NFTs can be used to represent physical objects, digital content, or even intangible concepts like intellectual property too. It’s crazy to think about it beyond digital content, beyond 2D or 3D images, but there are several actual practical uses for it too…at least soon.
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1. Ensuring Authenticity of Products
NFTs can be used to ensure that the product you are purchasing is authentic. Since the blockchain can permanently store information about the product, checking for rarity and authenticity will soon be a thing on physical products too. NFTs can also be used to store information about the manufacturing process, ensuring that everything is fair trade.
NFT applications don’t stop at consumer products either. There have already been numerous companies successfully using NFTs for industrial design prototyping purposes.
One problem in the world right now is fake food products like supplements and medicine, NFTs can help solve this by tracking and tracing food products. Imagine just scanning a QR code of a nutritional supplement you bought online and seeing its entire journey – from manufacturing to shipment.
In which case, products that erroneously claim they were made and sourced in a specific country will eventually be exposed, since the track record is transparent.
2. Real Estate
NFTs and real estate are made for each other. NFTs could be used to transfer land deeds, provide proof of ownership and even keep track of changes in property value over time using timestamped NFTs.
The real estate industry is one of the most NFT-ready sectors. NFTs can be used in real estate to simplify and speed up transactions, enable smart contracts for properties (allowing automatic payments) or even create decentralized home rental services – all while protecting sensitive data like credit card details.
Imagine knowing everything about the property you are buying in just a few taps on your phone. Know when the property was built, who owned it first, what modifications were done, and everything to the point of you purchasing it.
3. Medical Records and Identity Verification
NFT ledgers can store an individual’s medical records without compromising confidentiality or risking tampering from external sources since NFT transactions are validated on multiple nodes before being added to the blockchain permanently – ensuring that every record is accurate and secure from malicious attempts at manipulation.
NFT applications have been designed specifically to aid healthcare professionals as well — one such example is NFT Birth Certificates that can be issued to newborns by healthcare providers. Issuing one of these NFTs for each child can be an effective way to quickly create a lifelong identity on the blockchain that’s linked to their birth certificate – which is then verified with NFT verification apps.
NFT ledgers also provide safer methods of storing sensitive medical data while still allowing authorized healthcare providers access when required. Narrowly-defined NFT use cases have emerged in recent years where hospitals, health insurance companies, and other organizations are beginning to explore how blockchains could help improve hospital operations by verifying patient identities, recording medical procedures performed without compromising patient confidentiality.
4. Intellectual Property and Patents
NFTs are great for protecting intellectual property and patents. NFT tokens also allow users to prove their ownership of any piece of content, which is not possible with traditional IP rights tools like trademarks and copyrights.
Ownership of an IP can be distinguished, especially with the timestamps, the entire history of the IP. The NFT chain would be immutable, which means that the NFT owner could prove they were the original creator of a piece of work at any point in time.
It’s the same for patents, NFTs can be used to protect and certify ownership of innovation or invention. NFTs could also provide the necessary data for verification, thus creating a public ledger that documents all transactions related to patents.
5. Academic Credentials
NFTs are also a good way to represent academic credentials. NFTs can provide proof of attendance, degree earned, and other important information which will be stored on the NFT chain that cannot be altered or hacked into. NFTs can create immutable records for courses taken by issuing tokens for each course completed along with verifying any degrees earned through smart contract verification systems.
In the future, issuing a paper certificate will no longer be a thing. NFTs will be used as a record of academic achievement and NFT education tokens can be transferred to other individuals, giving them proof that the person holding it earned such an NFT.
6. Supply Chain
As I mentioned above, products, especially in the food industry, have a huge problem when it comes to verifying where they came from, what is in it, and the like. But by using the blockchain, NFTs can be attached to a product, giving it an NFT identifier that cannot be tampered with. This is one perfect example of NFTs working in tandem with supply chain.
In addition, NFTs can also give companies the ability to track their products from manufacturing through shipping and delivery. This gives customers insight into what they are spending money on as well as maintaining transparency within a company’s supply chain.
7. Gaming Industry
NFTs and the gaming industry are a match made in heaven. NFTs can be integrated into the gaming world by allowing NFT cross-platform playability. NFTs, give game developers another way to expand their brand and create another revenue stream, while gamers are given more incentive to keep playing a game if they already own characters or items within it.
NFTs also allow for an easier time trading in games, which can also increase the value since NFT items in games can have a varying degree of rarity. NFT owners won’t have to worry about scams as there is no middleman involved; transactions happen instantly via the blockchain. This opens up all kinds of possibilities like never before including purchasing weapons or other equipment that has been tested by people who used it.
NFTs will be used to replace tickets in the very near future. For example, parking passes can be replaced by NFT Ã¢ÂÂtickets’ that have been assigned a unique ID which you then use when entering the restricted area for validation purposes.
This solves issues related to fraud and reduces paper usage as NFT owners only need one token instead of multiple copies of it (just like how we don’t print out our money). The same concept is applicable with bus tokens or other forms of transportation where payment verification occurs at different points during your journey via scanners.
9. Artwork Tracking
After World War II, a lot of artwork has been lost. Some were replaced by counterfeits, some were stolen by individuals, groups, and whatnot. Soon, original artworks of old masters can be tagged for tracking through NFTs. Of course, this also applies to physical artworks that are yet to be created.
However, of course this could work both ways. Physical art can be turned into an NFT, and NFTs can be turned into physical art as well (while maintaining the digital token of course).
It can help track the originality of a specific piece and reduce or completely eradicate counterfeit artwork in circulation. This also ensures NFT owners that their property is indeed authentic, especially if they bought it from an auction house.
In many countries, voters are required to bring a photo ID and proof of residence with them when going to polling booths to vote. However, many are being disenfranchised as they do not have copies of their IDs or any form of documentation that will prove where they live, or if they are even registered to vote.
Imagine if voting is integrated with NFTs.
NFTs can help solve this problem since they would provide a digital identity for people without physical documentation that proves who they are and where they reside in the country.
This will also help eliminate cheating and voter fraud as NFTs will serve as an official record of those who voted and their votes.
Bonus: the Metaverse
I have written about the Metaverse before and NFTs will play a role in its development. NFT use cases like these mentioned above and others such as paying for products using NFT tokens are just some of the ways NFTs can help shape this virtual reality future where people spend most of their time interacting with digital avatars instead of their physical counterparts.
It is the basic foundation of the Metaverse. Your future avatar in it is an NFT. No one can steal it from you, and it is your actual identity within the space. NFTs can also be used to buy NFT avatars of others. However, the NFT of a celebrity might cost more than you can afford or not be available at all due to licensing issues.
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NFT use cases are still in their infancy, but it is clear that not only games will benefit from this, but also regular people who are going about their daily lives. Not only will this provide ease of use for many services, but it will also increase transparency on many transactions, especially when it comes to ownership of physical properties such as artworks, real estate, a concept or idea, and the like.
In the coming years we will see more development in this field, and you might not even realize that it’s already here at the rate that it is going.