The greatest digital trend of 2021, NFTs, might just be here to stay. (Or maybe they're just a big empty bubble. Who knows?) The sale of digital cartoon images, exclusive content, art, tweets, old pictures and an array of other digital content purchased and stored on the blockchain amounted to a total of nearly $25 billion. Even companies such as Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Pringles released their own NFT collections while Visa and Adidas have each spent over $150,000 to purchase NFTs.
Even the reality star who sold her farts in a jar is now going digital. Stephanie Matto, who first came into our lives as one half of a betrothed couple in 90 Day Fiancé, capitalized on her sudden fame by offering a highly unique, personal memento to fans via OnlyFans: her own flatulence, trapped and conserved in individual jars. And Matto's entrepreneurial vision paid off. In 2021, she made around $200,000 from willing buyers.
According to Matto, however, the excessive tooting (or at least the foods she was consuming to cause the gas) was not good for her health, so at her doctors suggestion she pivoted to a digital business model by selling fart NFTS. How does one digitize farts exactly? Well, Matto found a way by selling some form of fart art.
While locals have found wide success by producing content for the adult content site OnlyFans, we had to see what sort of fart-in-a-jar digital deals we were missing out on. So far, Erykah Badu has yet to upload her "Badu pussy" incense into digital form, but many North Texas artists and companies are taking full advantage of this new technology as it continues to find its way into different industries. The Dallas Mavericks have a page of NFT collections that includes digital images of former players, jerseys and of owner Mark Cuban.
In a January interview with CNBC, Cuban said, “The fact that you could take a digital file — audio, video, picture, whatever — and not only mint it to sell it, but also attach royalties to it, I’m like, ‘How can you do that?’ Because you can’t do that with anything physical.”
Cuban has spoken openly about his support of crypto currency and blockchain technology on several occasions. “NFTs, while they’re hot right now and everybody is talking about them, they’re really more just a proof of concept for what you can do with smart contracts and decentralization,” Cuban told CNBC.
In most cases, NFT buyers own a piece of a limited digital collection. For example, if a fan of the Dallas Mavericks were to purchase one of the digital Dirk Nowitzki jerseys for sale, they could display it — the NFT, not the actual jersey — at home with a monitor or decide to resell it for more than what they paid if the value were to increase. The Dallas Mavericks would then receive royalties from each consumer-to-consumer sale of the NFT as the ledger continues to live on the blockchain. The blockchain functions as a digital ledger that records transactions.
In the art space, NFTs allow for artists and musicians to monetize and distribute their product directly to fans and consumers in their own creative ways. Dallas singer-songwriter MATTIE released three NFTs in late January on the heels of her new song and music video, "Out This Bitch." The avant-garde artist is known for her music videos, which can make you feel as if you were transported into the future of some far-out space station that sits in another solar system. Now fans can further enhance that viewing experience by owing a piece of it in the form of digital attachments: digital images cut from the music video, which move almost like a GIF.
Last year, the Dallas choral group Verdigris Ensemble sold a 20-minute digital recording of the album Betty’s Notebook in 2021. It included the master track and four sound layers, which are called stems. All five parts of the recording were sold as separate NFTs in a digital auction. The recordings from Verdigris Ensemble brought in $375,000 to be split among everybody involved in the development of the record. The master track and three of the sound stems were purchased by Metapurse, a crypto-fund that paid a record $69 million for a digital painting made by Mike Winkelmann, an artist who goes by Beeple.
With fun flavors that people can’t find anywhere else (such as "Thot Tea-Ana" and "Unicorn Brownie"), the cartoon images that go along with each flavor are just as fun. Milky Treats NFTs will be available for purchase sometime in March.
“The utility behind the project is if you are one of the holders of our tokens you will be able to receive free ice cream every time you come visit our shop,” says Nico Nguyen, co-owner of Milky Treats. “Also you will be able to get discounts, perks and benefits that are all highlighted on our website.”
Nguyen says the hype and buzz in the NFT space piqued their interest and he felt they could utilize blockchain technology to benefit their brand and their customers.
“As a business owner, we are always trying to be innovative and stay relevant by seeing what is going on in the world right now, then trying to figure out ways to apply that and incorporate that into our business,” Nguyen says. “I felt like it was a good opportunity to help promote and gain more exposure for our business, but at the same time I think that NFT technology would be a good way to add value to our customers."