1 month ago
A visual exploration of the REAL use cases for NFTs in the Future
In this essay, I studied REAL NFT use examples and their potential uses.
Knowledge of the Hype Cycle
Gartner's Hype Cycle.
It proposes 5 phases for disruptive technology.
1. Technology Trigger: the emergence of potentially disruptive technology.
2. Peak of Inflated Expectations: Early publicity creates hype. (Ex: 2021 Bubble)
3. Trough of Disillusionment: Early projects fail to deliver on promises and the public loses interest. I suspect NFTs are somewhere around this trough of disillusionment now.
4. Enlightenment slope: The tech shows successful use cases.
5. Plateau of Productivity: Mainstream adoption has arrived and broader market applications have proven themselves. Here’s a more detailed visual of the Gartner Hype Cycle from Wikipedia.
In the speculative NFT bubble of 2021, @beeple sold Everydays: the First 5000 Days for $69 MILLION in 2021's NFT bubble.
@nbatopshot sold millions in video collectibles.
This is when expectations peaked.
Let's examine NFTs' real-world applications.
Watch this video if you're unfamiliar with NFTs.
Most people think NFTs are rich people buying worthless JPEGs and MP4s.
Digital artwork and collectibles are revolutionary for creators and enthusiasts.
NFT Profile Pictures
You might also have seen NFT profile pictures on Twitter.
My profile picture is an NFT I coined with @skogards factoria app, which helps me avoid bogus accounts.
Profile pictures are a good beginning point because they're unique and clearly yours.
NFTs are a way to represent proof-of-ownership. It’s easier to prove ownership of digital assets than physical assets, which is why artwork and pfps are the first use cases.
They can do much more.
NFTs can represent anything with a unique owner and digital ownership certificate. Domains and usernames.
Usernames & Domains
@unstoppableweb, @ensdomains, @rarible sell NFT domains.
NFT domains are transferable, which is a benefit.
Godaddy and other web2 providers have difficult-to-transfer domains. Domains are often leased instead of purchased.
NFTs can also represent concert tickets and event passes.
There's a limited number, and entry requires proof.
NFTs can eliminate the problem of forgery and make it easy to verify authenticity and ownership.
NFT tickets can be traded on the secondary market, which allows for:
marketplaces that are uniform and offer the seller and buyer security (currently, tickets are traded on inefficient markets like FB & craigslist)
Payment of royalties to the creator
4. Historical ticket ownership data implies performers can airdrop future passes, discounts, etc.
5. NFT passes can be a fandom badge.
The $30B+ online tickets business is increasing fast.
NFT-based ticketing projects:
NFTs also help in-game assets.
Imagine someone spending five years collecting a rare in-game blade, then outgrowing or quitting the game. Gamers value that collectible.
The gaming industry is expected to make $200 BILLION in revenue this year, a significant portion of which comes from in-game purchases.
Royalties on secondary market trading of gaming assets encourage gaming businesses to develop NFT-based ecosystems.
Digital assets are the start. On-chain NFTs can represent real-world assets effectively.
Real estate has a unique owner and requires ownership confirmation.
Tokenizing property has many benefits.
1. Can be fractionalized to increase access, liquidity
2. Can be collateralized to increase capital efficiency and access to loans backed by an on-chain asset
3. Allows investors to diversify or make bets on specific neighborhoods, towns or cities +++
I've written about this thought exercise before.
I made an animated video explaining this.
We've just explored NFTs for transferable assets. But what about non-transferrable NFTs?
SBTs are Soul-Bound Tokens. Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum co-founder) blogged about this.
NFTs are basically verifiable digital certificates.
Diplomas & Degrees
That fits Degrees & Diplomas. These shouldn't be marketable, thus they can be non-transferable SBTs.
Anyone can verify the legitimacy of on-chain credentials, degrees, abilities, and achievements.
The same goes for other awards.
For example, LinkedIn could give you a verified checkmark for your degree or skills.
NFTs can also safeguard against counterfeiting.
Counterfeiting is the largest criminal enterprise in the world, estimated to be $2 TRILLION a year and growing.
Anti-counterfeit tech is valuable.
This is one of @ORIGYNTech's projects.
Identity theft/verification is another real-world problem NFTs can handle.
In the US, 15 million+ citizens face identity theft every year, suffering damages of over $50 billion a year.
This isn't surprising considering all you need for US identity theft is a 9-digit number handed around in emails, documents, on the phone, etc.
Identity NFTs can fix this.
NFTs are one-of-a-kind and unforgeable.
NFTs offer a universal standard.
NFTs are simple to verify.
SBTs, or non-transferrable NFTs, are tied to a particular wallet.
In the event of wallet loss or theft, NFTs may be revoked.
This could be one of the biggest use cases for NFTs.
Imagine a global identity standard that is standardized across countries, cannot be forged or stolen, is digital, easy to verify, and protects your private details.
Since your identity is more than your government ID, you may have many NFTs.
NFTs can authenticate digital and physical memberships.
NFT IDs can verify votes.
If you remember 2020, you'll know why this is an issue.
Online voting's ease can boost turnout.
NFTs can protect IP.
This can earn creators royalties.
NFTs have 2 important properties:
Verifiability IP ownership is unambiguously stated and publicly verified.
Platforms that enable authors to receive royalties on their IP can enter the market thanks to standardization.
Monetization without copyrighting = more opportunities for everyone.
This works well with the music.
Spotify and Apple Music pay creators very little.
Creators can crowdfund with NFTs.
NFTs can represent future royalties for investors.
This is particularly useful for fields where people who are not in the top 1% can’t make money. (Example: Professional sports players)
Mirror.xyz allows blog-based crowdfunding.
This introduces Financial NFTs (fNFTs). Unique financial contracts abound.
a person's collection of assets (unique portfolio)
A loan contract that has been partially repaid with a lender
temporal tokens (ex: veCRV)
Not just financial contracts.
NFT can represent any legal contract or document.
Messages & Emails
What about other agreements? Verbal agreements through emails and messages are likewise unique, but they're easily lost and fabricated.
Medical records or prescriptions are another types of documentation that has to be verified but isn't.
Medical NFT examples:
Covid test outcomes
health issues that may affect one's identity
Observations made via health sensors
Existing systems of proof by paper / PDF have photoshop-risk.
I tried to include most use scenarios, but this is just the beginning.
NFTs have many innovative uses.
For example: @ShaanVP minted an NFT called “5 Minutes of Fame” 👇
Here are 2 Twitter threads about NFTs:
This piece of gold by @chriscantino
If you're wondering why NFTs are better than web2 databases for these use scenarios, see this Twitter thread I wrote:
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