How the NFT Market has Brought Crypto into the Public Eye

2021 was the year of the NFT. Nothing came close to the hype that NFTs and digital assets saw last year – everybody was looking to get involved, from industry-leading investors, high-profile celebrities, and sportspeople all looking to cash in on the next big investment asset class.

But what started the 2021 NFT boom?

That’s exactly what we’re going to be looking at in this post – the events that sparked the revolution, the continued growth of NFTs, and our expectations for the future.

To learn more about the monumental year that non-fungible tokens had in 2021, be sure to read on below! Alternatively, you can find more industry insights for the team here at BCB Group by heading over to our Insights page, where we’re constantly adding posts about the latest news and developments in crypto and beyond!

Why did NFTs become so popular?

2021 was not the first time that NFTs had seen movements; in 2017, CryptoPunks and CryptoKitties both entered the fray, having a huge impact on the popularity of digital assets. This went hand in hand with the emergence of Ethereum’s unique blockchain style, which featured a smart contract layer that allowed people to accurately and securely monitor, transfer, and verify ownership of the different assets.

CryptoKitties was perhaps the first lightbulb moment for many of the early adopters of NFTs, opening up their minds to the unlimited potential that these assets could have as a tradeable, collectable medium. In theory, these NFTs presented the perfect opportunity – they were cute, appealing, and there was potential to make huge amounts by flipping them in those early days. On top of this, CryptoKitties were also useable in a blockchain-based virtual game; users were able to adopt, raise and even trade their cats on the blockchain with verified ownership. It’s this interactive aspect that we think really set the groundwork for the direction that the industry would take over the next few years.

However, this doesn’t quite explain why the 2021 boom was such a huge turning point. From our point of view, there was no single reason that January 2021 started such a large transition into digital asset adoption – instead, we think it was a case of multiple different scenarios culminating at the same time, with the fallout effects of each of these combining to create the investment surge.

The right place at the right time…

The first thing that was very likely to have influenced NFT-mania was the astonishing bull run that Bitcoin was on at the time, seeing the cryptocurrency hit 3x all-time highs when compared with 2017. In a pandemic-hit world, investors were looking to invest in a growth industry and crypto, as well as its related sub-industries, fit the bill perfectly.

In addition to this, we also saw the release of one of the most enticing, widely accessible, and highly sought-after NFT collections of all time around that time too. NBA Top Shot, created by Dapper Labs of CryptoKitties fame, was a collection of unique NFTs released in partnership with the NBA. Each collectable depicted an iconic moment from the NBA season, giving fans the chance to “own” a moment of history. By hitting the right demographic, this collection saw huge movement in January 2021 and throughout the year that followed.

The final aspect that we deem to have had a direct impact on the surge of NFT popularity was the changes that were happening in regard to the ownership of digital content, particularly music, at that time. Essentially, the way that digital media had existed previously did not place the artists in a strong position, making it impossible for anyone but the stars to make real money from digital releases. However, with NFTs, this is not the case. For more information on how NFTs are revolutionising the music industry, take a look at this post from Rolling Stone about Kings of Leon’s pioneering release last year!

With all of these huge cogs turning at once, we were bound to see an explosion somewhere and thankfully for those looking to in digital assets, that explosion happened in NFTs. Since this pivotal moment, a vast number of collections have seen unprecedented growth, with select pieces selling for tens of millions of dollars on the open markets. The staggering value that NFTs can hold in today’s digital landscape is simply astonishing, presenting life-changing investment opportunities to those who are able to capitalise on the right collections at the right time.

Getting started in crypto with the right investment tools

If you’re new to the cryptocurrency investment markets, it’s vital that you choose the right partners to support your journey. With the right partner, you’ll have access to market-leading rates, safe and secure crypto wallets, and the insights to make the right investment at the right time, maximising your efficiency and increasing your chances of securing the biggest wins.

That’s exactly what you’ll get when you’re a BCB Group partner.

Our team is constantly looking to offer innovative crypto solutions such as custody options, market access, and treasury strategy to our partners, helping to boost your activity and set you up for long-term crypto investment success. From our best-in-class products to our unique BLINC instant settlement network, we’ve created an environment that doesn’t just facilitate your activity but holistically improves it across the board.

If you’d like to chat with a member of our team about the solutions that would enhance your crypto activity, be sure to fill out our contact form today – once you’ve completed the form, a member of our team will be in touch to discuss relevant options to boost your strategy!

BCB Group comprises BCB Prime Services Ltd (UK), BCB Payments Ltd (UK), BCB Digital Ltd (UK) and BCB Prime Services (Switzerland) LLC. BCB Payments Ltd is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, no. 807377, under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 as an Authorised Payment Institution. BCB Prime Services (Switzerland) LLC, a company incorporated under the laws of the Swiss Confederation in the canton of Neuchâtel with business identification number CHE-415.135.958, is an SRO member of VQF, an officially recognized self-regulatory organization (SRO) according to the Swiss Anti-Money Laundering Act. This update: 14 Oct 2020.

The information contained in this document should not be relied upon by investors or any other persons to make financial decisions. It is gathered from various sources and should not be construed as guidance. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer, solicitation of an offer, or an inducement to buy or sell digital assets or any equivalents or any security or investment product of any kind either generally or in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. The views expressed in this document about the markets, market participants and/or digital assets accurately reflect the views of BCB Group. While opinions stated are honestly held, they are not guarantees, should not be relied on and are subject to change. The information or opinions provided should not be taken as specific advice on the merits of any investment decision. This document may contain statements about expected or anticipated future events and financial results that are forward-looking in nature and, as a result, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as general economic, market and business conditions, new legislation and regulatory actions, competitive and general economic factors and conditions and the occurrence of unexpected events. Past performance of the digital asset markets or markets in their derivative instruments is not a viable indication of future performance with actual results possibly differing materially from those stated herein. We will not be responsible for any losses incurred by a client as a result of decisions made based on any information provided.

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