The NFT Market in the US vs UK

The NFT Market in the US vs UK

The general public in the United States and in the United Kingdom have only just started to grasp the concept of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency. For those that don’t have any experience in these areas, the concept of invisible money still seems alien.

While the majority of each population is just starting to get a grip, a whole new digital phenomenon has hit the marketplace. NFT has made a big entrance in the world of creative arts but how is it being received and understood on either side of the Atlantic?

NFT: The Basics

The initials NFT stand for non-fungible token and, while fungible sounds like one of those perfectly ‘cromulent’ words that they make up on The Simpsons, it’s completely genuine. Fungible is a term for anything that can be replaced by a commodity of equal proportions.

Therefore, when an item is non-fungible, it cannot be replaced and is completely unique. That’s this NFT marketplace is attracting huge interest after a number of high-profile artists have released non-fungible tokens of their own.

Groundbreaking Artists

NFTs are available in a wide range of spheres from music, digital art, films and video games. They are all tied to the creative worlds where potential buyers can own something that is truly unique.

These tokens have been around since 2015 but have only recently hit the mainstream headlines. Chiefly responsible for expanding the NFT marketplace were the Kings of Leon who became the first group of musicians to release an album in this way.

In March 2021, it was announced that the band were issuing a series of tokens called ‘NFT Yourself’. Exclusive vinyl and experiences were up for grabs.

They originate from the country music hotbed of Nashville, Tennessee but have the Kings of Leon suggested that the US are way ahead of the UK when it comes to NFTs?

Both Sides of the Same Digital Coin

There is some recent research into attitudes to NFTs and the results have a clear indication that the US is more ready to embrace the new developments. The studies were conducted by Piplsay who used a sample range of 30,390 Americans and 6,050 residents from the United Kingdom.

The respondents showed that 59% of Americans believe that NFT is the future of various artistic mediums. In contrast, only 39% of British interviewees felt the same way.

Both sets of respondents could see that this was an interesting trend and a way for artists to boost revenue. However, those in the UK were more likely to see this as just a fad; a silly trend that would soon be forgotten.

It’s an interesting survey but is it enough to give us a clear indication of attitudes towards NFTs from either side of the ‘pond?’

Lies and Statistics?

It could easily be argued that this was a small sample size and not enough to offer a full insight into views on non-fungible tokens. More than five times as many respondents were from the United States as opposed to the UK.

The counter argument to that relates to the overall size of the respective populations. Recent censuses show around 331 million residents of the United States as opposed to some 67 million in the UK. Presumably this is why the numbers in the survey are disproportionate but just over 6,000 UK interviewees remains a very small percentage.

Raising Awareness

Another potential issue in analyzing these figures lies in the fact that relatively few members of the general public are aware of the existence of NFTs. 59% of British respondents said that they were not aware of the new medium as opposed to 42% of those in the United States.

It’s therefore hard to make a judgement on a trend that you’ve only just been appraised of. A knee jerk reaction is all that can be offered in those instances and that’s another reason to question the numbers that the survey has provided.

It would certainly be interesting to revisit those studies in the months and years that lie ahead to see if there is any change in attitudes.

Reverting to Type

It could also be said that British and American interviewees were merely following a very general stereotype that is attached to their views on life. Those in the United States could be more inclined to embrace new technologies and to declare that everything is simply ‘awesome’.

Over in the UK, the British public can tend to be more reserved and far less trusting of anything that is new. It’s a very general way to look at those numbers but it’s a theory that many observers of the British and American public would believe.

The Future will be Clearer

Everything about cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens still seems very new and both remain in the development stages to an extent. That, and the relatively small sample size need to be taken into account when assessing the findings of the Piplsay study.

In the UK, it will take a big name to enter the world of NFTs in order for them to become more mainstream. As Kings of Leon brought wider awareness in the US, it would possibly need Ed Sheeran or Coldplay to respond in kind.

Whatever happens, the future will be fascinating, and it will be interesting to see if those contrasting views from either side of the Atlantic start to achieve greater harmony.

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