NFT Profile Pictures: The Rise of Avatar Projects

NFTs have been making waves recently and rightfully so. You have probably seen celebrities sport cartoon monkeys as Twitter pictures or heard of NFTs selling for millions of dollars.

But where did NFT profile pictures begin and why are they so popular? Don’t worry. In this article, I will be answering those questions and much more. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.

What are NFT profile pictures?

NFT profile pictures (PFPs) are generative virtual avatars used for social media photos. Popularized by CryptoPunks, projects are usually a collection of 10,000 avatars. Each avatar has unique traits that affects the rarity of the NFT. Ultimately, NFT profile pictures act as a status symbol and a form of expression.

Where it did it all begin?

NFT PFPs started with CryptoPunks all the way back in 2017. Founded by John Watkinson and Matt Hall these NFTs feature a pixelated collection of 10,000 unique avatars. Charactarized by humans, monkeys and aliens these NFTs all had unique traits which users could identify with.

It started off as an underground niche community and gradually developed into the behomoth it is today. Like bitcoin this collection has a fixed supply, rare avatars are extremely sought after with some selling for over $2 million. CryptoPunks are the ultimate digital status symbol.

Mainstream success

Profile picture NFTs truly reached the mainstream in 2021. We had the likes of Serene Williams having a CryptoPunk PFP for everyday of the week. Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs were selling for millions. Not to mention, every news network and late night show was talking about this new phenomenon.

But what caused this success? Well first of all the combination of coronavirus and the excessive monetary stimulus created the perfect concoction. People were locked inside and one of the only escapes was the virtual realm.

Combine that with the stimulus checks and this was the perfect catalyst for the NFT craze. Not to mention the benefits NFTs bring. This truly unique and permissionless technology is simply revolutionary. To learn more, click here.

Why are NFT PFPs so popular?

Status symbol – whether it’s a Picasso or a Patek Philippe. People have always been attracted to status. A status symbol is a rare possession which display wealth. Thanks to the underlying technology of NFTs it facilitates this scarcity. They cannot be faked or duplicated as the smart contract documents digital authenticity. Vanity has never been easier. To learn more click here.

Form of expression – NFT profile pictures are chosen based on their specific traits. Fans buy the attributes which they can relate to or if they fit their own personal taste. Not to mention, these avatars can represent what we aspire to be. We can have the gold chain or the diamond necklace. Ultimately, these avatars are an expression of ourselves.

Community – NFT profile pictures develop a sense of community. People are ultimately drawn to collaborate and interact with each other. Creators can also facilitate this by providing real utility to NFT holders. Imagine you use an NFT as proof of ownership to a prestigious event or concert. This has been done by BAYC community. By holding the BAYC NFT you gain access to an exclusive discord channel and metaverse. The metaverse is a complete 3D world where players can interact. This will only become more common as the world transitions to a digital reality.

Final Thoughts

As you can see NFT profile pictures are the ultimate form of digital expression. People identify with them and they develop a sense of community. Starting in 2017 this technology is still in its infancy. But although this is novel technology, I have know doubt that it will get massive adoption in the digital world. Overall, I am truly optimistic on the future of this technology. Thanks for reading.

Want to learn about NFT traits and attributes? Click here to read my previous article.