2022 has come and gone and we are in a period of deep reflection. After saying goodbye to the year that brought us Corn Kid, the least we can do is look back with fondness and remember what a wild ride it was.
One of the areas where 2022 really popped off was the NFT marketplace. With more and more artists and brands embracing NFT art as a form of customer engagement or as a way to express their creativity, NFT collections were flying off the hypothetical shelves.
It is with great pleasure that we look back on some of the most groundbreaking digital artists and digital pieces of art that 2022 delivered.
Here are the coolest NFT designs of 2022.
What is an NFT?
NFT stands for "non-fungible token." They are a type of digital asset that is stored on a blockchain, which is a decentralized digital ledger.
NFTs are unique and cannot be replaced or exchanged for an identical item, hence the name "non-fungible." NFTs are used to represent digital ownership of a wide range of assets, including digital artwork, music, videos, 3D models, and even tweets.
Because NFTs are stored on a blockchain, they can be bought, sold, and transferred just like physical assets.
NFTs have been getting a lot of attention since they rose in popularity around 2020, especially because of its use case in digital art, where it is now possible to authenticate, prove, and transfer ownership using blockchain technology.
They also have the potential for other use cases, such as in gaming, collectible items, and digital identities. While the concept of NFTs is relatively new, it's gaining traction quickly. Let’s explore some of the coolest NFT designs of 2022.
Proof of Merge- Mason Hall and Michael Blau
The Merge transitioned the Ethereum network from proof of work (PoW) to proof of stake (PoS), which has major implications for some of the most controversial topics in crypto, including energy usage, decentralization, legal classifications, economic factors, and more.
This NFT collection was created by two engineers at Web3 firm, Andreessen Horowitz. This NFT collection consists of metadata that literally evolves for all three stages of the Ethereum merge. (for example, a black bear represents Ethereum one and a white bear, Ethereum 2. When they merge, they create the Ethereum panda bear.)
Shibuya- Emily Yang (Pplpleasr)
Emily Yang, or more commonly known as Pplpleasr by her fans, is a young digital artist who launched a groundbreaking idea.
According to Emily Yang, Shibuya is like “anime meets ‘Black Mirror’ meets crypto,” she goes on to explain that “Shibuya is a Web 3 experiment where long-form content is free to watch but monetized on the blockchain to allow viewer participation on the creative process and also shared ownership.”
Shibuya is a long-form animation platform that gamifies the viewing experience by selling ‘producer passes’. These producer passes allow users to take part in the storytelling process by staking their NFTs and voting on alternate endings, changing the story line, and more.
GoblinTown- Truth Labs
If you design NFTs or are into the NFT market, you’ve likely heard of the NFT tidal wave that was GoblinTown.
These 10,000 different Goblins started as a free mint, meaning that people who purchased at public auction just had to pay the transaction fee. The artists started the project as relative unknowns and their skyrocket to success is one of the things that still baffles NFT collectors and aficionados to this day.
It wasn’t long before these goblins began selling for 9ETH each! Talk about a wild ride.
SUPERGUCCI- Gucci and SUPERPLASTIC
In February, 2022, SUPERPLASTIC and Gucci announced their NFT collaboration. SUPERPLASTIC is well known for their iconic animated characters, Janky and Guggimon. They combined these characters with vibrant Gucci patterns.
Holders of the SUPERGUCCI Janky NFT received a Gucci Guggimon NFT, completing the legendary duo. For every NFT purchased, Gucci also sends a ceramic version, crafted in Italy, straight to the buyer’s home.
PUMA is on a mission to make itself future-proof, and one of the ways that they are doing this is by embracing all of the new technological innovations and advancements that each coming year brings.
They are particularly committed to Web3 which makes them a brand to watch as far as NFT sales go. At New York Fashion Week, PUMA did something that had never been done in the industry before.
Anyone who had purchased PUMA’s Nitropass NFT in August would be able to ‘burn’ their token in exchange for one of two pairs of real-life shoes.
What makes this so groundbreaking and memorable? This was the first time that a large shoe retailer incentivized shoppers to exchange their NFTs for real-world merchandise.
While their NFT drop wasn’t much in the way of ‘design’, the concept is cool enough that we had to make an exception.
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The best is yet to come.
NFTs have revolutionized the way we think about digital ownership and have opened up a whole new world of possibilities for artists, creators, and collectors. Whether you create NFTs or are simply in it because smart contracts and gas fees fascinate you, the world of digital art is one that’s here to stay.
From stunning digital art (goblins, anime, monogrammed bears, oh my!) to collectible items, NFTs have proven to be a game-changer in the digital world.
With NFTs, the possibilities are endless, and we can't wait to see what 2023 will look like.