From Art to Games: Key Trends in the NFT Industry

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According to the compilers of the analytical report Cointelegraph Research, in less than 12 months of 2021, NFTs were sold for more than $18 billion. The format of non-fungible tokens has gained incredible popularity. Digitally sold music, game characters, videos, photos, pictures – everything you can imagine.

In what direction will the already firmly established industry develop in 2022? The most accurate assessment of the prospects of this amazing segment will allow the study of the trends of the past year.

Celebrity NFTs

In the past year, many projects have been launched related to the release of NFTs by celebrities of various calibers:

  • Stone Cats by Mila Kunis sold out in half an hour, and the number of applicants turned out to be so large that the commission for transactions in the Ethereum network soared several times.
  • Snoop Dogg in the fall of 2021, he received 190 ETH (about $700,000) from the sale of 10 photos.
  • One of the NBA’s star players Kevin Durant — entered into cooperation with Coinbase to implement a personal NFT project.
  • Quentin Tarantino is preparing to put up for auction some of the episodes that were not included in the final version of the film adaptation of Pulp Fiction – naturally, in NFT format. For virtual trading, the cult director has already received a very real lawsuit from the Miramax studio, but he has not abandoned his plan.

But they made the most noise Crypto Punks – NFTs, released back in 2017 in the amount of 10,000 pieces. All-time fun token trading volume has been an impressive $3 billion, with $2.5 billion in sales recorded in the first 6 months of 2021.

The excitement around the project has reached such a scale that the developers have entered into an agreement on the official representation of their interests with the UTA (United Talent Agency) – an organization that protects the interests of talented people around the world (artists, artists, writers, musicians, etc.).

Play-to-Earn, or earn by playing

NFTs don’t just allow e-artists to generate income. A popular trend has been the emergence of online games built on the system Play-to-Earn (play and earn). The essence is simple and logical – the user has the right to monetize the gameplay and receive rewards for various actions and achievements.

The most famous project is Axie Infinity. Here the user develops unique pets, increasing their level in battles with the “pupils” of other players. For victories, the user receives SLP – tokens that can be sold on the exchange for cryptocurrency. And it can be exchanged for real money. And that’s not all: the pets themselves – they are called Axies – are also NFTs, and they can also be sold.

Rare Axies are often valued at large sums of several thousand dollars. According to official statistics, in December, the total turnover of Axies through exchanges amounted to 130,000 ETH (about $500 million at the exchange rate at that time). That’s “children’s games” for you!

In this gaming world, there is an option to earn money on gaming real estate. Users can acquire and buy land plots that spawn rare monsters or resources. The record for the life of the project was the sale of the site for 550 ETH ($2.3 million), dated November 2021.


The “universal” trend came to the fore in the NFT industry at the very end of last year. The direction of development was set Facebook thanks to the rebranding Meta. In the Metaverse ecosystem, non-fungible tokens play a key role. NFTs guarantee users the right to own any item within the virtual universe.

Vishal Shah, Head of Blockchain Products at Meta, said in a press release that “the new platform will simplify the process of selling limited digital objects such as NFTs, displaying them in a personal digital space, and ensuring the security of resale to other users.”

There are a lot of projects going on right now related to the metaverses:

  • Adidas and Nike began collaborating with computer designers to develop branded NFTs for future metaverses.
  • In Game Blocktopia a colossal 21-level building is being erected – a virtual monument of incredible scale in honor of 21 million BTC (this is the number of bitcoins that will be mined in the end, since the emission is limited by the protocol of the first cryptocurrency).
  • Sandbox promotes its own project of the metaverse – as an alternative to the monopolies of large corporations.
  • In late March UNXD and Decentraland are planning to host a virtual fashion week in Metaverse.


2021 is marked by the creation of a large number of charitable foundations accepting donations in cryptocurrency. Only through Giving Block — one of the platforms serving such transactions — over $100 million was transferred to the accounts of charitable structures last year. For comparison, in 2020, donations amounted to only $4 million.

One of the donation options was the sale of NFTs. Under US law, investors are entitled to a tax deduction in the amount of charitable contributions made from their income. Therefore, they are interested in this way of supporting non-profit foundations: wealthy citizens receive potentially rising in the price of NFTs and pay less taxes, while doing a good deed.

However, the use of tokens in the field of charity is not limited to this. Part of the proceeds from the sale of NFTs are also directed to philanthropic purposes by the organizers of the auctions. It was for these funds that a modern school was built in Uganda in 2021 and money was raised to help doctors during the pandemic. In 2022, financial support is planned for the needs of people with developmental disabilities.


The long-familiar art has become a striking NFT trend of the past year. Previously, in order to popularize their work, artists had to travel around the world and participate in exhibitions and auctions, which not everyone could afford. NFT helps not only to certify the originality of the work at any time, but gives little-known authors a chance to make themselves known to the world.

Art galleries have already been created to showcase NFT works by contemporary artists. Yes, in Melanated NFT Gallery works of African and Latin American authors are presented. And these are not only paintings, but also music, photographs, samples, collectibles and much more.

V Mongolian NFT’s collected landscapes of Mongolia, its songs and stories told by the indigenous people. During the year, about 100,000 tokens were sold through this platform. The proceeds in national currency are equivalent to $500,000.

What’s next for NFT?

The market for digitized works will definitely continue to develop actively in 2022. Non-fungible tokens open the widest possibilities for creating new business models that were previously impossible to implement.

NFTs are able to completely change the habitual appearance of real estate, land, cars, and intangible assets markets. The emergence of the first models of the metaverse will further increase the value of non-fungible tokens in the online economy of the future. NFT is one of the key components of progress, so any investor should pay special attention to this area.


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