We explore what kind of perks NFTs can offer, how NFTs can be gifted, and how to pick the right one.
This holiday season, we’re all looking for that perfect present. Something that's valuable, but economical. Meaningful, but not mundane. Usable, but won't get used up. Perhaps you’ve delved into the depths of online marketplaces, or patrolled the isles of a department store, but have still emerged empty handed. We've all been there, people aren’t always easy to buy for. Plus, nobody wants their carefully selected gift to end up in the trash because it doesn’t quite hit the mark. Or it’s simply too hard to transport home or takes up too much space.
For this common gift-giving problem, we’re proposing a somewhat uncommon solution: NFTs. Digital versions of toys may sound kooky, but what if you could collect some of your favorite hot wheels online? Or collect digital art with the iconic ToysRUs mascot? But we’re not just talking about digital art. We’re looking at NFTs that come with real-world benefits and rewards that keep giving throughout the year. You may be wondering: How can an NFT be a Christmas gift? What kind of perks can NFTs give? Or maybe you’re just wondering what the heck an NFT is. Read on to find out.
Real quick, what's an NFT?
NFT stands for non-fungible token. This means that an NFT is verifiably unique and can’t be exchanged for another token with the same value. If you’re new to NFTs, check out our NFT guide to learn the basics. If you gift someone an NFT, your gift won’t just be theoretically one-of-a-kind… there really aren’t won’t be any others like it out there! The digital item may, on the surface level, appear similar to others of its type, but its individual value is 100% unique. If your NFT appears similar to another, it may be part of a collection that generally has a theme with related benefits. Because there are so many different interests a collection may be based around, we’ve compiled a list of different NFTs to invoke your imagination.
What kinds of NFTs exist?
If you’ve heard of NFTs before, you may associate them with digital art collections. These collections generally have a theme, such as CryptoPunk’s pixel art or Bored Ape Yacht Club’s disinterested primates. When you purchase an NFT from these collections, your token will contain a link to a piece of digital art that is verifiably unique and yours. The aforementioned collections differ from pure art NFTs in that they also provide access to an exclusive community club. This club may take the form of a server where you can meet and socialize with other NFT owners.
To check out more NFTs that are based around owning a digital art asset, head over to popular NFT marketplace OpenSea’s Art category. There, you’ll find popular collections with a variety of different themes and benefits. Art NFTs may be associated with physical products as well. Toy manufacturer Mattel recently launched a Barbie NFT collection that features Barbie dolls in unique fashion styles. A physical clothing line was launched alongside this collection designed by French luxury brand Balmain.
Speaking of benefits, there’s a type of NFT that gives unique benefits and rewards to its owner. These are called utility NFTs. They’re used as a form of identity verification so an individual can access a gated service or product. While art NFTs are unique for the sake of the object associated with it, utility NFTs are unique to identify the owner of the NFT.
So, what are the perks of owning a utility NFT? Well, that depends on the type of utility NFT you purchase. But five big ways NFTs can provide users with utility are through gated access, merch and community projects, loyalty programs, reward tokens and ticketing.
For example, an NFT like Afterparty comes with access to exclusive events around the world. Owners of the NFT are considered members and receive all-access passes to events and opportunities to purchase other concert tickets early.
The NFTree collection may not provide access to an event, but it offers a different strong promise: 1 NFT = 1 real city tree. Upon purchasing an NFT, NFTree Haus will plant a physical tree which you’ll be able to verify is yours through the blockchain. This climate initiative will also connect you with other tree owners interested in positive environmental efforts.
Why gift an NFT?
NFTs are a unique gift in that they’ll stay useful and engaging well past the holidays. Owning an art NFT grants access to communities and other social platforms to collaborate on. Utility NFTs will provide perks and benefits that will be appreciated throughout the year.
Best of all, NFTs can be owned and accessed by anyone that owns a phone or computer. They don’t take up any physical space and don’t require extra luggage in order to haul home. NFTs also don’t have any excess waste like gift wrap or packaging that’s ultimately thrown into a landfill after opening.
NFTs are also truly (verifiably!) unique gifts that your recipient is unlikely to already own. No worries about returning or exchanging the gift either – once the recipient owns the NFT they’re free to buy and sell it as they see fit.
How to find the perfect gift
Sometimes it’s best to start with what you already know the person you’re gifting for is interested in. You’d be surprised how many different companies have dabbled into NFTs. The utility and availability of these NFTs range from company to company, but sometimes it’s as simple as an enhanced experience for the product or service that the person already uses.
Starbucks has created Starbucks Odyssey, a Web3 experience designed to integrate NFTs into a platform that rewards members for their loyalty. Members earn stamps that act as rewards for purchasing Starbucks drinks. These stamps can be traded and collected to provide additional unique benefits.
The NBA created Top Shot, an NFT that lets fans relive and trade highlights from some of Basketball’s greatest moments. Top Shot has unique fan challenges and a community that members get exclusive access to.
Besides searching for NFTs associated with known brands and hobbies, you can also search for utility NFTs that enhance an experience that the person you’re buying for is already interested in.
The Cocky Can NFT gives owners access to real-life music events and experiences. Members can vote on specific artists they’d like to see as well as what locations they’d like the next event to be hosted at.
Some famous musicians have released NFT collections as well. Deadmau5 released digital cards and stickers that are designed around the band’s iconic mouse mascot. Kings of Leon released one of their albums as a digital NFT available for purchase. Owning these assets come with additional benefits and can be bought and traded like any other NFT.
Ultimately, the NFT you settle on as a gift will depend on that person’s unique interests. Shop around on popular NFT marketplaces or search for NFT initiatives that may be related to their interests. For example, we have a separate article on green NFTs that promote environmental awareness and carbon neutrality.
How to Gift an NFT
Once you’ve settled on an NFT, you’re probably wondering how to get it. In order to buy an NFT, you’ll need to do a few steps first. We outline these steps in our NFT Guide. Here’s a brief overview of how to gift an NFT to someone else:
1. Set up a digital wallet
2. Find a marketplace
Once you set up your wallet, you’ll need to link it to a common marketplace. We mentioned OpenSea before but the site you use will ultimately depend on the type of NFT you want to buy. Some collections like NFTree allow you to directly connect your wallet to their site in order to obtain an NFT.
3. “Wrap” your gift
In order to send your NFT to the recipient, you’ll need them to already have a digital wallet set up. Part of your gift may very well be helping them set up their wallet! That said, it’s best to only give NFTs to someone that at least understands the basics of what an NFT is and how to access it. You also cannot give NFTs to anyone under 18, as they can’t open a digital wallet.
If their digital wallet is already set up, find their public wallet address and send the NFT over the network. Some wallets may have additional fees for sending NFTs quicker, so be aware that small fees may result in it taking a while for the NFT to be transferred.
Once the transaction is complete, you can verify that ownership has successfully transferred over using a blockchain explorer like Etherscan. Because all blockchain transactions are public, you’ll be able to see whose identity the NFT you’ve purchased is tied to.
Ready to get gifting?
With how easy it is to set up and gift digital goods, we hope we’ve shown how NFT gifts can help ease the troubles of holiday gift shopping. Beyond this, maybe you’ve got some unlikely inspiration for an interesting gift for that person who’s particularly difficult to buy for! After all, gift-giving should never get in the way of enjoying the holiday season with your friends and family.