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Love them or hate them, NFTs can survive thanks to the communities that drive them | TechCrunch

NFTs have suffered everything from ridicule and scams to a sharp drop in demand due to the crypto winter. Sometimes it almost feels like some of the projects in space are just continuing on the basis of hopes and dreams. Yet the sector has persisted despite the downturn, and recent crypto momentum has investors, community members, and onlookers once again turning their attention to NFTs.

Sure, NFTs get a lot of heat for all the silly monkeys, rocks, and JPEGs people spend millions on, but there is a widespread belief in the industry that the concept and various use cases that it brings have great value.

“I think NFTs are just cultural artifacts of crypto at this point. When people are having fun, it’s easier with a JPEG than a simple token,” Ilja Moisejevs, co-founder and CEO of NFT marketplace Tensor, told TechCrunch+.

Most people hold on to their NFTs regardless of their monetary value, according to Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands. Making money from NFTs validates the belief of their holders, but Siu believes there are bigger factors behind persistent ownership.

Similar to why people buy diamonds, there is a sense of value in investing in NFTs because it makes users look good or improves their social status, Siu said.

“Some are really just fraternity clubs; just people having fun and having the same interests,” Moisejevs said. “It’s not a crazy idea, but NFTs make (the experience) more powerful by linking them together. Either you lose money together or you make money together.

And it seems like more and more people are getting into the “making money together” crowd: in the last 30 days, there have been about 120,000 more NFT buyers than sellers, and the volumes in sales increased 72.7% to approximately $1.66 billion. according to NFT aggregator CryptoSlam.

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