Some people seem to think that NFTs are just overpriced and overcomplicated JPEGs. “Why should I pay for an image when I can just click *right button* *save* for free?”, they keep asking. They’re wrong, of course, but you can’t really blame them because people in the crypto space are doing a terrible job at explaining what an NFT actually is and what it can represents.
An NFT is essentially just a permanent line of code that can’t be altered. You can attach anything to it, including (but not limited to) digital art, which is what most people do. Anything can be made into an NFT, including songs, documents. The list is endless. NFTs guarantee permanent authenticity and ownership.
So far, we’ve basically only seen one type of NFT in the shape of the 3D/2D images that people buy and sell and trade and collect. That is indeed essentially a form of digital art but there are many things that NFTs could be used for and I thought I’d put together a quick list. Feel free to add ideas in the comments, by the way.
1. Web domains
I run my blogs about cars and crypto on WordPress, which is a phenomenal platform in my opinion, but every year since 2011 I’ve been paying a fee to renew my domain subscriptions (two in total, but at one point I had four). This is not only inconvenient and pricey, but it also leaves me exposed to third-party risks. Like, what if WordPress suddenly decided that your domain could no longer be used by you because a major global company wants it, or because of change in government regulations or internal policy? You’d be screwed.
In addition to the domains I use on WordPress I’ve minted my own personal domain on Unstoppable Domains, and I now own it forever. If anybody wants to buy it, they’re gonna have to talk to me and no one else, and I can choose not to sell it And I paid for it outright, which means that I won’t have to spend a dime on it again.
I’ve used Unstoppable Domains but other platforms are available and while it is true that these web 3.0 domains are not available and usable on most browsers it’s just a matter of time before they’re integrated.
2. Certificate of ownership
Kevin O’Leary, watch collector and businessman, has been very vocal about this in recent months and he strongly believes there’s a use case for NFTs as a certificate of authentication and ownership for rare watches. And he’s right. Imagine you want to buy a rare timepiece made by Rolex, which is by far and away the most counterfeited watch brand, and you want to make sure the watch is legit. You have to have it authenticated and that costs money and time. Imagine you could attach an NFT to a physical product you buy, whether it’s your house, or a watch, or a car, or whatever.
The NFT would give you immediate access to the information you need. It would guarantee legitimate ownership as well as authenticity of said product, saving buyers and sellers time and money.
This is also, in essence, a type of certificate of ownership but it’s related to an industry where ownership and authenticity are a vital component of every transaction and every interaction. When you go to your favourite club, or bar, or restaurant, and you hear some songs you recognise. When you’re listening to the radio. Or spotify. When you’re at a large event and there’s music in the background.
Virtually every single time you listen to any song, ever, anywhere in the world, that recording is played under strict regulations because the owner and/or author (not always the same person or entity) has to be compensated every time that record is played, even when they’re not present. Even when you get it for free. And that puts in motion a complex sequence of events, linking an endless list of entities, some are private entities, some are government-linked and government-regulated authorities that work in the music industry as copyright holders and distributors.
NFTs could help smooth these transactions and reduce the amount of stress and trouble these companies go through to make sure everything is done right.
Are there any other examples you can think of? Let me know in the comments below.
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