The convergence of the digital and physical worlds is taking shape, with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) allowing brands to expand their reach into digitally-enabled experiential tie-ins, Jefferies said in an analyst note.
The bank raised its NFT market-cap forecast to more than $35 billion for 2022 and to over $80 billion for 2025, analysts led by Stephanie Wissink wrote in the report published Tuesday.
The bank notes that companies and celebrities are buying plots of land in the Sandbox and Decentraland, allowing them to digitally market, raise awareness and extend their brands. In November there was a rush into digital real estate purchases, for which NFTs are the digital building blocks, the note said.
Jefferies views digital assets as an emerging technology, and recommends that clients build a basket of investment exposure across video game, toy and game, and social media companies.
For consumer exposure, the bank mentions: Hasbro, Mattel, Funko and GameStop. For metaverse exposure they include: Meta, Snap, Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Take-Two Interactive Software, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and Roblox.
Jefferies says that while the Ethereum blockchain is still the most popular choice for minting NFTs and building so-called metaverses, the network’s high gas, or transaction, fees have pushed brands to consider alternative networks.
Rival investment bank JPMorgan also highlighted this trend in a report last week. It said that Ethereum’s dominance in NFTs was shrinking due to congestion and high gas fees.