Salesforce could relight the hype around non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, according to analysts from GlobalData.
The news comes as cryptocurrencies are tumbling on the markets, with bitcoin trading as low as £23,300. This free-falling valuations of these digital assets have reignite the conversations about whether a new crypto winter is incoming.
Given how intimately linked to the cryptocurrency sphere NFTs are, some have said that Salesforce might be a bit late to the party with its launch of NFT Cloud, a platform to mint and sell NFTs.
However, researchers from research and analytics firm GlobalData believes it could be quite the opposite.
“Salesforce’s NFT Cloud is not too late to the party and the leading tech company’s stamp of approval may well renew the NFT hype,” Amrit Dhami, associate analyst at GlobalData, said in a new podcast from the research firm. “Having been presented as a ‘layman’s guide to NFTs’ for brands, NFT Cloud could encourage more consumers to get involved – going a long way in deflating the perception that NFTs are fun for the ultra-rich but scams for everyone else.
“While more brands minting their own NFTs would give more consumers access to the world of NFTs, this could deter celebrities and influencers from associating with it in the long run. A lot of its value is in its exclusivity. If existing social ecosystems propped up by NFTs fail to keep providing the benefits and social kudos that they currently offer, their desirability and power as a social currency will quickly diminish as the mystique around NFTs dissipates. Indeed, Salesforce’s focus does appear to be around engaging brand new NFT communities.”
NFTs, just like cryptocurrencies, are dragged down by their reputations of being bad for the environment. These concerns have marred the release of Salesforce NFT Cloud. Earlier this year, roughly 400 Salesforce employees reportedly signed an open letter opposing the NFT plans, arguing that getting into the space raises concerns over its ethical and environmental impact.
“Making NFTs a more mainstream concept might also force the industry to acknowledge its damaging ESG impact,” Dhami says. “Anything blockchain-related requires high-power computers for the cryptography involved, and the huge amounts of electricity that come with a large carbon footprint. This stands against Salesforce’s highly-emphasised commitment to sustainability.”
Lil Read, senior analyst at GlobalData, added that Salesforce NFT Cloud could provide a stepping stone for other would-be players to join the NFT craze.
“By lowering the barrier for entry and encouraging more widespread adoption of NFTs and broader Web3 themes, Salesforce could be well positioned in the next wave of the rapidly evolving internet,” Read said in the podcast. “Although Web3 and the metaverse are not the same, there will be many overlapping components, including NFTs. Web2.5-based metaverse will take off quicker than Web3-based metaverse.”
GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.