While the general hype around non-fungible tokens (NFTs) may be subsiding a little, investment into NFT startups has not, according to a report from Lufthansa.
The report from the airline innovation hub’s research arm TNMT reveals funding into startups focused on NFTs multiplied almost 40 fold from 2020 to 2021- bringing in a total $4.5 billion.
It adds that investor momentum is not slowing with funding value in January and February 2022 overtaking the annual funding value for 2017 through 2020.
The report goes on to say that the tokens were also one of the hottest topics on social media platforms in 2021 pointing to a New York Times article as support.
In an article in early March, Hypebeast reveals that there were more than a billion tweets about crypto since 2020 with 299 million made in the past year.
TNMT says that Google searches for the term “NFT” peaked in January however and points to a report from the Financial Times revealing a significant drop in the average selling price of NFTs.
Despite the hype cooling off, naturally some of the excitement has tipped into travel and TNMT categorizes some of the travel startups focused on NFT to come up with three main use cases - travel community, airline loyalty and NFT passport.
The chart details some of the companies in the space that drop into those categories but there are others such as Iomob in ground transportation and Winding Tree, Clear Chain, Aeroband and TravelX which lean more towards using blockchain to reinvent distribution.
The Lufthansa report concludes that the jury is out on “the long-term contribution” of NFTs to the travel industry.
For context, the first mentions of blockchain in travel emerged in 2016 with a number of companies announcing they would be accepting the currency.
Since then, while there are many new startups in the realm, the use cases don't seem to have multiplied at the same rate.