Why NFTs aren’t Dead

An Upstream Up Close recap taking an in-depth look at NFT fan engagement, utility & loyalty programs

By Anastasia Samaras

This week, the Upstream team published the eighth episode of their new Twitter (X) Spaces series, ‘Upstream Up Close’, featuring 10–15 minute conversations about NFTs, blockchain, and trading on Upstream. This eighth episode focused on why NFTs aren’t dead.

Listen HERE to Upstream Up Close: Why NFTs aren’t dead.

Leading the conversation were Vanessa, Upstream’s Head of Marketing, Amanda, Client Success Manager, alongside Digital Marketing Specialists Anastasia and Fernanda. They discussed recent revelations from dappGambl, a report that showed 95% of NFTs have been labeled nearly worthless.

So, are NFTs truly dead?

In our opinion, if you’re talking about their role as a speculative investment vehicle, then yes, we agree. But if you’re looking at NFTs through the lens of fan engagement and utility, our answer is a resounding no. Non-fungible tokens are far from obsolete. In this episode, we discuss how NFTs are poised to add value to loyalty and rewards programs across businesses of all sizes.

A few recent NFT developments:

  • Starbucks — The celebrated coffee behemoth is embracing NFTs to redefine customer interaction via ‘Starbucks Odyssey,’ an extension of its renowned rewards program. Through interactive activities named “Journeys,” patrons can secure exclusive NFTs as incentives. These digital collectibles extend beyond rewards; they represent exclusive membership in a digital community of coffee enthusiasts.
  • Scotch & Soda — This Dutch fashion brand has embraced Web3-powered loyalty. Their NFT-based program offers users exclusive experiences, events, and enticing offers from the brand.
  • Soapy Joe’s Car Wash — A San Diego-based company launched an NFT campaign that allowed customers to collect Ethereum-based NFTs at each of their 17 locations. The premise was simple: the more NFTs a customer collected, the more rewards they unlocked. These rewards ranged from physical keychains and hats to amusement park tickets.

Traditional loyalty programs, with their points, discounts, and generic freebies, are ripe for innovation. Modern consumers demand more. They want personalization, community, authenticity, and true digital ownership. NFT-based loyalty programs provide precisely that.

With NFTs, rewards morph into unique digital assets, each securely recorded on a blockchain. Customers aren’t just collecting points; they’re accumulating digital treasures with varying levels of rarity. And the best part? They can trade these treasures with fellow collectors, creating a dynamic digital marketplace.

NFT trends 2023

During our conversation, we touched on younger generations being equipped to embrace and enjoy this new wave of fan engagement. NFTs cater to their desire for authenticity and personalization in the digital world. These digital natives see NFTs as collectibles, proof of attendance, fan badges, and more, helping to shape their online identities. NFTs introduce scarcity. Each NFT comes with its own unique, unchangeable digital ID which can work to foster shared experiences, and FOMO for those who miss out on a collection.

Furthermore, we discussed the shift toward Proof-of-Stake blockchains, like Ethereum, which has helped address environmental concerns, making NFTs both a tech revolution and an eco-conscious choice.

Upstream Philosophy

Contrary to the speculative NFT frenzy, Upstream has been steadfast in its commitment to fan engagement. Our philosophy revolves around the concept that NFTs are about creating shared, exclusive experiences within communities. NFTs serve as a medium to immortalize pivotal moments with timestamped authenticity, all while exploring the vast potential of Metaverses that loom on the horizon.

As our world becomes increasingly digitally connected, non-fungible tokens play a vital role in bridging the gap between the physical and digital realms. While many are questioning the value of NFTs, Upstream’s team is confident about their significance.

Upstream provides a valuable platform for brands to implement NFTs into loyalty programs with no upfront costs, no exclusive contracts, and a significant portion of all NFT sales going to the brand. Plus, we offer a hassle-free, user-friendly process that accepts various payment methods, including digital currencies.

Word of the Segment: Metamorphosis

NFTs are ushering in a metamorphosis of loyalty programs into something more vibrant and engaging. We chose this word because, just like a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, loyalty programs are undergoing a profound transformation with the introduction of NFTs. They’re evolving into something more beautiful, engaging, and adaptable to the digital age.


Listen here: https://twitter.com/i/spaces/1BRJjPpABXBKw?s=20

If you missed the episode or you’re interested in learning more about NFT evolution, listen anytime, anywhere by clicking the link above.

As pioneers in the realm of blockchain-powered securities and NFT trading, Upstream has made it their mission to bring the immense potential of NFTs to the masses.

NFTs are here to stay, and they’re not just surviving; they’re thriving. They offer unique rewards, real-world value, increased engagement, and a host of other advantages.

Stay tuned for our upcoming episodes, where we will unveil captivating insights, innovative campaigns, and remarkable experiences in the realm of NFTs.

Keep an eye out for our next episode!


This communication shall not constitute an offer to sell securities or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities in any jurisdiction where such offer or solicitation is not permitted.

NFTs have no royalties, equity ownership, or dividends. NFTs are for utility, collection, redemption, or display purposes only. Anyone may buy and sell NFTs on Upstream.

* U.S. or Canadian-based citizens or permanent residents may only deposit, buy, or sell securities on Upstream after being introduced by a licensed broker-dealer. A list of licensed broker-dealers can be found on the Upstream Support Center. Note that U.S. or Canadian-based investors include those U.S. or Canadian citizens who may be domiciled overseas. All orders for sale are non-solicited by Upstream and a user’s decision to trade securities must be based on their own investment judgement. Anyone may buy and sell NFTs on Upstream.

Upstream is a MERJ Exchange market. MERJ Exchange is a licensed Securities Exchange, an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges, a National Numbering Agency and member of ANNA. MERJ is regulated in the Seychelles by the Financial Services Authority Seychelles, https://fsaseychelles.sc/ an associate member of the International Association of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). MERJ supports global issuers of traditional and digital securities through the entire asset life cycle from issuance to trading, clearing, settlement, and registry. It operates a fair and transparent marketplace in line with international best practices and principles of operations of financial markets. Upstream does not endorse or recommend any public or private securities bought or sold on its app. Upstream does not offer investment advice or recommendations of any kind. All services offered by Upstream are intended for self-directed clients who make their own investment decisions without aid or assistance from Upstream. All customers are subject to the rules and regulations of their jurisdiction. By accessing the site or app, you agreed to be bound by its terms of use and privacy policy. Company and security listings on Upstream are only suitable for investors who are familiar with and willing to accept the high risk associated with speculative investments, often in early and development stage companies. There can be no assurance the valuation of any particular company’s securities is accurate or in agreement with the market or industry comparative valuations. Investors must be able to afford market volatility and afford the loss of their investment. Companies listed on Upstream are subject to significant ongoing corporate obligations including, but not limited to disclosure, filings, and notification requirements, as well as compliance with applicable quantitative and qualitative listing standards.

Forward-Looking Statements

This communication contains “forward-looking statements.” Such statements may be preceded by the words “intends,” “may,” “will,” “plans,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “predicts,” “estimates,” “aims,” “believes,” “hopes,” “potential,” or similar words. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, are based on certain assumptions, and are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, and cannot be predicted or quantified, and, consequently, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with (i) difficulties in obtaining financing on commercially reasonable terms; (ii) changes in the size and nature of our competition; (iii) loss of one or more key executives or brand ambassadors; and (iv) changes in legal or regulatory requirements in the markets in which we operate. The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise

Leave a comment