The non-fungible token (NFT) market has come a long way in a short period. Historically, NFTs were primarily associated with overpriced digital artworks or collectibles of questionable quality changing hands for millions of dollars.
However, this is no longer the case.
While there are still some instances where NFTs follow the same pattern of rampant speculation, the underlying technology has evolved and expanded swiftly to support a broader range of valuable use cases.
Because NFTs command the embedded ability to prove ownership and authenticity, they are now being experimented upon in various ways, from gaming to virtual worlds, collectibles to trading cards, and even for social, environmental, and humanitarian causes.
Achieving water neutrality with NFTs
One of the world’s most valuable assets increasingly ranks amongst its scarcest: clean water. Although water waste management and desalination have evolved drastically over the last 100 years, the use side of the equation, especially in agriculture, remains an area for improvement.
As the agricultural sector faces rising calls to reduce water consumption and achieve water neutrality, blockchain-based initiative WakeUp Labs has partnered with the agricultural irrigation management platform, Kilimo, to develop NFTs as water-saving certificates.
Water neutrality, developed to mitigate the negative impact that human activities can have on water resources, refers to balancing the amount of water used by an organization, company, or community with the amount of water replenished or conserved. Over the last decade, water scarcity has emerged as a significant challenge for farmers worldwide, with resources becoming increasingly limited as the role of climate change exacerbates droughts and water shortages.
WakeUp Labs intends to contribute towards water neutrality by leveraging Rootstock (RSK) blockchain’s infrastructure to tokenize water savings and incentivize farmers to save and conserve water. By tokenizing water-saving activities, NFTs can offer a better mechanism to track and verify any organization’s progress toward sustainability.
The NFTs aim to certify that sustainable irrigation methods have saved a certain amount of water. These certificates, which are each unique, could then be traded on a new secondary market, where businesses seeking to offset their water consumption can purchase them, potentially creating a new revenue stream for farmers who adopt these improved practices.
This partnership between WakeUp Labs and Kilimo demonstrates how NFTs can promote sustainable practices and help address pressing environmental challenges, such as water scarcity, using incentives instead of penalties. While still in its infancy, it shows how NFTs can be applied to deliver a much more meaningful impact and bring tangible benefits for farmers and the environment.
NFTs for charity
Peering far beyond the domain of the ultra-rich and the art world elite, NFTs have now found their way into initiatives supporting charitable causes. For example, the upcoming blockchain project MetaRaft aims to use the technology for philanthropic causes.
As a charity-based NFT project, MetaRaft will fund the Bill Me Foundation LLC, a non-profit organization supporting people in need of medical aid and treatment. Although the project is still in its infancy, it has already checked off essential milestones, including adhering to the SEC guidelines and following the relevant rules and regulations for NFTs.
What differentiates MetaRaft from other organizations helping those in need is that it also offers donors a path to receive financial rewards for their philanthropic efforts. The project will offer NFT holders an over 25% chance to get their money back after redeeming their mints, with 50% of all sales going to NFT holders.
The project’s rewards model is straightforward: MetaRaft will launch 10,000 NFTs monthly. Interested users can purchase these NFTs and enter the sweepstake. For every 10,000 NFTs, 2,511 winners will be selected each month randomly. These 2,511 NFT holders can win prizes up to $100,000 in USDC.
Based on the monthly sweepstakes, the platform will gift 2,000 NFT holders with 250 USDC each, 400 NFT holders with 500 USDC each, 100 NFT holders with 1,000 USDC each, and 10 NFT owners with 10,000 USDC each. In addition, the platform will also randomly pick an NFT holder every month and gift them 100,000 USDC.
At the same time, MetaRaft will donate between $150,000 and $400,000 to the Bill Me Foundation per month to contribute towards the non-profit’s efforts of helping families and funding research and treatment institutions. Together, this project shows how NFTs can be used to support charitable causes while creating encouraging donor engagement and participation.
Looking beyond the speculative NFT horizon
Based on their inherent properties, NFTs already meaningfully demonstrate that they can be far more powerful tools than promoting another form of speculation. From incentivizing participation to encouraging sustainable activities, NFTs and their unique properties capably show their ability to add real-world value without the hype that has accompanied earlier formats.
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