There is a new player in the NFTs game, and its name is “stocks.” Many are becoming familiar with the NFT, an abbreviation for the non-fungible tokens bought sold, and traded on the cryptocurrency marketplace.
However, in recent months, the unique marketplace has added another facet to a space many already find confusing. Stocks is a term more traditional investors have familiarity with, making it a more approachable venture for those in the know.
Still, others are weighing the options of the versatility of NFT design, and how it may be used in unique ways in both crypto exchanges and the old-fashioned stock market. This ever-changing face of digital assets may have found itself an entirely new revenue stream.
What Is an NFT?
If this whirlwind of activity still has your head spinning, it is best to go back to the beginning and be sure you understand the vocabulary and moving parts of the entire system. Let’s first unwrap the basics, starting with the non-fungible token itself.
What’s In a Name?
There are many words and phrases that this new and exciting investing world have “coined” over the years. One of them is the NFT.
Non-fungible tokens are those that cannot be exchanged for something similar. The term simply means something that is unique, irreplaceable, and without an equal. Think of it like no two snowflakes are said to be exactly the same. There are many snowflakes, but they are not exact copies of one another.
Tokens are a term used in the cryptocurrency world to describe a representation of something else. You can think of a token much like the tokens of old in a video game arcade. Many that are old enough to recall Aladdin’s Castle may remember that you did not walk around with a pocket full of quarters.
Instead, you slipped your cash into a machine that converted your funds into Aladdin’s Castle tokens, which then could be used to play games. These tokens are similar to the crypto exchanges’ operations today. Instead of fiat currency, such as the US Dollar, the exchange will often work with a native crypto.
Much like being unable to use your Aladdin’s Castle tokens in Chuck E. Cheese, which of course had its own unique mouse-donning token, some crypto marketplaces require you to convert funds into its own unique crypto.
Uses of a Token
Tokens are not just a way to differentiate value from network to network. They are also used in two key ways.
Tokens for Representation
Beyond the uniqueness of different platforms having their own native currency, the token is also representative. This is a term used for something that is standing in for something else.
You can think of the token, too, like a casino chip. When you enter a casino, you exchange your funds for plastic chips. You don’t sit at the roulette wheel with hundred-dollar bills. Instead, round plastic chips represent the money you have at stake on the table.
Tokens are similar for the cryptocurrency marketplace. Tokens stand-in for something else. A token can represent nearly anything in the universe.
TOKENS IN A VIRTUAL LANDSCAPE: DIGITAL ASSETS
In a digital world, tokens can be used to represent things online. From a piece of music to a funky avatar, they can be nearly any digital file. NFTs started out largely focused on just that, to represent digital pieces from .mp3s and .mp4s to .jpgs and .gif files.
From there, the platform has grown well beyond who owns a strange-looking monkey face or digitized kitten.
TOKENS AND DIGITAL ART
Most commonly, tokens (NFTs particularly) are currently used to represent digital art. Allowing creators to be paid value for their work, the token can stand in to show what the piece is worth, who owns the piece and verify its authenticity.
NFTs are best known for this use, being bought and sold to track the unique ownership of digital art pieces. While tokens’ uses are a vast and varied world of possibilities, this is often the most frequent current use of the technology.
TOKENS FOR TANGIBLE, REAL-WORLD ASSETS
As the use of tokens expands, there are many platforms exploring the representation of real-world assets, such as cars, property, and real estate. A true piece of land, with acreage and surveyed borders, can be represented by a single token.
In the future, you may show proof of ownership of your vehicle simply by owning an NFT. The future uses for this high-tech item are nearly endless, and the space is just getting started. There is plenty of room for growth and change, as developers continue to find new and unique uses for NFTs.
Use of Tokens in an Open Marketplace
The second major use of a token is to balance a confusing and strange marketplace, which includes everything from a 5,000-piece photo collection, to a private island, to a first Tweet. Because the token can represent so many things in so many ways, it can be confusing to bring all of those items to the same marketplace.
But, with the use of tokens, you can truly compare the proverbial apples and oranges. For example, if you bring two pieces of physical artwork to the table, and I bring a car, and our friend brings a digitized kitten, who is to say what is worth more or less? These are confusing and complicated things to bring to the table and expect fair and just exchanges.
However, if you know that a single NFT (a token) is worth these said to pieces of physical artwork, and that same token is worth this particular car, and the same token is also worth one digital kitten, then you can being to level the playing field, offering fair and balanced trading. These three bizarre things to compare have suddenly gone from one-of-a-kind unique pieces, to tokens of the same kind.
In this way, the NFTs marketplace is often used to provide a fair value for a digital asset. IF you aim to enter the NFTs market, understanding the value of tokens can go a long way in your success in the NFTs space.
What Is an NFT Stock?
There are two main ways that you can discuss NFT stocks. We’ll break down the concept, to both educate you and avoid confusion when discussing what precisely and NFT stock is and how the term can be used in the global economy.
An NFT Representing a Stock
A term less commonly used in the space is to discuss NFTs as the direct representation of a traditional stock. As we’ve discussed, an NFT can represent any object, digital or physical, with a token standing in to represent the value for something else.
In this vein, some have considered using the blockchain technology behind the NFTs to simply stand-in for a stock. There are a few reasons to consider such a swap.
Use of the Blockchain Technology
Firstly, having an NFT represent any item brings with it the technology of the blockchain. The blockchain is a decentralized public ledger that provides verification and securities to its users. The NFTs use itself is locked into the blockchain, once verified, through a complex series of computations completed on the backend.
Once NFTs are locked into a block, along the chain (yes, hence the naming of said tech), it is immutable. No one has the power to change that information. It is locked into place.
Not only does this tech provide the utmost security, preventing hacking, fraud, and error, it is also one that focuses on a decentralized operation. In other words, no one central authority, such as a bank or government, can control NFTs. Instead, a peer-to-peer network spreads the “power” around amongst the people or users of the blockchain.
This option is appealing to those that enjoy anonymity, not to mention avoiding the overseeing power of a government or bank. Using NFTs in the blockchain to represent a stock could mean a change in the game entirely, giving owners of a token a loophole in what is typically known as a public stock exchange.
For as many that like it the way it is, there are plenty of investors out there looking to make changes to the typical stock market and its traditions. Those investing in the digital asset marketplace find comfort not only in the technology but the lack of a central authority.
For these reasons, they enjoy crossing a more traditional stock into the NFT space, allowing them to enter both spaces of exchanging, but knowing the value of a stock in an NFTs portfolio. It is, in other words, stems back to the old “apples and oranges” concept.
If you have your assets focused in an NFTs marketplace, you may also want to see your traditional stocks in that space, too, so you are aware just how much it is valued in those terms, and not just on ye old stock market.
The Stock Market Exploring NFTs
Far more often, when experts (and novices) are discussing NFT stocks, they are referring more to the publicly traded and traditional stock markets of the globe as they begin to venture into the world of NFTs. In other words, instead of thinking of these tokens as a direct representation of your ownership of a particular stock (let’s say, for example, you have one token that is worth one stock in Apple), the space is starting to discuss major corporations and their look into the NFT craze.
Recent data has shown that in 2021 alone, the market aimed to sell NFTs hit $25 billion. It is no wonder that the big names of the traditional global markets also want to jump into this arena.
To understand this phenomenon more clearly, we can take a look at a specific example in Dolphin Entertainment. This company is an often discussed venture due to its size and popularity. Currently, the organization, which is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange as DLPN, is an independent entertainment marketing and premium content development firm.
DLPN has clients all over the globe, ranging from music, television, and gaming, to the hospitality industry. In an effort to be sure they are marketing in all the best ways, Dolphin Entertainment has also recently begun operations in a newly formed NFTs division.
The goal of the new NFTs-focused division is to assist its clients in the creation, buying, selling, trading, and managing of NFTs. The company recently launched an NFTs marketplace in collaboration with cryptocurrency exchange operator, FTX.US.
By creating this “outward facing” and “large scale” venture, DLPN has seen its value overall increase on the traditional global markets. As with most NFT stocks today, DLPN is looking at a year-to-date gain of a whopping 260 percent.
Big Names in NFT Stocks
Dolphin Entertainment Inc. is not the only “fish” (yeah, we know dolphins are mammals, but the pun is fun anyhow) in the sea. There are plenty of other familiar names getting in on the NFT stocks concept. For example, eBay continues to wet its feet in the same waters allowing users to sell NFTs on its popular marketplace.
The auction-site giant plans to have more features added in the coming months allowing the digital asset space to join the more traditional auctions its users are accustomed to worldwide.
Funko is another name Nasdaq enthusiasts should recognize. These makers of plush and plastic collectibles, games, and accessories jumped into the NFTs stocks game with the acquisition of stakes in TokenWave. The company used its majority shares (acquired for an undisclosed amount) to launch Digital Pop! collections, which they report to have sold out at a rapid pace.
By adding these new revenue streams into the fold, companies like eBay and Funko have driven up the value of their traditional stock exchange worth. It is just a matter of time before other big names join in on the fun (and earning potential).
The Future of NFT Stocks
If we all fully understood the future of stocks, investing would be a whole lot easier. As new technologies continue to develop, and new uses for them even more so, there will always be change. Some of that change leads to profit. Some of it just leads to confused consumers. No matter what NFTs look like on the horizon, however, one thing is for sure: it is an exciting and growing industry.
Many consumers in the pandemic era of the online-driven universe are enjoying the world of NFTs. From its current levels, many see the value only going up in the years to come. Staying tuned into researched and informative articles will keep you at the forefront of this ever-changing industry.
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