If you go to NFT marketplaces right now, you will likely see the following four kinds of NFTs. These categories offer a glimpse into why you should consider NFTs as much more than expensive jpegs.
PFPs or profile picture NFTs are usually a digital art headshot of an animal or a humanoid. You have probably seen them popping up in place of the photos most people upload to their profiles. PFPs are not only artworks, they represent membership of a community and related benefits. For example the Bored Ape Yacht Club is essentially a private members club offering merch and a range of digital and physical perks to its members.
The world of NFTs has enabled digital artists to find new markets for their works. Previously such artists would need to create physical versions of their work to take to art galleries and fairs. Now they can sell their work in its original, digital form. Most NFTs on the market right now are art of one kind or another, but the distinction of this category is that the art itself is the utility. The artist might attach other things to the contract, but in essence, this is art for art’s sake.
Some NFTs can be used as assets within games. For example, you can buy NFT horses for the game Zed Run. You can then race your horses in races on the Zed Run website, and potentially win prize money. Some PFP projects have games on their roadmaps and promise holders the ability to use their NFTs in games in the future.
This last category of NFTs excites me the most. These NFTs promise their owners some real world utility, whether online or in the physical world. For example, Gary Vee’s VeeFriends NFTs give their owners access to a yearly conference.
These categories are not mutually exclusive. In fact, it is very possible for an NFT to fall into all four!