But it wasn’t too long before the enthusiasm cooled off.
2021, however, has been a breakout year for NFTs, as they found disruptive applications in how asset ownerships are defined in the real world.
Notably, the use cases of NFTs can be seen in the monetization of intellectual properties such as art and music and the incentivization of gaming platforms via the play-to-earn model.
As we approach 2022, below are the promising NFT projects to watch out for.
Top 5 NFT Projects For 2021
1. Crypto Punks
Crypto Punks is one of the earliest NFT projects in the blockchain space that launched in 2017 (after Crypto Kitties) as the collaborative efforts of two Canadian-software developers at the American studio, Larva Lab.
The collection consists of a unique set of 10,000 pixelated head images of punks stored on the Ethereum blockchain as ERC-721 tokens.
Thus, the ownership of the assets can be tracked and traced on the Ethereum network.
Today, Crypto Punks is one of the most sought-after collectibles on NFT marketplaces – which explains why they continue to soar in price.
One Crypto Punk NFT made headlines in October this year after selling for about $532 million.
Meanwhile, as of this writing, the floor price of Crypto Punks across NFT marketplaces is estimated at 632.5KE (equivalent to almost $1.86B).
Thus, considering the limited supply of the NFTs in this collection, it is easy to predict a continuation of these trends in the coming year.
2. WAX (Worldwide Asset eXchange)
While most NFT marketplaces take the familiar path of facilitating decentralized P2P exchange between buyer and seller, the WAX NFT marketplace takes a different approach to reduce the carbon footprints generated when NFTs are minted and transacted.
The platform uses the energy-efficient DPoS (Delegated Proof of Stake) consensus mechanism that guarantees a higher level of security.
Aside from that, WAX blockchain enables creators to build NFT games, apps, and native marketplaces.
Some of the popular titles on the WAX platform today are Deadmau5, Topps, and William Shatner.
Thanks to these features, over 6 million active wallets are currently on the WAX ecosystem, with about 325k daily visitors and about 30k dApps.
Estimated, the number of transactions daily exceeds 15 million. Safe to say, WAX is the world’s largest environment-friendly blockchain network for NFTs.
Considering the long-term potential of the network, WAX could be a profitable investment in the NFT space next year.
After the quick rise and fall of the aforementioned Crypto Kitties, very few projects tried to regurgitate hopes of a virtual-reality universe powered by the blockchain.
Decentraland was one of them. Specifically, it is an NFT platform that allows users to create and monetize applications and recreational content on virtual lands.
Participants can also trade digital items such as custom avatars and participate in a reward-based governance system.
Interestingly, access to these features is only available on the basis that a user acquires a virtual passport (also an NFT) which serves as a digital identity in the Decentraland metaverse.
However, one thing is sure; once you are inside the Decentraland virtual world, there is almost no limit to what you can do. For one, you can make staggering profits from flipping virtual lands.
In November this year, a plot of land in Decentraland sold for as high as $2.43 million – far more than the average cost of homes in New York and San Francisco.
Decentraland also has a native token, MANA, the default currency for buying in-game assets and virtual lands on the platform.
As of this writing, the coins are trading at a little above $3. However, experts project a much higher valuation for the tokens in the near future.
One of the oldest names in the crypto network, Enjin started as a gaming network in 2009 before it forayed into the blockchain space with the launch of the Enjin coin.
However, it turned out to be too early a move in crypto space at the time. Nevertheless, the suite of integrated developer tools, APIs, and open-source SDKs meant developers could access a complete kit of resources needed to build and launch blockchain games.
With over forty developers creating games on the platform in 2018, Enjin became the first-ever gaming multiverse.
Early this year also, the network’s native token, ENJ, had the highest market valuation in the NFT space. The primary reason for this could be that the Enjin ecosystem makes it easy for creators to build, monetize and incentivize games for users using the ENJ coin.
Moreover, Enjin’s gamification products are actively used to drive marketing campaigns for blockchain heavyweights like Coinmarketcap, Binance, and numerous crypto startups.
The project developers also recently announced the ongoing development of its next NFT blockchain network for the Polkadot ecosystem.
With all that in view, there are persuasive reasons to believe Enjin’s future success will significantly overshadow its previous performance.
OpenSea is the most popular and largest NFT marketplace, providing decentralized trading services to over 50 kinds of digital assets and collections, including Decentraland, Crypto Punks, and CryptoKitties.
The website also affords developers the freedom to build custom marketplaces and off-site collections with royalties so they can steadily earn commissions from secondary sales of their items.
Aside from that, the exchange offers the best trading experience, and the interface is second to none, thus setting it apart from its competitors.
Moreover, if you are an NFT gem collector looking to flip some of your prized pieces, OpenSea might be the best place for you as there is never a shortage of buyers on the exchange.
Aside from that, initiating a few trades on OpenSea might qualify you for a retrospective airdrop if the exchange ever decides to launch a token.
The above list is by no means exhaustive. However, all five NFT projects are our top selection in the current landscape of the NFTs. They are therefore worth researching.
It’s also essential to note that NFTs are not going away anytime soon as, for the first time, digital content creators finally have a way to protect their work and reduce risks of copyright violations.
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