Web3 and NFT in 2022: what will be important for startups

Already last year there was no avoiding the crypto NFT megatrend, some were talking about “JPEG summer 2021”. The valuation of the largest NFT marketplace OpenSea recently rose from 1.3 billion euros to 11.7 billion euros in six months. Projects such as Bored Ape Yacht Club or CryptoPunks have become classic NFTs that are now selling for millions at the digital store counter. With a turnover of 60 million euros, a collage by crypto artist Beeple has been at the top of the most expensive digital artworks since 2021 – and Beeple himself is one of the best living artists paid all the time.

After the pure information pages of the Web1 and the Web2 platform economy with players like Facebook or Uber, the Web3 with the “ownership economy” represents the next stage in the evolution of the Internet. Cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Polygon or Solana are the basis of NFTs that transform digital assets such as images, videos or music into digital goods.

Some of the best-known voices in the Web3 and NFT scene told us what Web3 trends will be exciting in 2022.

Gamers, the authenticity of luxury and autonomous organizations

The web3 expert and LinkedIn influencer Romain Rollnik sees the growing importance of digital assets inspired by the ever-increasing digitization of more and more areas of life. “The more people spend most of their time online, the more important it becomes for them to present themselves digitally,” says Rolnik. The best conditions for the emergence of a complete ecosystem of new services are currently observable. According to Rolnik, digital property rights will prevail especially in art, games and music. Rolnik has paid particular attention to the field of digital fashion. It is certain that NFTs will see their breakthrough in the lifestyle field as more and more people want to show up in digital profiles as well as on the streets. “Imagine owning a Louis Vuitton bag and using the accompanying NFT – issued by Louis Vuitton – to show that it is an original and not a fake.”

NiftynautNFT collector and founder of swap.kiwi, an NFT exchange platform, sees in it unprecedented community opportunities to interact on the Internet, particularly in terms of means of payment. Decentralized finance (DeFi) is gradually mapping the entire FIAT financial system into the blockchain, from which more and more new products will emerge in 2022. However, Niftynaut is certain that the breakthrough will come in the realm of games. For gamers, “play to win” is becoming the new norm. If you play a game on the blockchain, you own the digital assets used as NFTs, like a specific game character. If the character can fight successfully from level to level, its value increases and can be sold to other players in a market for a profit. So far, in-game transactions have been more of a one-way street, from which game makers alone have earned – in 2021 a remarkable €29 billion worldwide. “Playing to win puts players back in the spotlight. There’s money to be made with NFTs just by playing a game,” says Niftynaut. The sandbox Where Infinity Ax impressively demonstrate how the new concept can work.

“B! » – one of the biggest NFT collectors in the world and founder of RiseDAO, an organization that advocates for the empowerment of women, regards so-called “Decentralized Autonomous Organizations” (DAOs), i.e. organizations owned by their members themselves, as one of the central achievements from web3. “The community is both marketer, investor and fanbase”. The best example is names.dao, a decentralized network that aims to fund projects through the daily sale of computer-generated NFTs – selected by the community. Nouns.dao has already raised more than 53 million euros.

What’s in it for startups

1) Funding

Startups have several reasons to look into NFTs. Last but not least, NFTs can serve as “crowdfunding on steroids” – with a direct financial incentive from financiers. RTFKT’s CloneX was able to raise approximately €87 million in mint, funded solely by the crowd and without having to give up shares of the company. A few weeks later, Nike bought fashion studio NFT for a high triple-digit amount. Anyone who bought a CloneX and thus financed the project most likely made good profits from it. The “Floor Price” (minimum amount for an NFT) is currently 14.2 ETH, or around 38,000 euros.

You can also see brand new VC types popping up. One of them is Hyperscale. A DAO is being created here, supported among others by Sam Altman, to finance start-ups. The promise: up to 1 million euros in funding in one week and after completing a single application file.

“It is foreseeable that significant capital will shift from web2 to web3 in the future,” confirms Niftynaut.

2) New marketing channels and community with benefits

The communication channels are different in web3 and in web2: Discord, Twitter, the Metaverse. Since the idea of ​​community is particularly important in web3 and the community is mainly managed through Discord, startups should not miss to acquire the relevant expertise. Because early employees and supporters can be incentivized in a whole new way through NFTs or tokens: “Early adopters receive financial rewards through free airdrops, just for being there early. A motivation to get involved in a project or a startup,” says TheoGermany’s largest web3 and NFT community “TEO” on Discord.

While there are already a variety of use cases for web3, NFTs, and the metaverse, “we’re still going to see a lot of innovation that we can’t even imagine right now,” says B! For anyone who wants to be part of the community and wonders how long it takes to get used to the topic, she has a concrete track record ready: “A month if you are already familiar with cryptocurrencies, Twitter and Discord and three months for everyone. else.”

In this sense: #wagmi (= we will all get there)

About the Author
Benjamin Bauer is the startup founder and CEO of ZOLLHOF – Tech Incubator in Nuremberg. The ZOLLHOF supports early-stage technology startups in market validation, investment, and customer access. Over the past 5 years since its creation, more than 70 startups have been supported for a total valuation of a good 500 million euros. For the startup batch 2022, the ZOLLHOF focuses among other things on web3 startups.

Photo (above): Rokas Tenys / Shutterstock

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