), these types of marketplaces will help nurture relationships between users and creators that were previously impossible due to platform limitations around visibility.
That kind of audience engagement is critical to driving repeat visitation and spending across any site – which is why platforms like Farmville had such staying power over the last decade.
Virtual land ownership goes hand-in-hand with these trends toward decentralized creativity because it provides a sense of identity alongside your creations: “This is mine.” This sense of self-expression extends beyond just your creations into your space itself: “This is my world.” In many respects, this is similar to what’s happening today when people decorate their homes with artwork or collect sports memorabilia.
Virtual landowners can do much the same thing but extend far beyond walls into multiple dimensions – providing endless opportunities for others to become immersed within your environment.
Next Earth is pioneering this form of personalization in the metaverse, even beyond NFT-based virtual land ownership. Soon, users will be able to make pixel-based land art, merging the old and the new by bringing retro pixel art into the cutting-edge metaverse.