A Simple Guide to the Different Types of NFTs

As the NFT market grew into a multibillion-dollar industry, so too has the variety of NFTs. In addition to establishing ownership of tangible or digital goods such as art, music, photographs, and collectibles, NFTs are increasingly emerging across a wide range of businesses, from fashion to play-to-earn (P2E) gaming, creating real-world utility and constructing powerful online communities.

Here Are The Various Types of NFTs and Their Respective Applications


Profile image PFPs are exactly what they sound like: NFTs that are frequently used as digital avatars for a person's profile photo on social media platforms, particularly Twitter. The first PFP NFTs were CryptoPunks, which were produced in 2017 by Larva Labs. Larva Labs algorithmically manufactured 10,000 punks with varying characteristics. The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) PFPs, established by Yuga Labs in April 2021, are the most well-known NFTs of this type to date. Bored Ape #8817, which was auctioned for $3.4 million, is the most expensive droopy-eyed monkey. The BAYC NFT collection is also significant for granting owners intellectual property (IP) rights over their Bored Apes, allowing holders to have commercial usage rights and sell their NFTs.

In addition to bragging rights, the primary incentive for owning one of these NFTs is typically access to exclusive NFT communities and future benefits such as airdrops and other awards. For example, if you own a Bored Ape, you become a member of a club that includes celebrities such as Jimmy Fallon, Madonna, and Paris Hilton, and you may also attend genuine events such as ApeFest and other NFT-gated parties. As the metaverse expands, it is expected that more PFPs will be utilized as avatars on these platforms.

Generative art NFTs

The origins of generative art NFTs can be traced back to a computer-controlled, robot-created abstract art style from the 1960s. Using a variety of software and artificial intelligence techniques, a specified aesthetic is developed using a set of artists’ specifications and an algorithm that incorporates randomization to produce individual pieces with a common appearance and feel.

Autoglyphs by Larva Labs, Lost Poets, and Ringers, as well as artists Tyler Hobbs, Robbie Barret, and Matt Kane, have been industry pioneers. While generative NFTs are available on digital marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rarible, the auction site Art Blocks was built by a prominent generative artist, Erick Calderon alias Snowfro. Art Blocks assists makers of generative art throughout the entire process, from conception to sale.

Soulbound Tokens

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin was inspired to create soulbond tokens (SBT) after observing World of Warcraft's non-transferable "soulbound items." Soulbound coins are described as "non-transferable digital tokens that symbolize a social identity in a decentralized society" in a May 2022 report by Buterin and colleagues. The paper describes how accounts dubbed "Souls" would issue self-certified tokens that functioned like resume items, identifying specific accomplishments, certifications, and previous affiliations.

Use cases for SBTs are still being developed as of December. In addition to working as a résumé, potential applications might include keeping medical records, holding digital ID or membership cards, validating attendance, and recovering stolen private keys.


Recent growth in the sports trading card and memorabilia business has not just occurred in real life. It is also taking place online, as efforts such as NBA Top Shot demonstrate. Despite the well-documented growth and fall of that project, collectibles remain a viable format for NFT initiatives, particularly when they are tied to already-popular IP.

NFT collectibles, like their real-world equivalents, can have varied degrees of rarity and, thus, value. This makes them desirable to enthusiasts and collectors, who are willing to pay a hefty sum to complete their collections.

Play-to-earn gaming NFTs

P2E gaming non-financial transactions are also known as GameFi. Weapons and armor were traditionally available for purchase from the game developer or platform to enhance the online gaming experience. Most play-to-earn games require an initial purchase of one of the game's NFTs to truly earn cryptocurrency through gameplay. Typically, these NFTs are available for purchase within games or on secondary markets such as OpenSea.

Popular examples such as Axie Infinity and Gods Unchained allow players to own their rewards and sell or trade their in-game assets. This covers both in-game cryptocurrency prizes and the NFTs themselves, such as the "Axies" that are key to gameplay in Axie Infinity or the structure NFTs on the metaverse platform Star Atlas. You can acquire ATLAS and POLIS tokens in Star Atlas by completing missions. Additionally, a variety of NFTs can be acquired and traded on the NFT marketplace for the game.

There is also a subcategory of F2P games that need real-world participation, such as Stepn, which is classified as a "move to earn" game.

Fashion NFTs

Linking real-world clothes with embedded chips to NFTs offers consumers an engaging, one-of-a-kind designer experience that allows them to interact with their favorite brands in novel ways. This fashion breakthrough incorporates the use of virtual reality headsets to try on products in augmented reality environments. Major designers such as Tommy Hilfiger and Dolce & Gabbana have developed digital-only clothing lines that are sold as NFTs and may be worn by your Decentraland avatar. Similarly, The Dematerialised (DMAT), a Web3 wearable marketplace, enables users to purchase, sell, and virtually try on NFTs on the site.

Some fashion businesses and shops, such as Nike x RTFKT's Cryptokicks, and the shoe giant's metaverse sneaker line, plan to combine real and digital things to create a "phygital" experience, an emerging Web3 trend.

Utility NFTs

Utility NFTs link digital tokens to real-world benefits and experiences. NFTs that offer utility, such club membership, IRL experiences, or actual items, fit under one of the previous categories. NFTs that provide entrance to a real-life club, event, nightclub, or other experience are also available.

This style of NFT is impacting practically all NFTs, including the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which now offers private parties and events. PROOF community benefits future drops like Moonbirds PFP.

Retailers are making NFTs useful. One of the first luxury NFT collections, Dolce & Gabbana and UNXD's Collezione Genesi, included digital and physical objects and future experience rewards. Adidas' unique crypto-themed clothes for Into the Metaverse holders and Nike's digital fashion company RFTK, delivering digital and tangible things for Clone X Collection holders, give utility NFTs.

Domain names

Since before the word "NFT" was coined, domain name NFTs have been a key component of the NFT ecosystem. Today, significant services such as Ethereum Name Service and Unstoppable Domains have made it incredibly easy for users to acquire and administer domain names for their websites, wallets, NFTs, and other digital assets. These domain names exist as tradable NFTs on the blockchain, with some, such as "beer.eth" owned by Budweiser, commanding substantial prices on the secondary market. Considering that the concept of Ethereum domain names dates back to 2015, when Linagee Name Registrar was created a week after the Ethereum blockchain went live, it's not surprising that the popularity of domain names has continued to rise alongside the expansion of the NFT ecosystem.


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