At a dinner party I recently attended, the conversation quickly turned to minting NFTs and debating the longevity of this phenomenon. Naturally, guests wanted to mint their own then sell for millions. Then someone asked me for advice and “insider secrets”. I smiled and airdropped my previous Opera blogs; Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, NFTs; Everything I Don’t Know and Crazy about NFTs. My secrets are decentralized.
A Paradigm Shift Sets the Foundation
First, remember that NFTs, non-fungible tokens, are units of cryptographic data (programmable code) stored on a blockchain and cannot be interchangeable. They are one-of-a-kind. Think about unique digital things you value such as photos, videos, audio recordings, collectibles, or intellectual property. Imagine how a digital ledger (blockchain) can immutably store all those items as NFTs and help solve how to value, manage, or transact with them. It’s already happening! IBM just announced that it will begin tokenizing patents as NFTs to solve the lack of transparencies in ownership and transactions. They hope to capitalize on a $1 trillion opportunity in the patent market by better identifying, authenticating, and trading on the IP. What do you value that can be digitized?
YOLO and Tech Savvy
Early internet development, known as Web1.0 and Web2.0 in the 1990’s introduced the digital distribution of information. Roughly thirty years later, we are cultivating Web3.0 as a digital distribution of value. The paradigm shift is enabled by blockchain technology which “powers” cryptocurrencies and NFTs. As a result, a store of value can be easily deployed, immutably tracked, and transferred like never before in history.
Two generations that grew up with the internet, Gen Z and Gen Alpha (born 1995-2025) are native to Web3.0. They are incredibly tech savvy and hyper-connected, socializing, communicating, gaming, schooling, working, and transacting intuitively online. Gen Alphas alone are expected to reach two billion by 2025. Combine that with Gen Z’s “YOLO” rally cry that embodies their values of having agency and taking risks, and the future is dynamic!
Web3.0 adoption for Gen Z and Gen Alpha is mainstream and will continue to expand through the population segments with the adoption of cryptocurrencies, AI, autonomous vehicles, and NTFs. More product integrations will happen swiftly as UX and onboarding features become more intuitive in the future.
NFTs and Distributing Value
“We have entered a new era of adoption”, celebrated Morgan Beller, an early stage venture partner at NFX Fund. At Celo’s Quarterly Community Conference this week, she described using crypto to solve real world problems for people who need it, by people who know their ecosystem best. By crossing the “crypto mainstream and institutional chasm”, a new financial system is created.
As long as there are things of value, people will need ways to capture, secure, store and distribute them. NFTs are a new means to incentivize behavior, automate contracts, and create new financial systems. Over time, they will evolve in sophistication and become more integrated in daily life but the paradigm has permanently changed. The ability to distribute what you value digitally, is groundbreaking. Now let’s go celebrate!