The proverbial “fat lady” sang the end of 2022, and many folks in the cryptocurrency and non-fungible token (NFT) spaces couldn’t be happier.
The year has been rough for crypto and non-fungible tokens markets, to say the least. And while we try to avoid the negative as much as possible here at Rarity Sniper, we all know crypto and NFT prices have slumped, major crypto exchanges and lending companies have crashed, and some big names (cough Sam Bankman-Fried) appear to have earned a one-way ticket to the slammer.
But it hasn’t been all bad news in Web3 in 2022. Despite the frigid crypto winter, Web3 enthusiasts have been building, keeping us writers here at Rarity Sniper as busy as ever. We’ve written hundreds of stories in 2022 about companies, brands, celebrities, countries, and other entities investing in Web3 and NFT technology.
So before we say goodbye to 2022, we’d like to recap some of the most innovative NFT and metaverse projects we’ve seen this year. Here are our top five:
- UNICEF Brings Internet to Developing World Using NFTs. While many people are pondering how the world can transition smoothly from Web2 to Web3, a large portion of schools around the world have no internet whatsoever. Earlier in the year, UNICEF tackled this problem by creating an NFT collection consisting of 1,000 NFTs called Patchwork Kingdoms. The collection sold out in under three hours, and shortly after its release it had raised over $700,000 to be used to bring internet to schools in the developing world.
- United Arab Emirates Launches Metaverse Hospital. The United Arab Emirates launched the first metaverse hospital this year catering to medical tourism. The virtual hospital is a space where guests can visit using their avatars and interact virtually with healthcare physicians. Not only can people have their questions answered by doctors, the metaverse hospital is a re-creation of the real-life Thumbay healthcare facility, so patients who are considering traveling to the hospital can see what the facility looks like before visiting.
- NASA and SpaceX Send Azuki NFT to Space. On April 23rd, the SpaceX Crew-4 astronaut team brought the popular Azuki NFT character the “Bean Farmer” along for a ride to the International Space Station, strapped in a Ledger hardware wallet. The 31-day trip was more than just a publicity stunt for the popular NFT collection. Stellar, a research organization at Grand Canyon University, is using the NFT to explore energy outputs and electrical characteristics of the Microbial Fuel Cell in a microgravity environment. In other words, an NFT is being used for humanitarian research purposes.
- Chainsmokers Give Away Album Royalties on Royal. The musical duo comprised of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart made headlines this year when they gave away royalties to their latest album to 5,000 lucky fans on the Web3 music platform Royal. Each NFT token granted the owner .0002% ownership and a share in streaming royalties. While it might not be the biggest news of the year, the move highlights a new business model in music where fans can invest in their favorite artists and share in the streaming profits.
- Columbia Partners with Ripple to Put Land Deeds on the Blockchain. In August, the country of Columbia partnered with Ripple Labs (creators of the $XRP crypto) for a plan to store land deeds on the blockchain. The project is part of a push to make certifying and record-keeping of land documents in Latin America more transparent, since once a land deed is stored on XRPL (Ripple’s public blockchain) nothing can modify or delete it. Although the project has been stalled since its announcement this summer, the idea could be a big deal for the country. Especially considering that the longest-lasting civil war in Latin America (1964-2016) was fought in Columbia over land rights, and many landowners in Columbia occupy land that they have no documents for, making proof-of-ownership difficult or impossible.
While these stories caught our eye, they aren’t the only innovations we’ve seen in Web3 this year. Here are some other headlines that are also worth mentioning:
- Johnson & Johnson Uses the Metaverse to Train Mexican Doctors
- Floyd Mayweather Fights in Dubai in First NFT Boxing Match
- Four Italian Art Museum Sell NFT Reproductions of Masterpieces
- The Vatican Creates a Metaverse Art Gallery
- MTV Video Music Awards Adds ‘Best Metaverse Performance’ Category
- Christie’s Moves On-Chain with New NFT Marketplace
- Tokyo University Launches Metaverse Engineering Classes
- U.S. Elections Agency Approves NFTs as Fundraising Tool
- Polygon Users Surge Following Trump NFT Drop
Big Name Brands and Companies Enter Web3 in 2022
2022 saw hundreds of companies in fashion, banking, sports, media, and other industries enter Web3. Here’s a review of some of the biggest brands and companies that have invested in Web3 in 2022:
- Google Cloud
- Capital One
Web3 has also been huge in sports this year. Some of the most popular sports leagues in the world, as well as teams and individual players have launched NFT projects or partnered with Web3 platforms to bring NFTs and metaverse experiences to fans.
Among them are the NBA, the NFL, Major League baseball, AC Milan, the Argentine Football Association, professional tennis, professional golf, and many more. In fact, NFTs have been so critical to sports this year that the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers is predicting NFTs will become one of the biggest revenue generators for global sports brands and could replace traditional sports memorabilia like trading cards, jerseys, and ticket stubs.
Cities and Countries Investing in Web3
It’s not just big brands, companies, and sports leagues investing in Web3. Geographical entities around the world have been getting in on the action and using Web3 to stimulate their economies. Here are some headlines from cities and countries that were bullish on Web3 in 2022:
- South Korea Invest $186.7 Million in the Metaverse
- Dubai Wants to Add 40,000 Metaverse Jobs in Five Years
- The United Arab Emirates Launches a Metaverse City
- Thailand to Boost Tourism with New NFT Experience
- Tuvalu Turns to Metaverse to Escape Climate Change
- Norway Opens Tax Office in Decentraland Metaverse
- United Kingdom Prime Minister is a Crypto Believer
- Catalonia, Spain to Build Its Own Metaverse
- The City of Miami Launches an NFT Collection
- Turkey Enters Metaverse with $19 Million Budget
- Japanese Prime Minister is Bullish on Web3 & Metaverse
Final Thoughts on 2022
Despite the rocky road for the NFT market in 2022, entities around the globe are continuing to build in Web3 at a rapid pace. In fact, so much is going on that it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with all the innovation happening in the space.
Of course, we hope 2023 will be a better year as far as the market is concerned. But considering all that’s happened during this “down year,” one thing is certain: Web3 and NFTs aren’t going anywhere.