Into the Rabbit Hole: The Classification of NFTs

This is the 1st part of an ongoing NFT classification series.

DeFi Singapore
4 min readOct 4, 2021

In the first part of this NFT series, we take a bird’s eye view of the NFT space, and the different waves and classifications on the market.

Editor’s Note: It is important to note that one wave does not necessarily signal the end of another but rather builds on the features of its predecessor, marking the next phase in NFTs evolution. Let’s explore this space together!

As someone who has been in the blockchain space since 2015 and observed the evolution of Ethereum, we have reached the pinnacle of adoption for NFTs. Within the ecosystem itself, industries and ground-up initiatives have started to experiment with this new wave of marketing efforts. For the first time ever, this has created utility functions for the ERC 721 Ethereum standard.

How do we make sense of this ever-expanding universe — or should we say, metaverse? I have attempted to put together a classification of NFTs so you better understand what’s been happening, bearing in mind that they will be evolving even as you read this.

A Classification of NFTs:

1st Wave — Rarity: What makes my NFT one-of-a-kind in the world?

  • Collectibles (Cryptokitties, CryptoPunks, Dapper Labs)
  • Fine Art & Antiquities (Wladimir Baranoff-Rossiné, Barney A. Ebsworth sold at Christie’s or Sotheby’s)
  • Digital Art (PAK, Amrita)
Collectibles — The rare ones usually are the most desirable ones.

2nd Wave — Utility: Can an NFT have more uses than just being eye-candy?

  • Expressive Art (Art Blocks, Squiggle, Red Hongyi)
  • Generative Art (BAYC, Audioglyphs, Pengus, Abs, ON1)
  • Gaming NFTs (Axie, Rumble Kong, CryptoBlades)
  • Fashion & Brands (Gucci, RTFKT Studios, Burberry, Lamborghini)

3rd Wave — Community: How can I uniquely participate in the creation and evolution of the NFT?

  • Community-Owned Gaming (Loot)
  • Scratch-Card Concept (Lost Poets)

Upcoming 4th Wave — Combination: How mainstream business are using NFTs more effectively?

  • Dynamic NFTs (Ether Cards, Daniel Asham, DreamsQuest)
  • Asset-Backed NFTs (Diamonds, wine, utilities, technology)
  • Programmable NFTs (Totally Brand New)

It is important to note that one wave does not necessarily signal the end of another but rather builds on the features of its predecessor, marking the next phase in NFTs evolution. As we are currently going through the 4th wave of innovations with the adoption of NFTs from different mainstream industries, we see bigger industries take the lead and find alternative revenue sources for their business models with the creation of new product lines.

Stay tuned as we unpack them, one-by-one.



Cryptocurrencies like NFTs are nascent and in very early-stage startups. They are heavily subjected to speculation on the secondary markets and should never be treated as a form of investment.

Our write-up is a humble attempt to show the technological advancements and innovation that the blockchain technology possesses.

Readers are advised to engage their own financial advisors and do their own due diligence before making their first purchase.

All information expressed here are in the views of the writer based on the date of article.

We are looking for industry leaders to co-create this together. Please write to [] for your interest to participate in this community-written project.


Want to learn more about NFTs?

  • Get Comfortable With The Basics Of NFTs
  • Understand The Types and Value Of NFTs
  • Learn How To Open Up Your First Metamask Wallet
  • Be Connected With Crypto Experts and Enthusiasts
  • Stay Informed And Updated With The Cryptoverse

Check out our DeFi Singapore’s NFT Crash Course here!

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