The State of NFT Utility (April 2023)
From Mastercard debuting its NFT Artist Pass and flagship events from the likes of Proof and Valhalla at NFT NYC, April was an eventful month for NFT utility drops. While NFT NYC was the catalyst for numerous activations—from 9dcc’s scavenger hunt to the DeGods extravaganza and more—there was plenty of other action over the past few weeks.
In response to community requests for a dedicated Lasso experience for NFT NYC, we generated a special, open page of all of the events and other token-gated opportunities that our platform found for that week. We welcome input to make this type of themed discovery experience even more useful in the future, as we continue to identify novel ways to package and expose Lasso’s data.
We also recently published our longform thoughts on the role that digital clothing will play in popularizing NFTs and the underlying technology. We’ve welcomed new cohorts of beta users each of the past several weeks. And, recent updates to Lasso's core technology have resulted in many more utility records surfaced on an average daily basis.
Stay tuned for more product and partnership announcements to come. In the meantime, here are some of the utility records we surfaced on Lasso last month.
ALTS by Adidas
Adidas previously embraced digital twinning with their “Into the Metaverse” collection (in collaboration with BAYC and gmoney), Phase 1 of which dropped in December 2021. This April, the apparel brand provided multiple utility activations, and introduced a new collection. Holders of Phase 1 and Phase 2 of "Into the Metaverse" could burn their tokens to receive a new NFT from the ALTS by Adidas collection.
This new collection, coined “the evolving NFT journey from adidas,” marks the sportswear brand’s new journey into creating both digital and physical collections, along with interactive, multi-stage NFT-based experiences for holders. Utility is at the center of the roadmap, as you might expect.
Holders of “Into the Metaverse” can burn their Keys to get traits known as ALT[er] Ego, of which there will be eight different types each with different rarities. Adidas stated that in addition to universal utility, each ALT will come with exclusive utility tailored to holders’ ALT[er] Egos and their interests. Adidas gave early access to holders who secured a Key to choose their Alt(er) Ego.
It was a colorful April for DeGods, with their multi-day city-wide scavenger hunt and series of events spanning the week of NFT NYC. DeNYC2023 boasted a DeGod and y00ts exclusive holder party at the Public Hotel and a Happy Hour with Polygon, Phantom, Magic Eden and more. Other events included golf competitions and basketball pickup games for holders, and a pizza party to celebrate founder Frank’s birthday.
The treasure hunt, held in partnership with Polygon, included over $100k of prizes & free DeGods NFTs for the winning team. The DeGods community, as usual, was one of the most active and engaged IRL during the week of NFT NYC.
Moonbirds announced its Diamond Exhibition curated show, collaborating with 10,000 different artists, including Beeple, on 22 different pieces to showcase different styles and highlight diverse stories. The exclusive NFT collection "Moonbirds: Diamond Exhibition” was available specifically for existing holders who achieved Diamond Nest level (holders who have nested their Moonbirds the longest).
Day 1 Diamond Nesters — or those who nested their Moonbirds on the first day nesting began — were airdropped a “Choice Pass” which allowed them to vote and rank preferred pieces in the collection prior to airdrop. Diamond Nesters within the first week were then invited to go through the same process and so forth based on nesting times until the whole 10,000 piece collection was distributed to holders.
PROOF then held an exclusive Beeple Live Everyday event at NFT NYC where Beeple completed a live drawing of his Diamond Exhibition artwork. A physical gallery showing the entire collection also followed.
The exclusive drop came after PROOF canceled their Proof of Conference earlier this year, due to low expressed interest. Despite some operational missteps, this new collection and showcase aims specifically to reward long-term holders, especially those like Diamond Nesters who have displayed clear loyalty to PROOF and Moonbirds.
Selected Other Drops
Mastercard launched a limited edition free Music Pass NFT. Developed in collaboration with Polygon, the NFT allows artists and music fans alike to access the Mastercard Artist Accelerator, which gives holders free AI music creation tools, educational materials, mentorship from Web3 figures like artist Latashá and Ledger Chief Experience Officer Ian Rodgers, and other tools to support artists entering into Web3. This is Mastercard’s first step in combining music and NFTs; the company has stated its new vision of helping artists and fans alike use digital objects and blockchain technology to form community.
RKTFT and Nike dropped their new SZN1 collection, including a RTFKT x Takashi Murakami x Nike Air Force 1 sneaker in collaboration with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. Holders could take place in a Forging event to claim a physical pair of their Air Force 1 NFT sneakers. Each physical sneaker was also fitted with RTFKT WM NFC Chips to prove authenticity and ownership of each unique pair, marking an avenue to drop future utility to holders.
Yuga Labs and luxury fashion house Gucci partnered to create 3,333 KodaPendants NFTs. The NFTs will unlock special utility within Yuga Lab’s game Otherside, and holders will be able to claim a physical silver Gucci KodaPendant later in the year. The collaboration marks a "blurring the boundaries between the physical and digital,” according to Gucci, and raised over $5.7 million despite lasting only 24 hours. It is also a key example of the ways in which digital twinning can be an important tool to create utility and new forms of both digital and IRL value for holders.
For further reading:
- CoinGecko found in this study that utility was the top reason people buy NFTs.
- This Right Click Save piece on the future of digital fashion and web3.
- This article on digital fashion startup DRAUP (founded by Dani Loftus and backed by gmoney, Variant, and others) and this one weighing DRAUP’s decision to skip the metaverse in favor of generative pieces.
For more insights into the projects mentioned above, and thousands of others, sign up for the Lasso beta. You can also catch up on our recent writings on digital ownership and NFT terminology. Until next time.