Three out of the top five Cryptocurrencies are backed by real assets. These assets commonly include US Dollars and Gold. However, this "real backing" isn't limited to fungible cryptocurrencies as more and more non-fungible tokens (NFTs) projects are beginning to utilize real-world assets as a means to create “real yield”.
This article tackles what “backed” really means, and how NFTs’ attachment to real-world assets can be advantageous, as well as their current state, and what is expected of in the future of these NFTs.
Folks in traditional finance must be very well-versed with terms like mortgage-backed securities. This just means that a promise to perform a contractual obligation like paying a loan is made stronger by attaching an asset to it in case of non-compliance.
Asset-backed NFTs are similar to these types of assets; but instead of existing to secure a promise, these give the holders a choice to purchase the NFT in order to claim a real-world asset. In fact, a lot of mainstream brands have dipped their toes into this type of technology.
Last August 2022, Tiffany & Co., a renowned luxury jewelry brand launched NFTiff, their own NFT collection with only a limited supply of 250 items. The holders may then choose to redeem this NFT for physical jewelry, or simply trade it for gains.
Blockbar also launched as a marketplace for NFTs that are redeemable for physical luxury liquor, such as Johnny Walker, Hennessy, Glennfiddich, Royal Salute, and many more. The holders may choose to burn, trade, or redeem these luxury spirits in a physical facility located in Singapore.
With proper education about blockchain or with just a simple blue tick, it is relatively easy to determine whether an NFT collection is legitimate. This makes it easier to detect fake items or fraudulent sellers pretending to be official distributors.
It takes just a few clicks and a few minutes (as long as gas prices are calm, of course) to transfer the ownership of NFTs from a holder to another holder. This makes the ownership to real-world assets linked to these NFTs much easier to transfer as well.
Real estate is considered as the safest form of long-term investment; yet, its barrier to entry is extremely high. With NFTs, it is possible to have multiple owners over a single real-world asset by attaching piecemeal NFTs to it. This way, more people can get hold of real estate investments.
Given that the entry barrier to NFT creation is extremely low, there are already a lot of NFT projects that boast to be backed by real-world assets. Unfortunately, only a few projects seem to live up to their vision, and the number of users actively redeeming these assets are just a small fraction of the community.
Nevertheless, the landscape for this is and will continue to be a work-in-progress. Bitcoin and Stablecoins took over the financial markets thanks to; proper logistics, education, and utility. This brings the question: will NFTs backed by real-world assets be the next thing to bring mass adoption to Web 3.0?