NFTs are experiencing a billion-dollar boom – and gig workers are cashing in


When Stefan Prodanovic began experimenting with graphic design at the age of 13, co-creating digital games with a school friend who worked on coding, he could never have foreseen that the hobby would transform into a rather lucrative business as an adult. Today, Prodanovic earns $20,000 a month creating artwork for non-fungible token (NFT) collections.

The 25-year-old graphic designer from Bosnia, who has become a top seller on Fiverr – an online marketplace for professional freelancers – creating logos over the past three years using the website, recently made a foray into NFTs after being approached to work on a collection for a project last year. Once he expanded his services on Fiverr to include NFT-specific artwork, his monthly income doubled and he had to hire workers to keep up with the demand.

As the gig economy continues to grow rapidly, freelancers like Prodanovic have managed to turn side hustles into lucrative careers. And the rapidly growing world of Web3 provides even more opportunities for self-employed people to generate income from services related to NFTs, metaverse and cryptocurrencies.

“NFTs are still an uncharted field and so many people are trying to get into it, and I’m happy to be a part of it,” Prodanovic said.

Fiverr found that 64% of US-based freelancers using its website have now profited from selling NFT-related services, according to a new survey. The company’s data also reveals a 278% increase between the third and fourth quarters of 2021 in the number of workers on the platform listing gigs for NFT-related services, with global freelance earnings in these jobs having increased. jumped 374% over the same period.

Visitors read about non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, during the opening weekend of the Seattle NFT Museum in Seattle, Washington on January 29, 2022. – Using the blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies, Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) turn anything from artwork to memes into virtual collectibles that cannot be duplicated. (Photo by Jason Redmond/AFP) (Photo by JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)

“It’s not just freelancers trying to get in on the NFT market,” Yoav Hornug, the group’s head of creative verticals, told Yahoo Finance. “On the demand side, we’re seeing more companies ordering these services.”

NFTs, unique crypto assets sold and traded using blockchain technology, exploded into a $27 billion business in the past year — and there are signs that this is just the beginning. Last month, investment bank Jefferies predicted that the NFT market could exceed $35 million in 2022 and more than $80 billion by 2025. The projection also seems anecdotally supported: large companies such that Disney (DIS), Gamestop (GME), and Nike (NKE) have listed relevant jobs over the past few months as they build teams to focus on NFTs and the Metaverse.

After Fiverr started noticing an increase in searches and tags on its website for NFT-related work last year, the company added NFT gigs as a standalone category on the website to create a way more professionally structured for sellers and buyers to connect on such gigs. . Hornug said the type of gigs are broad and include game development, graphic design, architecture, social media management, and NFT article writing. Currently, Fiverr offers services listed under NFT Artwork, NFT Services, and NFT Marketplaces.

Among survey respondents, 54% said they could see themselves earning between $2,600 and $5,200 extra per month by monetizing skills related to blockchain technology.

Prodanovic told Yahoo Finance he was on course to close the month at $30,000, sell his work at three different price points. The base costs $500 and offers base art to use for 100 NFTs. The standard costs $1,000 for a base art that would make 1,000 NFTs, and the premium is $2,500 gives a customer a base art that can make 10,000 NFTs that can be used and minted for a collection.

In the UK, Adam Javaid, 26, and Sam Pitman, 23, expect to raise $50,000 on Fiverr this month by creating smart contracts, or the programming that deploys NFTs on the blockchain – and c is hot off the heels of adding the service to their lineup of offerings two weeks ago.

College friends Javaid and Pitman both quit full-time cybersecurity jobs and used Fiverr to help them build their e-commerce and digital marketing business and started the transition to gigs focused on blockchain six months ago, after Facebook’s rebranding to Meta led to a jump. in requests from potential customers for Web-related services3.

Pitman said they have transitioned their agency to a Web3 focus and are looking to expand outside of Fivver in the near future and even open a physical office.

“It’s not just going to be small, long-term projects,” Pitman said. “These small projects are great for us, but there will be much bigger ones when companies start to understand the real use case behind an NFT itself.”

Pitman is already attracting interest from large, established customers. More recently, a top nightclub in Miami approached them to create a series of NFTs.

“It’s been pretty continuous,” Javaid said. “It’s perfect for business.”

Alexandra Semenova is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alexandraandnyc

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