Although the NFT market is going through a shift, we believe they are here to stay.

By Fernanda De La Torre

In the past year, the value of several popular non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has experienced a significant decrease. Factors like market oversaturation, environmental concerns, the crypto winter, and speculative risks have contributed to the decrease initial in popularity.

However, despite this decline, a lot of NFT buyers remain undeterred by the falling prices. In fact, some view the current market as an opportunity to buy NFTs at a potentially discounted rate, expecting a future recovery. Further, the rise of utility-based NFTs, or digital collectibles that focus on tying a reward or experience to it, are unlocking a lot of untapped opportunities.

NFTs are here to stay

Recent NFT projects suggest that NFTs are far from fading away. Major brands and public figures are increasingly recognizing the potential of NFTs and exploring creative use cases.

One notable example of a major brand embracing NFTs is Starbucks, which announced plans to expand its Web3 rewards program by airdropping more NFTs in June.¹ This move signifies Starbucks’ recognition of the value that NFTs can bring to their customer engagement strategies. By integrating NFTs into their loyalty program, Starbucks aims to enhance customer experiences and tap into the growing interest in blockchain-based rewards.

Luxury fashion brand Prada has also ventured into the NFT space, offering exclusive NFT-backed tank tops.² By combining fashion and blockchain technology, Prada appeals to a new generation of consumers who value uniqueness and digital ownership. This foray into the luxury market demonstrates that NFTs have the potential to disrupt and redefine traditional industries.

This trend is also spreading across sports, Football legend Cristiano Ronaldo’s collaboration with Binance for the creation of unique NFTs further highlights the expanding reach of NFTs.³ By leveraging his global popularity, Ronaldo is introducing his fan base to the world of blockchain and digital collectibles and is aiding in the global acceptance of NFTs and crypto. This partnership signifies the increasing interest of public figures in NFTs as a means of engaging with their fans in unique and innovative ways. It also reinforces the notion that NFTs have the capacity to transcend traditional boundaries and connect with a broad range of audiences.

The Rise of Utility-Based NFTs

Amid the decrease in popularity, we’ve begun to see a shift in the NFT market that ensures a promising future for NFTs.

Utility-based NFTs have been gaining popularity, these NFTs offer practical value and functionality beyond their aesthetic appeal. Holders can get merch, access to exclusive events, meet-and-greet perks, and much more when utility is added to the NFT.

An example that exemplifies the shift toward utility in NFTs is Ronaldo’s NFT collection, which offered rare NFT holders the chance to participate in virtual meet-and-greets, providing fans with an unforgettable experience they can keep alive in memory and their digital wallets.

Upstream’s NFT market prides itself on being founded under this methodology, that utility-focused NFTs will have a profound and creative impact on the future of fan engagement.

One of our most leveraged NFT types we produce are redeemable NFTs. Upstream’s Redeemable NFTs provide a cutting-edge Web3 approach to ticketing, membership, fulfillment, and more.

Through Redeemable NFTs, holders can choose to redeem physical goods, receive early admission to concerts, become a member of various clubs, or get special access to other NFT initiatives.

Upstream’s Redeemable NFTs can also be utilized as proof-of-attendance for festivals, movies, concerts, clubs, sporting events, and more which naturally builds community in person and online. These attendees could in turn sell the collectible to fans who missed the event but who want to hold a piece of limited memorabilia and enter the fan community.

Furthermore, Redeemable NFTs on Upstream can be chained and set off a cascading set of experiences that can bring holders on an interesting journey. Holders could receive another Redeemable NFT after the initial one that enables access to a particular VIP NFT area, then another one to act as a voucher for snacks.


As demonstrated by recent examples of major brands and public figures embracing NFTs, their ability to integrate into everyday life is becoming increasingly evident. As the NFT market evolves, its continued growth and widespread adoption provide strong evidence that NFTs are here to stay. In this ever-changing landscape, Upstream stands at the forefront, positioned to be a driving force as the NFT market continues to advance and transform.

Those interested in bringing Web3 to their digital marketing strategies can contact Upstream at to learn how to bring the power of digital collectibles to your fan engagement strategy.


Blockworks | 2 NFTculture | 3 NFTevening


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. 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, 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.

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