A non-fungible token (NFT) is one of today’s modern ways to represent ownership of unique assets that can mostly be seen in digital form. However, NFTs need not be bound to cyberspace as they can also represent items in the physical world. In fact, there is a specific category for them.
Physical NFTs are a type of NFT that guarantee rights to real-world assets through an immutable certificate recorded on a blockchain like Ethereum, Cardano, or Solana. Blockchains make physical NFTs verifiably scarce and non-interchangeable as the stored item data cannot be tampered with thanks to the design mechanism of these decentralized systems.
There are so many ways to sell NFTs, whether in the real world or in the digital realm. Let’s go over them and explore various examples.
Can You Sell an NFT with an Accompanying Tangible Object?
The NFT world never stops growing with new developments brought to the entire community. With continuous innovations, selling NFTs with accompanied tangible objects is now possible. Here are three notable projects that have sold NFTs with physical objects on their drops:
- Gift Goat of VeeFriends,
- CloneX Wearables of RTFKT, and
- Collezione Genesi of Dolce Gabbana.
Gary Vaynerchuk (aka Garyvee) originally drew the Gift Goat by hand as part of his first generation collection of VeeFriends, his main project that comprises over 10,255 hand-drawn tokens, 555 of which account for Gift Goats. VeeFriends were minted on the Ethereum blockchain in 2021, and serve as a way for people to get ‘close’ to Gary.
Gift Goat, in particular, has a special utility that allows holders to unlock 18 phenomenal luxury gifting experiences over a three-year timeframe. And they happen to be physical items.
As of August 2022, here are some of the gifts Garyvee has released:
- A Johnnie Walker Blue whisky kit with custom-designed, limited edition bottle and drinking accessories.
- A physical artwork called Goat’s Arrival in the Creature World signed by artist Danny Cole.
- Huckberry’s All-Weather Duck Boots.
- A custom-designed jacket made in collaboration with Profound.
RTFKT Studios, which is now owned by Nike, presented its first-ever hoodie design that is engineered for augmented reality (AR). While the hoodie is already available as virtual wear for holders of CloneX NFTs and can be worn by their avatars, it will soon be available in physical form through the forging event, which allows NFT holders to “forge” the items into physical existence. The collaboration serves as a teaser for a future where the digital and physical world can merge in the metaverse, which provides people with new ways to interact with each other and market products.
Physical NFTs are also already being explored by various brands outside the web3 space, with Dolce & Gabbana, a luxury fashion house known for transforming traditional masculine suits into symbolic feminine attires, releasing its first NFT drop called Collezione Genese in 2021. The collection has nine unique pieces featuring hand-made items that have physical and digital versions. The auction amounted to $5.65 million with a QR code attached to every product, enabling winning bidders to authenticate them on blockchain and access AR experiences.
How to Mint and Sell a Physical NFT?
So you want to create your very own NFT with an accompanying asset in the real world? Anyone can mint and sell their physical NFTs through a series of steps. There are primarily two methods to go about this.
The manual approach involves digitizing an artwork, allowing it to be sold on the blockchain. If you plan to mint another type of asset that isn’t art, that can be done too but it would be easier to work with a platform instead of doing it manually.
Firstly, you need to find a way to digitize your asset. For artworks, you can simply use a 2D scanner or take a high-resolution photograph and you got yourself a digital copy. For 3D objects, it might be more challenging as you’ll need to either recreate them using design software or make use of a 3D scanner like Artec Leo.
After digitizing your physical NFTs, you have to factor in which blockchain to store them. Note that blockchains have various strengths and weaknesses. Not only that, but each blockchain has its own community with unique values, some of which are in direct opposition to other blockchain communities. This is why it is important to know where you fit. We highly recommend you read through our NFT guide first if you don’t know where to go.
Once you’ve chosen a blockchain, you can now mint your NFTs so they can be sold on NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, Exchange.art, etc. As for the physical copies, you will have to set up storage and decide on how or if they can be claimed.
On the other hand, Jake Frey’s Americana Technologies allows creators to convert their physical items into NFTs seamlessly. One of its products is the NFTA Universal Chip, which can be attached to an object, providing a link to the blockchain where one can find the asset information.
The idea is to give creators who are not necessarily digitally focused to leverage NFT technology, even if their expertise lies in creating physical objects. The blending of physical and digital worlds through the Americana platform allows traditional artists to explore this new evolution. At the very least, it is definitely a lot easier to work with than the manual process but note that nothing is free so the platform will take a cut from your earnings.
Can you Sell Traditional Art as an NFT?
Artists can sell their traditional art as NFTs, providing them with another avenue to reach their audience aside from the typical process of posting them on social media or displaying them on usual markets.
The steps provided in the previous section also apply to traditional art, no matter what form.
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