The NFT skill tree 🎯

The 21 main branches of NFT skills!
Nov 15, 20226 min read

Dear Bankless Nation,

In some of my past posts, I’ve riffed on the idea of the “NFT skill tree.”

It’s all the skill sets you can learn from advancing through all the main categories of NFT activity right now.

I thought it’d be neat to map the branches of what a contemporary NFT skill tree could look like, so for today’s post I’ve come up with 21 main areas of interest as developed from Alex Gedevani’s excellent NFT Verticals spreadsheet.

Can you max out your skill tree? You hardly have to — even just gaining competency in half these branches will position you well as NFTs become more important in the years ahead.

All that said, let’s walk through what these 21 main skill branches are and some of the main projects you can explore in each of them!


Exploring the branches of the contemporary NFT skill tree

1) Analytics

NFT analytics resources provide easy-to-use interfaces for discovering actionable NFT insights, like mispriced listings, and for understanding NFT activity flows, like trade volume metrics.

Examples of skills to learn:

  • Comparing 24 Hour, 7 Day, and 30 Day floor price stats for major collections on Flips
  • Setting up custom mint alerts for your browser on icy.tools
  • Reading the Lucky Listings UI to find mispriced NFTs on Lucky Trader
  • Reviewing a specific wallet’s history using the NFT Wallet Profiler on Nansen
  • Studying what specific NFT communities are collecting at any given time on Watchtower

2) Art

Artist-focused platforms now make up a major part of the NFT ecosystem. These projects provide infrastructure that make it easier for artists to mint and share their works with a growing global community of digital collectors.

Examples of skills to learn:

3) Borrowing / Lending

NFT borrowing and lending protocols let borrowers get fixed-period loans against their NFTs while letting lenders earn yield or liquidated NFTs. At the crossroads of DeFi and NFTs, these sorts of projects have seen an explosion of interest in recent times.

Examples of skills to learn:

  • Collateralizing an NFT to field loan offers on NFTfi
  • Depositing ETH into the reserve pool to earn yield on BendDAO
  • Making a lending offer on Arcade or Sodium

4) Community resources

Community resources are projects that help streamline activities like community discovery and community management.

Examples of skills to learn:

  • Automating membership management for your NFT community with Guild
  • Customizing a community treasury on Juicebox
  • Discovering the actions, like votes or mints, your wallet can do via Daylight
  • Setting up a token-gated forum for your NFT community with Collective
  • Preparing an allowlist on Premint

5) Content collectives

Content collectives are decentralized groups that coordinate creatively to propagate a brand, story, or narrative universe. For instance, Nouns DAO members vote on how the project’s treasury should be used to support “Nounish” brand efforts.

Examples of skills to learn:

  • Submitting a proposal to create Nounish content for Nouns DAO via Prop House

6) Curation

Curation platforms and protocols help artists, collectors, curators, and casual users alike organize NFTs into galleries for events, scholarship efforts, and beyond. In elevating NFTs beyond merely financial concerns, curation generates cultural value for NFTs.

Examples of skills to learn:

  • Curating an exhibition of your favorite NFTs via Deca, Gallery, or JPG (Disclosure: I contribute to JPG!)

7) Gaming

Gaming projects in the NFT ecosystem use NFTs to facilitate asset ownership and in-game economies. While the main goal of any game is to be fun, many NFT games offer novel play-to-earn possibilities, too.

Examples of skills to learn:

8) Discovery

Discovery projects make it easy for users to quickly discover notable NFT happenings or information. Getting a feel for these tools will help you better navigate the on-chain landscape.

Examples of skills to learn:

  • Creating a domain name for your wallet with ENS
  • Finding trending mints with mint.fun
  • Making web3-friendly search queries with Drifty
  • Tracking trending sales on Context

9) Display

Display projects help NFT owners and exhibitors showcase NFTs in physical settings.

Examples of skills to learn:

10) Liquidity

Liquidity protocols help NFT traders access decentralized liquid markets around otherwise illiquid NFTs.

Examples of skills to learn:

  • Creating a new liquidity pool on sudoswap
  • Swapping like-kind NFTs on NFTX

11) Marketplaces

Marketplaces are online stores where people can buy and sell NFTs. Marketplaces can be standalone operations, like Nifty Gateway, or aggregator platforms that make it possible to trade across multiple NFT marketplaces at once, like Gem.

Examples of skills to learn:

12) Metadata storage

Metadata storage platforms provide streamlined UIs for creators and to maintain their NFT metadata on decentralized storage solutions like Arweave, IPFS, or Filecoin. Since the metadata of many NFT projects are maintained off-chain, the importance of long-term metadata security cannot be understated.

Examples of skills to learn:

  • Uploading the metadata of your NFT collection through services like NFT Storage or Pinata

13) Metaverse

Metaverse projects in the NFT ecosystem use NFTs to facilitate the ownership of virtual land and in-world assets, thus bringing digital experiences to life.

Examples of skills to learn:

14) Multiplayer crypto

Multiplayer crypto projects make it easy for groups of friends and/or strangers to collectively own and use NFTs together.

Examples of skills to learn:

  • Starting an NFT collector party on PartyBid

15) Music

Music NFT platforms help musicians connect with their fans in new ways via 1/1 or editioned collectible music releases. This scene is beginning to seriously bloom, which bodes well for the future of independent music!

Examples of skills to learn:

  • Creating your own song using the digital audio workstation (DAW) system on Arpeggi
  • Developing custom playlists with Spinamp
  • Collecting collectible songs on Catalog or Sound

16) NFTfi

NFTfi, a sector situated at the crossroads of NFTs and DeFi, facilitates complex NFT-based financial services in decentralized fashion, like on-chain NFT derivatives.

Examples of skills to learn:

  • Creating an NFT call option on Hook
  • Depositing WETH to the capital vault on MetaStreet
  • Generating an on-chain credit score via Spectral

17) Portfolio management

Portfolio management projects help NFT collectors create one-stop hubs for tracking their holdings, increasingly across multiple chains like Ethereum, Arbitrum, and Optimism.

Examples of skills to learn:

18) Pricing

Pricing projects are centered around helping NFT collectors and traders appraise their holdings. The pricing scene is very early but some promising efforts have started coming to fruition.

Examples of skills to learn:

19) Protection

Protection projects help NFT creators or owners ensure the safety of their NFTs for the long term.

Examples of skills to learn:

  • Backing up the metadata of your off-chain NFTs with ClubNFT
  • Testing the quality of your NFT drop beforehand using StealthTest on nameless

20) Rentals

Rental platforms help people rent out, or pay to rent, NFTs.

Examples of skills to learn:

  • Renting a digital collectible on reNFT

21) Wallets

Wallet projects allow people to streamline the process of self-custodying their NFTs. Wallets can come in various forms, like mobile apps or multi-signature vaults.

Examples of skills to learn:

  • Creating an NFT vault for long-term security with Safe
  • Setting up a burner wallet for free mints via Rainbow

Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.

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