Note: This article originally appeared on Featured by Binance and has been amended here for clarity. Read the original article in its entirety here.
Binance is excited to announce the imminent launch of a new platform that we've been incubating called Featured by Binance. Our vision is to provide a non-custodial, on-chain platform to facilitate the full lifecycle of NFTs for creators, brands and their fans.
We want to apply our deep experience in launching tokens and creating markets to the NFT space. At launch, the platform will focus on helping our brand partners launch NFT assets with strong unique narratives, a marketplace to trade those assets, and creator tools to mint, sell and showcase their NFT creations.
We’d like to use the rest of this post to share our perspectives on where this burgeoning NFT space is going. We hope that this also helps you get a sense of how our platform will evolve in the future.
NFTs: Hype and Hypothesis
Most crypto users would know that NFTs have captured the imagination of the mainstream public, and the word ‘NFT’ has entered the vernacular of popular culture.
NFT hype has been driven in equal parts by creators/fans embracing this new technology, and on the flip side, non-crypto media who are trying to understand why anyone would spend meaningful money on easily replicable digital assets.
In any case, the NFT hype peaked in early May 2021 and has since settled back down to less frothy levels. Even then, NFT transaction volumes are an order of magnitude higher than before, back when hardly anybody knew what NFTs were. Teck Chia, CEO of Featured by Binance, notes that he would, “take 10x growth in three months any day.”
Still, the recent downturn in transaction volumes begs the question: Are NFTs a flash in the pan or here to stay?
As you may have guessed, we’re decidedly in the latter camp. To us, NFTs are part of a bigger behavioral shift and the Featured by Binance platform would ideally be a factor in how this shift plays out.
The New Digital Normal
As many of you may have experienced over the past year, the pandemic has accelerated the shift to digital in many aspects of our lives. The way we work, play, conduct commerce, socialize, experience culture and entertain ourselves have all been transformed, some in more jarring ways than others.
Now, brands have to find new ways to meaningfully engage their users in the digital realm. Some verticals that are more digitally-native, like gaming and streaming entertainment, are more well-positioned than others, like sports, consumer goods, fine arts and live entertainment, that have traditionally operated in the physical realm.
Regardless, a consistent and well-proven element underlying all digital experiences is the use of digital goods. Digital goods have been used successfully in a multitude of ways to engage fans and monetize IP. GenZs, who grew up in the era of app stores, are primary drivers of this trend as there is an increasing number of younger consumers entering credit-worthy age.
We believe that the next evolution of digital goods will be on the blockchain and NFTs are the first step towards that transformation.
Digital Goods on the Blockchain
We are observing early market dynamics pushing digital goods towards better platforms. Just as ‘money’ and financial markets (DeFi) have, slowly but surely, migrated to the blockchain, digital goods will do the same.
At this point, It’s helpful to rehash the unique properties of the blockchain that make it a better platform for digital goods.
Direct-to-Fan Relationships via Trustlessness
Blockchains enable peer-to-peer transactions via smart contracts without any trusted intermediaries. By minting NFTs on the blockchain, creators are establishing a direct relationship with their fans—free of any platform risks.
Global Reach via Open Accessibility
Blockchains are public infrastructure that are universally accessible. Everyone, regardless of where you're located or who you are, interacts with NFT contracts in the same way, unfettered by proprietary platforms and restrictions.
Permanence via Immutability
NFTs, once minted on the blockchain, cannot be altered. This confers a strong sense of ownership and permanence, which is especially important in the gaming and the collectibles space. In fact, based on the genesis story of Ethereum, the permanence of blockchains may be one of the reasons why Vitalik invented Ethereum.
Rapid Innovation via Open Standards
NFTs are based on open standards (ERC/BEP-721, ERC/BEP-1155 etc.). Standards give rise to network effects, interoperability and composability, the same reasons why DeFi (and the internet for that matter) is such a disruptive force. We believe this will unlock a lot of exciting innovation in digital goods.
What Lies Ahead
Our MO has always been to partner with forward-looking brands and creators that have a long-term perspective on this vision. In the past few months, we have engaged with many artists, brands, IPs and creators in all manners of crypto sophistication, popularity and genres.
In our conversations, we found kindred spirits motivated to embrace and experiment with NFTs. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with amazing artists and brand partners in this journey, which we will announce closer to launch day.
For creators and brands whom we haven’t had a chance to engage with yet, we’d love to speak with you. Please drop us a note at [email protected].
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