Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have exploded in popularity as a result of the remarkable growth of cryptocurrency over the last two years, with buyers and sellers optimistic about how well it will continue to increase.
Adoption is slowly picking up interest among internet users, with recent data showing total sales volume surging to $12 billion. Sales also grew from just $41million in 2018 to $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021 representing a 60-fold growth in three and half years.
While many still do not understand what NFTs are or how they work, some countries are already adopting NFTs or are showing great signs of adopting them.
Global NFT adoption outlook
The outlook for NFT adoption is quite promising, with a few countries showing signs of opening up to NFTs and a lesser number possessing or even having enough knowledge of NFTs. NFT adoption has taken interesting approaches with the Republic of San Marino adopting NFT COVID-19 vaccination passports. The tokens will help authenticate the documents and reduce counterfeits.
However, according to the Finder’s survey, across the world, an average of 66% of people don’t even know what an NFT is. The lack of NFT awareness is even worse in the United States, at 70.6%, while a full 90% of Japanese aren’t familiar with digital assets.
The fact that NFTs have flourished in spite of not finding widespread adoption, let alone gaining recognition, shows that greater things could be ahead. When world economies like the United States, UK and Japan have barely heard of NFTs, much less begun buying and trading them, future growth could be enormous.
Major drivers of NFT adoption
NFTs first entered the limelight with the launch of CryptoPunks – the world’s first rare digital art marketplace – in October 2017, and has been making waves ever since.
The major drivers of NFT adoption aren’t far-fetched at all. Rarity is a factor that translates literally into how hard to come across a specific NFT is. A good example of rarity is first-of-its-kind artwork from a famous creator in the digital arts industry or an NFT created by a famous celebrity.
Celebrity influence also drives NFT adoption. With celebrities and influencers jumping into the space, platforms like Ethernity started producing limited-edition NFTs by artists and personalities.
Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan sold her first NFT on February 15 for $57,290. Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s maiden NFT received the highest ever bidding of its kind in the country, which could lead to a possible wave of interest in collecting digital assets.
Another important factor behind the increase in demand is that NFTs are not limited to art. The horizons of NFTs have expanded to cover videos, music, GIFs, sports and especially gaming. Gamers are able to generate revenue through their in-game assets in NFT form. As a result, the play-to-earn blockchain gaming model has established itself as an immense growth opportunity for NFTs.
Top five countries with the biggest NFT adoption
Finder’s NFT Adoption report polled more than 28,000 people across 20 countries to compare NFT ownership, and their findings were more interesting than expected. The top five adopting NFTs are mostly Asian countries.
The Philippines has the most NFT owners (32%) out of the 20 countries compared, followed by Thailand (27%), Malaysia (24%), the UAE (23%) and Vietnam (17%).
According to the report, The Philippines has 9.5% of its poll participants planning to buy NFTs and a forecast adoption of 41.5% which is the highest. Thailand, which followed, has 7.9% of its poll participants planning to buy and a forecast adoption of 34.5%.
Malaysia has 10.5% of its poll participants planning to buy NFTs and a forecast adoption of 34.4%. The UAE has 11.5% of its participants planning to buy NFTs and a forecast adoption of 34.9%, and Vietnam has 11.62% of its participants planning to buy NFTs and a forecast adoption of 29.1%.
Furthermore, in 17 of the 20 countries surveyed, men are more likely to have NFTs than women. Of these, the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Malaysia have the biggest gender gaps.
Ultimately, the NFT market is undeniably here to stay as it adapts to the creative preferences of a new digital generation.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.