4 Ways to Drive NFT Popularity

Nonfungible Tokens (NFTs) are one of the most exciting technologies in the blockchain and decentralized ledger space. As more people become intrigued by tokenization, nonfungibility, and their role in the emerging metaverse, there are questions about how to make them more accessible, which will then propel NFT popularity into an even more widespread acceptance and use. As it is, though, NFTs are still a niche within a niche, so how can they be more popular? We have four steps:

1. Better UX

One of the immediate barriers to entry anyone must overcome when they’re introduced to a new technology is figuring out how that technology works. While user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are often used interchangeably, such a shortcut ignores the importance both principles have on each other. A good UX designer is concerned with the entire process of integrating the product, asking why the product is used, what purpose it serves, and how that process can be more accessible.

It should be no surprise that some of the most successful technology companies and websites have the best user experience — or at least the most beginner-friendly. If you go to Google, there’s really very little to distract you from the reason you went to Google — usually to make an internet search. Staying with the Google theme, YouTube is also a very user-friendly platform that makes the skill of video postproduction and deployment accessible to creators.

NFT marketplaces would be well-advised to remember that anyone buying or selling an NFT may be making their first-ever transaction, and so, to help grow the popularity of NFTs, marketplaces should maintain and strive for an ever-improving user experience.

2. Fiat Purchasing Options

Speaking of the possibility that a person’s first NFT purchase is also their first transaction on the blockchain, NFT marketplaces should consider the possibility that the person who’s making the listing or bidding for the NFT doesn’t hold cryptocurrency in their blockchain wallets.

Consider this: while crypto has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years, a Pew Research survey found that only 16% of American adults have used a cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, Ether, which is the most widely-used crypto for NFT purchases, has about 10 million users. It’s a growing field, and more people are buying cryptocurrencies, but it is yet to supersede fiat (traditional paper) money.

NFT marketplaces artificially limit who can get involved in the NFT community and who can buy one when they mandate someone must buy an NFT with a specific cryptocurrency. Imagine someone who has the funds in fiat currency to buy an NFT, but not in the needed crypto — in order to buy that NFT requires the extra step of buying the crypto before returning to the marketplace; hopefully the NFT hasn’t already been sold!

3. Broaden the Appeal

One of the primary reasons NFTs have, to date, struggled to gain popularity is that people don’t understand why they should buy one, and while the art in NFTs can be beautiful, a lot of people don’t see the appeal. One of the ways we can drive NFTs popularity is to meet customers where they’re at. While the potential applications for NFTs go far beyond memorabilia and digital art, appealing to someone new to the technology requires offering them something they want to buy. People have been collecting sports cards and memorabilia for years; NFTs allow these pieces of ephemera to have more permanence in the digital format.

Sports are among the most popular forms of entertainment in the world, and more sporting organizations are seeking out ways to include NFTs in the way they interact with and appeal to their fans.

4. Avoid the Jargon

Let’s be honest, blockchain and the technology around it is sometimes a language all its own. Even defining the term “nonfungibility” required a good deal of space when we first wrote about NFTs. The dictionary of blockchain is a growing one that we’re all, to some extent, still learning as new applications for the technology continue to be developed. People are intimidated by the jargon and the language they don’t understand, so to grow the popularity of NFTs, we must be mindful of the new collector, and we cannot fairly expect that person to be knowledgeable of all the complexities. The continued democratization of blockchain should be a top priority.