Quidd CEO: Lump NFTs in with luxury cars and handbags
NFTs should be considered alongside the likes of luxury cars and handbags, according to the co-founder and CEO of NFT marketplace Quidd, Michael Bramlage.
Speaking at iGaming NEXT New York City on the MetaNEXT conference track, Bramlage suggested that the NFT craze is far from over, but that inflated prices following an initial boom in the industry led the bubble to burst dramatically last year.
According to Bloomberg, trading volumes in NFTs collapsed by 97% between January and September 2022. In January, volume was as high as $17bn, before a rapid decline saw just $466m worth of NFTs traded in September.
Meanwhile, Investment Monitor suggests that the average price of an NFT sale collapsed by 92% between May and July 2022, falling from $3,894 to just $293.
Still, Bramlage suggests that the valuations of NFTs will rationalise once consumers approach them “in the right ways.”
“I think what happened ultimately in a lot of the top NFT projects out there – that garnered a lot of the headlines and got a lot of people interested in the space – was that the prices became so exorbitantly high,” he said.
“So what was ultimately a great marketing technique to get people interested in the space, was also exposing how overheated the market was becoming. The value or relative utility of the object that you received just got so out of whack with how big the price was.”
Still, there exists an inherent value in buying something whose price is inflated relative to its tangible value, as occurs in several luxury sectors of the economy, Bramlage said.
“I have to speak favourably about things like monkey pictures, because there are also things in the physical world like luxury cars or luxury handbags, whose price point has far exceeded any functional value that they actually have,” Bramlage suggested.
Quidd co-founder & CEO Michael Bramlage: “Prices are reflective of the emotional value the assets give to their owners, which is kind of a luxury flex.”
He added that premium, exclusive NFT collections such as the Bored Ape Club fit well within a framework of luxury products.
“Prices are reflective of the emotional value the assets give to their owners, which is kind of a luxury flex,” he suggested.
On the other end of the scale, though, are lower-value NFTs which also have their place in the future of the market.
On that level, Bramlage compared small-scale digital collectibles at lower price points with physical collectibles such as baseball cards.
“The number of people that buy baseball cards is insane today,” he suggested, “but at some point this generation’s going to say ‘I want the experience not made out of cardboard or plastic, but on my computer because I live my whole life on my computer or my phone.’”
And the moving of those assets from a physical to a digital format does not necessarily demand additional capabilities to be introduced to them.
“No one buys a pack of baseball cards, and asks ‘why can’t I redeem this for VIP access to a game? Or why doesn’t this unlock ownership or give me permissions or anything like that?
“It’s more like: ‘this is a baseball card. It’s cool. I like it. It’s fun. I like the athlete, it helps me complete a set.”
Collectibles like these, with lower price points and little or no tangible functionality, will continue to drive interest among customers and push the market forward, Bramlage suggested.