• Pablo Fernández

NFTs, an opportunity for companies?


This article was originally published by Audrey Fréel.


NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have been stirring the crypto-financial sphere for several months. If they already have many followers, what opportunities can they offer to companies? Deciphering with Karl Toussaint du Wast, wealth management advisor and crypto-currency specialist.

They are sold by millions and are turning the world of virtual finance and collectors upside down. The NFT (Non Fungible Token) are currently experiencing a strong hype. The reason? They allow to guarantee the unique digital property of a physical object or a digital file (text, photo, video, music...). Creating NFTs is also relatively simple, inexpensive and can pay off big. Like cryptocurrencies, these digital tokens are based on the blockchain. In particular, they are popular in the art, collectible and video game industries. "There are two ways to approach this ultra-volatile asset class: as an investment or as a way to authenticate a digital work," summarizes Karl Toussaint du Wast, co-founder of Netinvestissement. However, this is essentially limited to insiders and few companies have already taken the step.

A risky investment

"Investing in NFTs is a very marginal phenomenon for companies," explains Karl Toussaint du Wast. And for good reason: this type of investment remains quite risky. "We clearly do not advise CFOs to invest part of the corporate cash in this asset class, which is very risky because it is uncontrolled and unregulated," explains the cryptocurrency specialist. Especially since many experts fear a speculative bubble around these digital tokens. "It is best to start by taking an interest in the main crypto-currencies, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum or Cardano, to become familiar with this type of investment," advises Karl Toussaint of Wast, while stressing the importance of measuring, upstream, the risk related to crypto-currencies.

On the other hand, publishing and marketing NFTs could be of interest to companies, especially those selling consumer goods requiring proof of conformity. "For example, a luxury group could sell NFTs associated with a handbag in order to guarantee its authenticity and tracking," says Karl Toussaint du Wast.

A still unclear tax system

As for taxation, the regime associated with this asset class is rather vague and the government has not yet expressed itself precisely on the subject. "For companies, capital gains related to the transfer of non-fungible tokens are, a priori, the same regime as that of capital gains on securities, since cryptocurrencies have been associated with this regime for a year," says Karl Toussaint du Wast. According to the expert, there should be a refinement of the tax rules during 2022. "But this should not change before the elections in May 2022," he believes. Still emerging, the NFT market has not finished creating awareness.

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