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Hype or useful digital assets? Here’s how the UAE perceives NFTs

Although 72% of people in the UAE hold a positive outlook on NFTs' usage, 42% believe that they are simply a technological hype.

Hype or useful digital assets? Here’s how the UAE perceives NFTs
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have taken the world by storm, and people hold varying opinions about them.

According to recent research by Kaspersky, 72% of respondents in the UAE believe that the popularity, importance, and usage of NFTs will grow across different business sectors. However, 42% of respondents believe that NFTs are just technological hype that will only exist for a short time.

NFTs are digital assets that come in the form of music, art, texts, gaming content, avatars, videos, luxury items, and more. They are bought and sold online using cryptocurrency and have become popular because each is unique and irreplaceable. Each NFT can represent an individual’s identity, property rights, and more.

Because of their unique identifying code and built-in authentication, people can own the original product, which serves as proof of ownership. As such, NFTs offer a way to create unique, verifiable digital assets that can be sold and traded, similar to physical goods. This sentiment is shared by 77% of respondents in the UAE who believe that NFTs can offer a new way of trading digital assets. Similarly, 72% think they can ensure the uniqueness of digital assets and contribute to intellectual property ownership.

One example of NFTs’ impact can be seen in one of the most famous and expensive NFT sales, which occurred in March 2021 when a group of NFTs by digital artist Beeple sold for over $69 million. The artwork was a collage of Beeple’s first 5,000 days of work and set a record for the most expensive digital art sold at the time.

While NFTs are generally viewed favorably, some may need help understanding what they are and how they can be used. This is the case for 82% of respondents in the UAE who have heard of NFTs. However, 21% of those know nothing about them and are unaware of their applications.

The research pointed out that lacking knowledge about NFTs increases the chances of financially-motivated cyber risks in the sector. Sixty-seven percent of people in the UAE who have heard of NFTs consider them a high-risk investment but expect significant returns. However, 35% think NFTs are another way to scam people online.

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