Did you think non-fungible tokens (NFTs) were hard to wrap your head around? Well now, some of them are getting interesting and even weird.
This Spring, the world was introduced to a new crypto craze: one-of-a-kind, blockchain-based assets called NFTs. These digital collectibles began selling for five, six figures, or even eight. Everybody was talking about NFTs, and few people actually understood them.
Maybe you’ve recently come around to the idea—you kind of get, now, why unique digital assets would have such value to people. That’s why this article exists: to confuse you all over again. As the mainstream caught onto NFTs, the market moved the goalposts again, venturing into even stranger territory than before. Some of today’s NFTs are even more unique, complex, and simply weirder than the ones that came before, and brands are jumping on this trend too.
A Digital Fragrance For The Metaverse
It turns out that digital perfume is a must have in the metaverse. If that sentence makes no sense to you don’t worry. You’re merely being introduced to the most fragrant NFT on the market: Cyber Eau de Parfum. Last month, Berlin-based Look Labs used near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to record no less than the microscopic, molecular vibrations emanated by its new perfume, along with the associated bottle and label. They took the associated data and created an NFT artwork out of it. They called it a digital reflection of a physical scent.
Perhaps the most interesting use case here isn’t the NFT itself, but what might be done with it in the future. As Look Labs founder Jordan Katzarov noted in Dezeen: “Potentially if we have a machine that can convert back those molecular reflections, we can recreate the scent back or, we can have an AI algorithm that can ‘decode’ the scent and reproduce it in the near future.”
Will we need cologne and eau du parfum where we are heading?
NF TP Brought To You By Charmin
This one is a play on words launched in a timely manner by one of P&G’s brands. Not sure how the idea came about, or when, but at some point, someone in their creative team thought toilet paper should be an NFT.
Charmin is ready to help you participate in the crypto economy. Their latest, strangest marketing effort is toilet paper-themed NFT art. The current highest bid for one of these beauties is 1.45 wrapped ETH—approximately what it’d cost to buy about 6,000 rolls of actual toilet paper. All proceeds from this auction will be donated to Direct Relief, an organization that provides relief in emergency situations providing lifesaving medical resources to communities in need.
Can I Get Some Pickles With My NFT
Like Charmin, a number of food brands—Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Pringles and others—have been using NFTs as a way to advertise to younger demographics. Grillo’s Pickles is using the trend to promote their pickles, auctioning off 16 NFTs featuring their mascot. At $7, each Grillo NFT will be entered into an NCAA-style summer “bracket.” The “winner” of the contest will become the company’s mascot for the summer, featuring in their marketing, social media and so on. And, according to Grillo’s CEO: “Every time an NFT is sold, 25% of the purchase price will be donated to Feeding America to help them stock food banks and support families facing hunger. The bracket winner will receive a year’s worth of pickles!”
My Digital Racehorse Is Faster Than Yours
The first NFTs to really make an impact were CryptoKitties—cartoon kittens with unique characteristics that could be bought, sold and bred over the blockchain. Famously, the simple game was so popular that it slowed the entire Ethereum network to a near-halt. Now “ZED” is taking the idea one step further.
In ZED RUN you buy, sell and breed digital racehorses, each with their own “bloodline” and “genotype.” Instead of just collecting, you can enter your horses into races against other collectors. And you can bet on the races, just like in real life, because the algorithm underpinning the game is “provably fair.” All the latest digital horse drops have sold out and there seems to be more appetite for this type of NFT.
Would you bet on this NFT?
Tennis Elbow Is Now Tennis Arm
Some people donate blood or even hair. Some people sell their plasma. Now, a Russian tennis player is introducing a new body part to monetize: the arm. Oleksandra Oliynykova—the world’s 658th-ranked women’s tennis player—recently auctioned the portion of her right arm between the shoulder and elbow to a buyer on the OpenSea marketplace. As she explained in the listing: “I will bring your art object or message to every tennis court I play. As I am 20 years old only and my sports career is on the rise, I believe it’s going to be the biggest tennis location in the world.”
Oleksandra’s arm went for three ETH—around $5,415 and now is worth over $12,000. The buyer can now choose a temporary or permanent image or message that she must get tattooed on that portion of her arm.
Back To Business
Oleksandra’s arm might seem like cheap real estate compared to what Jason Festa is doing. In his daily work, Festa is the creative director for Upland—a game where cryptocurrency holders can buy and sell virtual plots of land. Now he’s taking the concept of his game one step further, auctioning off real estate on his own body.
Festa has tattooed a 34-plot grid on his back, each section of which will be auctioned on OpenSea for at least 1 ETH apiece. Any squares sold for more than 3ETH will have a percentage donated to charity. The winners of each plot will get to choose what he’ll get tattooed within their plot. According to a release, “The project is a reflection of the research Jason is doing regarding the good & bad of metaverse environments. Each tattoo square is a window into buyer’s minds of what a future metaverse will mean to them. He believes the metaverse will open the floodgates of creativity for everyone on the planet, not just the elite few who can afford physical art. The metaverses combined with NFTs will decentralize who can own and experience art & design.”
The Space Watch
NASA may be known for space travel, but their newest uncharted territory is the NFT market. Today on Rarible, they’re auctioning off a one-of-a-kind wristwatch manufactured by ANICORN, designed by Richard Danne, the man behind NASA’s “worm” logo. The only way to obtain the watch is to purchase the NFT, which also comes with secret video and sound clips, and Danne’s autograph.
A Robot Rapper Sold Me This NFT
FN Meka is a cartoon character with 10 million TikTok followers, and rap singles (dictated by his human ghost-rapper) with thousands of listens on streaming platforms. Meka mixes an exaggerated Florida rapper chic with advertising for products like AirPods and PlayStation, and its newest commercial venture combines that whole vibe into an NFT. The “SUPER TOILET” is a lime green digital porta-potty, with a Lamborghini-style door and the name of Meka’s latest single—Speed Demon—branded on the side.
According to its website, “The buyer can enter the porta-potty and tag their name on the wall. The Super Toilet is the ultimate flex, whether you’re robot or human.” SUPER TOILET sold to a Dutch DJ for 4 ETH—equivalent to about $6,500 at the time of sale, or over $16,000 at ETH’s current valuation. All that DJ needs now is one of those Charmin NFTPs.
Will More Weird NFTs Follow?
There’s a lot of talk now regarding whether NFTs are in a bubble. That question is still up for debate, but what weird NFTs demonstrate is that the market will test our limits. Anything you can think of—porta-potties, toilet paper, perfume for the metaverse, and even a part of someone’s body—can and will be NFT’d.
The question is what we actually want out of digital collectibles. Will the future of NFTs continue to be dictated by artists, brands, and whatever FN Meka is? Or will the future be less strange, with utility NFTs with applications in business and industry? Only time will tell. For now, things are getting weirder.