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Gen Z: From personal exclusivity to NFTs

Update: December, 13/2021 - 16:04

"Maybe our children won't own houses, but they will have a lot of digital assets," said journalist Maya Middlemiss on a technology website.

For many young people, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are not a fad but a revolution in how to express individuality.

When it comes to assets, the Baby Boomer generation - the generation of those born after World War 2 - wants something tangible or bringing financial interest such as stocks, real estate or rare jewelry.

However, for Generation Z - those born from 1996 to 2012, also known as the "screen generation" - their assets are not only tangible, but also experiences and stories, especially the right to prove one is uniqueness.

According to research by global management consulting firm McKinsey, while Generation X (those born between 1960-1979) consumes to show social status, millennials (those born between 1980-1994) consume for experience, and Generation Z consumes for uniqueness.

McKinsey's research also shows three things related to this generation's consumption behaviour: consumption of access instead of possession, consumption of personal identity, and consumption of interest in an ethical issue.

Fittingly, emerging digital assets like NFTs have a lot in common with what Generation Z expects: providing ownership, exclusivity and dignifying copyright.

NFTs are digitally authentic certificates and cannot be copied. They are stored on the blockchain and used to represent ownership of electronic goods.

Thanks to the storable and modification-proof nature of blockchain technology, a record of ownership will always exist, be transparent and ensure that there is only one owner at a time.

NFT can be used to issue digital items as well as unique collections. These tokens can be collectible, an investment product, or something else. They can be a certificate that represents rare art or pictures.

In the field of video games, NFTs are widely used in the creation of unique items and characters. In fact, the transaction and exchange of accounts and items in video games has existed for a long time, but using blockchain to record the above transactions will be a big step forward in the economy of such games. NFTs can also solve or mitigate the common inflation problem that many games have been dealing with.

Many young consumers are willing to pay for NFTs instead of choosing to download a picture on the Internet for free, or simply taking a screenshot.

What Generation Z cares about is exclusivity, accessibility and proof of ownership on social networks. They can also spend thousands of dollars to own a rare character in the game, because it is considered a worthy investment for uniqueness but is still transferable if needed.

According to Blockchain Center analysis, the global search volume for NFTs has increased by 426 percent. A YPulse online survey of more than 500 young customers aged 16-34 years found that 29 percent of young people did not know about NFTs, 44 percent of young people had heard of NFTs but did understand what they are, and 27 percent of people know and fully understand NFTs.

Although studies and surveys indicate that NFTs are not yet a craze for all young people, they have a significantly increased reach for Generation Z than for Millennials.

Nhat Phan, CEO of the Bholdus project, a unit specializing in providing asset digitization services for businesses, said: “The attraction of NFTs is due to the digital scarcity, the rare and exclusive or limited editions created by them. Currently, NFTs are mostly used in video games, but in the future they could help reshape brand marketing in a creative economy."

NFTs can be seen as a revolution in ownership certificates and digital assets. Along with the Metaverse (virtual universe), the popularity and influence of these technologies with young people will continue to be a strong trend for many years to come.

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