Blockchain tokens can be sorted into two distinct types of assets: fungible and non-fungible.
Fungible tokens are identical and replaceable by another identical token; they are mutually interchangeable. They can represent anything from cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and coins used in a video game to tokenized versions of real-world assets like crude oil or gold.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique, and thus not interchangeable.
A digital art piece that you created, an ownership certificate of a car, or a character in a game are examples of non-fungible assets—they are unique and not directly interchangeable.
Enjin kickstarted the NFT revolution on Ethereum, creating the next-gen ERC-1155 token standard, and implementing it alongside a unique token infusion mechanism that now powers billions of digital assets on the blockchain.
Since their emergence in late 2017, NFTs have seen explosive growth while evolving technologically and earning a passionate user-base:
- In 2017, the NFT industry market cap was measured at just over $30 million.
- 2018 was notably a down year for the blockchain industry as a whole, but the NFT market cap rose by 480%, weighing in at $180 million.
- In 2019 the market cap rose again, ending the year at roughly $220 million.
- NFT transactions tripled in 2020, reaching more than $250 million in total.
- In just the first two months of 2021, NFT trading volume topped $342 million, surpassing the volume of the entire last year.
NFTs have rapidly gained popularity among companies, artists, celebrities, and influencers as a way to digitize their brands, with early 2021 seeing over 630,000 distinct Ethereum wallets that have created NFTs.
"You can sell anything digital using NFT. Virtual Mavs gear, sneakers, art, pictures, videos, experiences, anything our imagination can come up with."
—Mark Cuban on NFTs
Companies like Microsoft and Binance are seeing the growing opportunities with NFTs, and are now using Enjin's blockchain products to engage and reward their users with branded NFTs, building their communities and driving demand.