• In the heat of the moment, Gartner’s “Hype Cycle” lists NFT as a “peak of excessive expectations”

  • Gartner, a global research and development firm, annually publishes its “Hype Map,” which highlights the 25 breakthrough technologies that the company believes will have the greatest impact on business and society in the next two to 10 years. It also publishes a series of other predictions about cryptocurrencies, blockchain and other technologies.

    NFTs prove ownership of a unique digital item – such as an image, video file or meme – that can be verified by the blockchain, but were completely absent from Gartner’s “Hype Cycle” last year.

    NFTs are at the ‘peak of inflated expectations’

    The technology went mainstream earlier this year when auction house Christie’s held an NFT auction for digital artist Beeple that raised more than $69 million.

    Interest surged, with brands such as Charmin’ and Pizza Hut launching NFTs, but in late spring and early summer, the buzz and attention surrounding the space dropped off significantly, lending credence to claims of a speculative bubble.

    But with top markets generating $2.5 billion worth of transactions in the first half of the year and popular collectibles like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club recording new peaks, NFTs have yet to reach the “trough of disillusionment” Garner predicted after a “spike in inflated expectations.”

    Are we about to enter the “trough of disillusionment”?

    The Register has published a refutation of the Gartner hype machine, noting that many predictions have failed to see the light of day. So-called “smart dust” was tagged as an “innovation trigger” in 2015, but either changed its name or disappeared altogether.

    Or, as in the case of NFTs, trends suddenly emerge and concepts that were said to be on the rise last year, such as two-way brain-machine interfaces, disappear without a trace on this year’s charts.

    It’s enough to call into question whether Gartner is a reliable predictor of future mainstream technologies, especially NFTs, which are still evolving with new use cases emerging almost daily.

    More recently, giant tech companies like Visa have been moving into the space, and CryptoPunks, one of the first collections of NFTs, enjoyed an immediate boost after Visa announced it had purchased one for $165,000 in ethereum.

    Recent data from OpenSea, Axie Infinity and other popular NFT marketplaces suggests that the third quarter of 2021 could see more transactions than the first half of the year in total.

    “NFT is establishing itself as an exciting new asset class with regular inflows of new buyers,” Alex Svanevik, co-founder and CEO of cryptocurrency analytics firm Nansen, told us.” While many have called the top in the NFT market multiple times, the consolidation of prices and the emergence of new market highs continues to be surprising.”

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