2023: A year of transformation for NFTs

Where are NFTs headed in 2024?

By Anastasia Samaras

This year and leading into 2024, NFTs are going beyond their rocky origins to bring digital ownership to rewards programs, fan engagement, and brand awareness. This could mean rare digital badges depending on membership level, digital versions of loyalty cards that offer exclusive perks on top of existing benefits to drive foot traffic, proof of attendance stamps, even collectibles memorializing brand history, or digital versions of physical items.

The NFT landscape in 2023 has shifted gears, and the Upstream team believes it was positive. The focus has moved from hype and speculation toward tangible value, real-world use cases, and innovative applications.

The possibilities for NFTs in this time of digitalization are endless, and the innovation is expected to pay off. According to Statista, the NFT market is projected to almost double from $1.6B in 2023 to $3.2B by 2027.¹

A few major brands integrating NFTs…

  • Amazon is paving the way for customers to buy digital collectibles tied to real-world assets.²
  • AMEX has been dabbling in NFTs, offering them as credit card perks, proof of attendance collectibles at the US Open, and more.³
  • GG MetaGame gifted their loyal “OG” community with free-to-mint NFTs, granting them an exclusive peek into their future metaverse playground.⁴
  • Formula 1 fans cheered as Oracle Red Bull Racing commemorated their championship season with a collection of digital trophies.⁵
  • Football enthusiasts across the globe celebrated the beautiful game with FIFA’s official NFT collection, launched in collaboration with Modex for the 2023 Club World Cup.⁶
  • Hitch Interactive pushed the boundaries of imagination by integrating generative AI into programmable NFTs, paving the way for a future where these digital assets become interactive and dynamic.⁷
  • Blackbird launched a new NFT restaurant loyalty program. Perks to being a Blackbird NFT owner include free desserts, coffee, or meals depending on the restaurant, access to members-only events, and a direct line to restaurant hosts and owners for last-minute reservations.⁸

2023 wasn’t about record-breaking sales and celebrity endorsements; it marked a crucial period of recalibration, where the focus shifted from mere speculation to discovering true value and utility within these unique digital assets. We’re already beginning to see this experimentation surrounding this new wave of NFTs, with major brands leveraging NFTs to complement existing campaigns or bring buzz to new campaigns.

Is your brand ready to bring digital collectibles into your strategy for 2024? Reach the Upstream team at hello@upstream.exchange to get started. No exclusive contract, and no upfront costs, all on a regulated, user-friendly market to keep your brand and fans protected.

On behalf of the entire Upstream team, we wish you a season filled with joy, warmth, and countless NFT discoveries! Happy holidays! Join the Upstream Discord channel for support and connect with fellow NFT enthusiasts! Download the Upstream app and start your NFT journey today!


Statista | 2 Blockworks | 3 HypeBeast | 4 GlobeNewswire | 5 The Block | 6 Cointelegraph | 7 Fintech Futures | 8 Wunderman Thompson


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