Lee Richter is an entrepreneur, business innovator, mentor and global NFT visionary dedicated to coaching aspiring entrepreneurs. She helps business owners recognize the importance of NFTs and how to best use them to expand their business horizons, achieve success, and make a meaningful impact. To connect with Richter, go to NFTsWithLee.com.

Russ Prince: What are NFTs?
Lee Ricter: NFTs are non-fungible tokens. When an NFT is minted and a verification code is created and is stored on the Blockchain. NFTs are digital assets. They create VIP and exclusive access when used like a ticket. NFTs are proof of ownership. NFTs are proof of authenticity. NFTs are whatever you want…to create, to consume and to collect! 

NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital tokens with a specific identifiable coding making each one unique—non-fungible—as opposed to “fungible” tokens. For example, the $1 bill, when you have two $1 bills, it is worth the same amount and there are multiple ones available in physical form making it a fungible token.  

Since an NFT is a one-of-a-kind, non-interchangeable item, each one is used to authenticate ownership of unique digital assets. In addition, with the use of a smart contract, coding can include access to physical assets such as artworks, real estate, audio and video recordings, automobiles, and jewelry among other things. Access also can be built in for a variety of experiences like a ticket to a show or a concert or for exclusive access to a behind-the-scenes, special moment. 

Prince: Why should someone pay attention to NFTs?
Ricter: Any business wanting to stay relevant and successful will want to explore creating and adopting an NFT strategy. Just like businesses have a website and a social media presence, companies will be expected to incorporate NFTs into their client transactions. NFTs are the future of business and are disrupting the ways we conduct transactions. NFTs create an opportunity to eliminate the middleman. Implementing an NFT strategy can create endless opportunities for a brand and a business.

Let’s consider an example in the real estate industry. With the widespread use of NFTs in the global economy today, transactions now can include NFTs to buy real estate in both virtual and physical deals. People can NFT their mortgage using Bacon Protocol and homeowners can utilize this for their residential properties. 

In digital real estate, a major platform is “The Sandbox.” The Sandbox is an Ethereum-based virtual platform where players create, customize and monetize their gaming experience. Snoop Dogg is one of the first celebrities to hop on the platform and he is currently developing the Snoopverse—Snoop’s world in The Sandbox—and people are already investing nearly $500,000 buying properties to be one of Snoop’s neighbors.

In November 2021, the four leading virtual-land platforms collectively sold more than $100 million worth of virtual land as NFTs in one week. Brands are trying to catch up and buy land to start advertising in the metaverse. And like anything else, in the world of NFTs, the early bird gets the worm. According to marketing experts, early investors in the metaverse will reap the rewards when everyone else finally joins the game because each platform has a limited amount of land. By then, scarcity will determine the value of each property.

Each platform has its own currency or tokens. Decentraland has MANA and Sandbox has SAND. The more people build up these virtual worlds, the more valuable their currencies become. For example, SAND used to be valued at 25 cents at the beginning of March 2021. By the end of 2021, it reached $8.51. To put things in perspective, if you invested $1,000 in SAND in Spring 2021, you would have ended the year with $850,000. And we’re just getting started with NFTs.

Another area where NFTs are making a significant impact is gaming. Media headlines consistently share big wins in the NFT space such as CryptoPunks and The Board Apes Yacht Club along with global gaming sensation, Axie Infinity. 

So let’s consider a case study not as famous yet but is gaining incredible traction. CyberKongz is a gamified collectible dApp. On it, you can collect CyberKongz, which are a family of 20,000 ape-like humanoids split into three distinct types. Each one comes in the form of an NFT that can carry different items all ranging in rarity. 

CyberKongz is a decentralized project located on Ethereum, which was first released in March 2021. Since then, it has organically built itself as one of the most innovative and disruptive projects in the NFT space. As you dig through the unique project, you’ll see that it’s one of the most complex ecosystems built in the metaverse to date.

CyberKongz has started investing in The Sandbox. What makes this investment a pioneering project is how CyberKongz plans to utilize the land to create a distinct and sustainable, long-term experience for its users. Looking at the size of the lands purchased and plans to build, it’s very clear how serious the CyberKongz are about creating an unmatched experience in the competitive Sandbox universe.

Since winning the Shrine of Kongz in an auction last July, the Kongz have been building incredibly detailed artwork. One of the coolest features about this build is that there is a built-in-ready-to-play parkour-based game that ends with a mysterious treasure chest on top of the Shrine of Kongz. And it doesn’t stop there! They’re constantly building and improving the platform.

Prince: How do you help people in this space?
Ricter: With decades of experience in finance, business building and marketing, one of the creative ways I have found to advance brands is to find a trend and stay in front of it. Seeing the great momentum and potential of NFTs indicates this new disruptive strategy is not just a fad or passing trend, it’s the future of business. I see firsthand how global brands are embracing it and diving in head first, and this insight and journey is inspiring me to jump in fully too. 

At the same time, coaching business owners is one of my passions. With this new frontier, I help global leaders and corporations create unique NFT campaigns as a tactic to achieve financial and professional success in the current marketplace. Guiding entrepreneurs and companies how to best use NFTs allows them to leverage momentum in the marketplace and with their community.

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