How Companies Are Building Digital Asset and NFT Strategies
In August 2021, Gartner released a report that located emerging technologies along what it calls a “hype cycle,” which illustrates the maturation of new industries and products. It placed nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, at the top of a curve termed the “Peak of Inflated Expectations”—a moment in time when a technology receives a great deal of publicity, both positive and negative, attracting some companies to embrace it while scaring off many others.
However, I would argue that NFTs haven’t yet reached that point but rather are still at the “Innovation Trigger” stage, where the technology’s commercial viability is still being developed. This innovation breeds imitation, creating an exponential curve of product delivery and value creation. That means this is a prime time for businesses, especially for those with media and entertainment assets, to begin considering their own NFT strategies and how best to leverage any early-mover advantage to establish a sustainable competitive edge.
An NFT can be any digital asset whose ownership is recorded on the blockchain—typically art, collectibles, and other unique assets used in games or virtual worlds. As companies enter this new sector, blockchain-native startups are unlocking the optimal commercial models for the technology, while established companies are exploring how to leverage these assets within existing business models.
Among established businesses, many early NFT investments seemed aimed at simply capitalizing on the buzz, like Arizona Iced Tea’s purchase of a popular Bored Ape NFT or Fox Corp.’s development of NFT memorabilia for a show called “Krapopolis.” But some companies are taking a longer view, crafting strategies that reflect how transformative this technology will turn out to be.