Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are rising in demand, and some brands are already generating great results in their campaigns and providing a unique experience to customers. As the hype around NFTs continues, businesses need to understand how they can benefit. NFTs also have some special tax considerations to be aware of that can be different than fungible tokens, but before we get into that, let’s look at exactly what NFTs are.

What is an NFT

An NFT is a valuable digital asset created using blockchain. Unlike cryptocurrencies, NFTs are not mutually interchangeable as each NFT represents a different asset with a different value. Hence, an NFT verifies the authenticity of a non-fungible asset. This means that the purchaser of the asset/product can only use a product. Unlike other digital products, an NFT can’t be duplicated and sold. This is because the non-fungible asset is made into a token with a digital certificate of ownership, creating authenticity and credibility. NFTs could include videos, music, physical products, services, documents, artwork and even memes.

A non-fungible asset’s value depends on various factors, such as underlying value, ownership history, perception of the buyer, future value, etc.

Economically speaking, fungible assets are those that can be broken down into units and readily interchanged, like cash. For example, you can take a $100 bill and exchange it for five $20 bills nearly anywhere without an issue. Non-fungible assets cannot be exchanged in such as way because they have unique properties that prevent this. Non-fungible assets are things such as houses, a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or an Andy Warhol painting. There is only one real original.

NFTs are “one-of-a-kind” digital assets that can be thought of as certificates of ownership for virtual assets. They can be bought or sold like any other piece of property, but do not have a tangible form themselves. Similar to cryptocurrencies, a blockchain ledger keeps track of ownership; these records can’t be forged because the ledger is maintained by thousands of computers around the world. They are most often used to prove ownership of an “original” digital art piece.

How NFTs Have Been Used

So far, some industries are already reaping benefits from NFTs. Various cases of NFTs can be found in gaming, music, fashion, sports and virtual real estate.

The growth of NFTs has been attributed to the fact that humans like to collect things, and since NFTs are designed to be scarce digital assets, this contributes to the high prices. According to research conducted in March 2021 by Morning Consult, a global decision intelligence company, about half of the people who identified themselves as avid physical collectors were interested in NFTs. In addition, users have more control over the asset bought because it cannot be used in any other way or duplicated, making it more valuable.

It might not be obvious to most when NFTs are worth an investment. However, looking at NFTs that have already been sold, this can present an opportunity that businesses should not ignore. For instance, the first tweet by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was sold for over $2.9 million in March 2022. The Nike brand also has been making headlines with its virtual sneakers, with one selling at $134,000.

With such news making the headlines, businesses may wonder how they can benefit from NFTs. 

How Can a Business Benefit from NFTs?

Businesses still hesitant about adopting new technologies should start considering creating NFTs that align with their brand image. Below are some ways in which a business can benefit:

1. Brand Visibility

Aside from digital marketing, NFTs provide another way businesses and corporations can drive attention to their brand. For instance, by creating a digital version of your products, you expose it to NFT enthusiasts, some of who might not be aware of your products. NFTs also can be incorporated as part of your brand storytelling, creating unique experiences for your customers, consequently increasing consumer engagements.

2. Authenticity

Many businesses undergo massive losses of revenue due to counterfeit products. With NFTs, businesses can ascertain the authenticity of their products and services. A digital certificate is issued with every transaction and a record is kept on the blockchain. A customer can check the authenticity since the blockchain can be traced to the original seller.

3. Additional Revenue Stream

Businesses can use NFTs as an additional source of income by selling digital forms of their products or services. One way to do this is by creating an early access opportunity before the official product launches, creating a buzz and ensuring the NFT value will rise.

4. Customer Loyalty Program

The versatile nature of NFTs makes them ideal for use in loyalty programs. The tokens can be used as medals for loyal clients or as membership tokens.

5. Prevent Ticket Scams

Many people fall victim to online ticket scams where they buy fake discounted tickets or duplicate tickets of an original event ticket. The money collected doesn’t go to the business, which also affects the event organizers. Customers also risk their credit card information being stolen by scammers. However, turning a ticket into an NFT makes it easy to verify its authenticity and even prevent ticket black markets.

6. Managing Supply Chain

NFTs are positively disrupting the supply chain. By the use of blockchain technology, it’s now easy to trace the entire process of a product lifecycle, from raw material, transportation, manufacturing, and distribution up to the end consumer. Hence, businesses interested in improving transparency and accountability can embrace NFTs to automate their supply chain.

NFT Tax Basics

Similar to cryptocurrencies like Ethereum or Bitcoin, NFTs are taxable property. The big difference in taxation depends on if you are the creator or an investor.

Creators are taxed when they sell an NFT. If an artist created NFT art and sold it for 4 Ethereum coins worth $3,000 (they are typically traded in cryptocurrencies), then the artist would claim the $3,000 as ordinary income for tax purposes.

Investors are those who buy and sell NFTs. Similar to other trading activities profits, they are subject to capital gains tax rules.

Investor Example

Let’s look at an example of how taxes work for an NFT investor. Assume Jane bought an NFT valued at $3,500 in February 2021 by exchanging 2 Ethereum coins (ETH) she bought a few years ago when they cost $350. At the time of the acquisition of the NFT, Jane would have a long-term capital gain on the exchange of her ETH of $2,800 ($3,500 value of the NFT less her cost basis in the ETH exchanged of $700). Essentially, the exchange of the cryptocurrency triggers taxation of that asset and a new basis is established in the NFT as it’s not really an exchange but a disposal for tax purposes.

Half a year later in July, Jane sells the NFT for $8,500. Here she realizes a short-term capital gain of $5,000 (sale price of the NFT of $8,500 less her basis of $3,500). As with other short-term capital gains, this would be taxed as ordinary income.

Special Circumstances for High-Income Earners

Certain NFTs can be considered “collectibles,” leading to unfavorable tax treatment for high-income earners and subjecting them to a 28 percent tax rate on collectibles versus a 20 percent tax rate on regular long-term capital gains.


NFT technology is relatively new, and its practical use is still limited. However, the fact that people are willing to spend on them is reason enough why any business should consider leveraging NFTs in its marketing strategies to help boost brand engagement and drive sales.