4 ways we could actually use NFTs in the real world – Business Insider

  • We usually think of cartoon apes with bored expressions when we think of NFTs.
  • But the digital tokens, which represent someone’s ownership of something, could have some real-world use.
  • We could use them as deeds to our homes, passports for traveling, or concert tickets.

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It’s hard to escape reading about NFTs nowadays.

If you need a quick refresh, NFTs are digital tokens stored on the blockchain signaling your ownership in something, like a piece of artwork.

We typically read about them in association with the so-called Bored Ape Yacht Club whose sales have surpassed $1 billion, or record-setting art auctions, or how celebrities are jumping on the NFT and Web3 bandwagon.

But there could actually be some practical (albeit less sexy) uses for them.

Here are a few.

Traditional contracts could become NFTs

Housing market home for sale

The deeds to our homes could become NFTs.
Ted Shaffrey/AP Photo

Think of smart contracts as digital legal bindings that are built securely on the blockchain, replacing traditional contracts. They can signal a person’s ownership or accomplishment of something, such as a certificate or a college degree.

Smart contracts could be used in real estate, such as for the deed to your new home, which could expedite the tedious home buying process by having all parties interact in the same place.

Concert and sports tickets

Eminem performs at the Super Bowl LVI halftime show

Eminem performs during the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show on February 13, 2022.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Using NFTs as concert tickets could help prevent counterfeiting since each ticket issued would belong securely to its buyer.

The NFL did something similar for its Super Bowl this year, gifting free NFTs as “digital keepsake” versions of their actual tickets that featured each attendee’s unique section, row, and seat. As Coindesk noted, those NFTs would also become sports memorabilia and could appreciate in value over time, kind of like old Beatles concert ticket stubs.

You could also use that same NFT, pulled up on your phone, as a way to buy food and drinks at the event.

NFT passports could transform travel

Travelers walk through the airport.

Travelers in Miami International Airport in 2021.
AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

Your identity would live securely in digital form on the blockchain if airlines and airports ever adopted NFT passports into mainstream use.

And not just passports — every form of documentation in paper form could be built as an NFT securely on the blockchain, from boarding passes to printed tickets for shows and local attractions when you’re exploring your destination.

This could theoretically cut down heavily on identity theft and could beef up security since airport agents could easily verify your NFT documentation on the blockchain.

Health records

Women with mask and glasses administers COVID-19 vaccine to middle-aged women with sunglasses and patterned mask

Woman receives her second Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on March 29 2021.
Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Think of all of your medical history, immunizations, and prescriptions all living as NFTs on the blockchain, easily accessible even if you change physicians.

There’s a reason why many have explored creating NFT COVID-19 vaccine passports as a way to smoothly verify a person’s vaccination status when frequenting events and businesses.

Some locales have even put it into action — San Marino, a micronation bordering Italy, passed legislation in July 2021 to create vaccine passports for its citizens. The digital tokens would employ QR codes that would verify their owners vaccination status using a blockchain ledger from platform VeChain.

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