10 Types of NFTs for Beginners, with Examples
by corporate trash
Navigating so many different types of NFTs can be confusing, with more exciting NFT use cases being discovered every day. While profile pictures have become the most talked about type of NFTs since the emergence of the new asset class in 2021, there are many other types of NFTs that represent more than just a jpg.
Here are some popular types of NFTs with examples, which are already being used today. We’ll explain each so you can find what interests you the most.
Profile Pictures (PFPs)
Profile picture projects are usually unique art of animals, creatures, or mythical beings, which have many traits (clothes, hats, eyes, etc.) that are randomized by a smart contract to generate thousands of possible outputs that are all unique. The NFT, meant to be used as a profile picture on social media, may have common attributes or it may be one with much rarer attributes.
PFPs are considered generative art, where each layer of the generative art is created by an artist (or artists), then layered in the minting process by a smart contract (or code) to create a unique NFT. Ultimately, whether the NFT is common or rare is based on the traits the computer assigns the NFT when it’s created.
The most popular of these profile picture projects is the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Some profile picture projects, like Nouns or Cryptoadz, are CC0 (public domain), meaning they can be used or reproduced by the public in any way they want. Owning others, like Doodles, give rights to vote on community initiatives funded by the community treasury — owning one NFT equals one vote.
Example of a Profile Picture NFT
Cool Cats NFT, which originally cost .02 Ethereum to mint. The floor is now around 15 Ethereum, only available on secondary markets. There are 9,999 Cool Cat NFTs, though 66 remain unminted, only accessible by the Cool Cats team. For this collection, the TV heads below are super rare, whereas the cats in the next image are considered more common.
People use profile pictures as their online identities on social media platforms like Twitter or Discord. By having a “premium” PFP NFT like a CryptoPunk or a Bored Ape, it is a “digital flex,” not unlike wearing designer clothing brands in real life — it’s ownership of a provably scarce digital asset, and an original piece of a brand that has permeated popular culture in 2021.
These assets can also provide significant social upside to holders as part of an elite social club, including networking opportunities and exclusive meetups.
See our top 10 NFT PFP projects from 2021 to see more projects in this category.
Traditional and graphic artists entering the NFT space rely on 1-of-1 art pieces. The artist can release and sell their works on several NFT marketplaces, such as OpenSea, LooksRare, Foundation, Rarible, and many other platforms on Ethereum, as well as other options on other blockchains. These works can consist of paintings (digital or physical), cartoons, 3D animations, landscapes, videos, or just about any piece of digital media.
Examples of 1-of-1 NFT Art
Ghxsts by Gxng Yxng have created new model for NFT artists, by using the 1-of-1 art pieces as the key to unlock free airdrops of other art from the artist. The original 102 Ghxsts were .01 Ethereum to buy, and the least expensive one now on secondary is 80 Ethereum.
Another example of popular 1-of-1 NFT art are photography NFTs. In 2021, Drift (@DrifterShoots) released his now-iconic “Where My Vans Go,” series, showcasing his aerial photography from the top of buildings across the world. Most originally sold for .25 Ethereum, and the floor now sits over 40 Ethereum. He’s also released his photography on SuperRare.
Algorithmically Generated Art
Algorithmically generated art is art that’s created solely by code which outputs a unique work. Artists set up a certain code, and through the minting process, the art is generated via that executed code and delivered to the collector as a unique piece.
While traits are drawn by artists for profile picture art, in AI art, the code is solely responsible for the artwork that is produced.
Examples of Algorithmically Generated Art NFTs
Art Blocks is the most popular NFT generative art series, made up from many different artists across several collections. The Curated collection has the most selective process for its artists, such as Tyler Hobbs, creator of Fidenza — current floor is 72 Ethereum. Art Blocks collections are dropped on a regular basis on their website.
The Fidenza above sold for $3.3 million in August, when the Art Blocks market saw a massive run up in sales. Keep in mind, Fidenzas are only one collection from hundreds under the Art Blocks umbrella.
Digital collectibles are often the entry point for large brands to create NFTs. These collectibles come in many types, including sports, fashion, comics, commemorative memorabilia, and more.
Examples of Digital Collectible NFTs
Some of the most popular digital collectibles are:
- NBA Top Shot (Flow)
- NFL All Day (Flow)
- UFC Strike (Flow)
- Adidas Originals (Ethereum)
- VeVe Comics and Collectibles (soon to be Flow)
While Web2 is based on centralization, Web3 is based on transparency of ownership and decentralization. There are NFTs which allow you to truly own your presence and brand on Web3, including Nametag and Yat.
Example of Identity NFTs
Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domains are NFTs that you can buy which give your Ethereum wallet address a unique name ending in .eth. This makes it much simpler to receive Ethereum than typing out your public alphanumeric wallet address.
As the metaverse becomes a reality, many collectors are buying virtual real estate on metaverse platforms. Like other NFTs, each land is tied to the blockchain and is unique, just like a piece of land in the real world.
Collectors are looking to develop their own space to call home in the metaverse, monetize their land, rent it out, build on it for others looking for a metaverse home, or eventually sell it.
Examples of Metaverse Land NFTs
The Sandbox is a gaming-focused platform that has a finite number of LANDs on a map. Its native token $SAND is used to mint them, but you can buy LAND on secondary markets — floor is currently 3.45 Ethereum.
LANDs that are in close proximity to major brands or NFT collections typically have a premium value. The Bored Ape Yacht Club has land in The Sandbox game (seen below), and many want land nearby so people can stop by on the way to that space. A piece of land next to Snoop Dogg’s land in Sandbox sold for $450,000 in December 2021.
Have you ever worked for days in a video game to earn a certain in-game collectible, weapon or achievement? Imagine being able to take that item around with you into other games or universes, or being able to sell it after earning it. Or earning in-game currency for achievements within a game.
NFTs in gaming have endless possibilities, and we’re only scratching the surface, as high-quality games can take years to develop.
Examples of Gaming NFTs
Axie Infinity, seen above, is just one example of a game where the in-game characters are NFTs, and tokens can be earned from playing. Electronic Arts (EA) themselves have said that NFTs and play-to-earn are the future of the industry. Gaming giant Ubisoft mentioned that NFTs will be a revolution in the gaming industry, as have invested in NFT-based games such as Frontier Game.
Epic Games, the founders of Fortnite, raised $1 billion earlier in 2021 to build their platform to “support creators in gaming and across the digital entertainment industry.”
Events and Ticketing
NFTs can act as passes to events, including access to backstage events, digital collectibles, and more. The smart contract automatically distributes fees to the artist, DJ, lighting crew, and more, so the fees on your end are reduced substantially.
Example of Events and Ticketing NFTs
This concept was put into action by entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, whose popular Veefriends NFT acts as a conference ticket to VeeCon for three years.
In addition, several NFT collections threw exclusive holder-only events at NFT NYC in 2021. For example, owning a Bored Ape gave holders access to Ape Fest for free, where Lil Baby, The Strokes, and Beck played.
There are already many artists exploring and releasing NFT albums, as well as platforms like Sound.xyz, which sells limited editions of independent music releases as NFTs. Other innovative ideas are artists sharing royalties of their albums via NFTs. This way, when their songs stream, the label is cut out, and instead, their early fans share portions of that revenue.
Smart contracts make it easy to cut out expensive and cumbersome third parties, allowing artists to connect and collaborate more directly with their fan base.
Example: The platform Royal.io, founded by 3LAU, allows artists and fans to co-own music and share royalties together. Grammy-award winning artist Nas uses Limited Digital Assets (LDAs) on Royal as a token to represent fan ownership in some of his songs.
Digital properties and websites can sell NFTs which give rights to certain media placements. Additionally, brands are using their own projects or collaboration with existing projects to bring visibility to their existing brand.
Example of Advertising NFTs
Stella Artois — owned by Anheuser-Busch — collaborated with the NFT horse racing game ZED RUN to bring custom Stella-branded horses and skins to the game. Learn more about it in our podcast with Anheuser-Busch and ZED:
Many NFTs have already tapped into the fantasy sports community, including NFT Red Zone, Sorare Fantasy Soccer, and Knights of Degen. Rather than playing a zero-sum game, where losers also lose the underlying assets (i.e. the entry fee in traditional fantasy sports games), NFTs can be used over and over again in NFT fantasy games.
Fantasy sports is a big business (see: DraftKings market valuation of almost $20 billion), and NFTs are a perfect way to add more utility to the industry.
Example of Fantasy Sports NFTs
MomentRanks Play has been extraordinarily popular, using NBA Top Shot Moments and Dapper Balance as prizes to the best fantasy teams. Moments can achieve boosts based on their attributes, such as play type and rarity.
Own the Moment’s Tournament of Champions is another fantasy sports game that uses NFTs to compete. At the start of the season, owners bought packs of NFTs which represented a team and position — i.e. Kansas City Chiefs quarterbacks. These NFTs could be used in fantasy contests all year long to compete for $1 million in prizes or resold at any point.
The use cases and utility for NFTs have just begun. Though PFPs are the most notable type of NFT today, in no time they could be overshadowed by other types of NFTs as the space develops and expands.
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