Opinions expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.
As many people step back and wonder why art-centric non-fungible tokens (NFTs) such as Bored Apes are demanding such a high ticket price, the answer is quite logical. Yes, the creative designs are getting more intricate and original, yet the real value-add is found on the backend of such anomalies.
It’s the community that holds the most weight.
NFTs are often gateways into communities, and when you buy one of these items, you are included in a group of movers and shakers like yourself as a sort of membership. You develop your contacts and connections by having direct contact and association with individuals from unique backgrounds. Imagine being part of private, community-only events and conversations, where innovators and icons can all congregate, network and collaborate.
I think it’s important to note that the art community has simply adopted the NFT framework faster than other mediums, which is why it’s so associated with this format. Yet at the end of the day, it’s the “authenticity” that the blockchain guarantees that is what’s most important. NFTs are simply smart contracts designed for longevity and transparency. I predict that our licenses, vehicle registration, home mortgage and legal documents could (more than likely) be stored in an NFT format.
Think of it this way: When we buy a used car, we may ask for the CarFax over the need to bring that vehicle to a mechanic for inspection. We have come to trust that the information has been documented, secured and untampered. Basically, this is a simplistic version of how an NFT works. For instance, one day when purchasing a condo, we could see every change, improvement, water leak, foundation damage, tax increase and previous owner in real time. There would be no need for costly inspections as all the information would be right there.
The utility of NFTs is paramount.
The entertainment sectors, in particular, are seeing the utility of NFTs. Justin Blau, known by his artist title 3LAU, is one of the earliest adopters of music NFTs by allowing his fans the opportunity to purchase music in this format and by doing so, may receive a small percentage of royalties going forward. There are even NFT platforms aimed at the film industry now, allowing new and seasoned talent the opportunity to raise funds and awareness through this new modality.
As the global community slowly begins adopting NFTs as a way of life, I expect more and more people, groups and corporations, will likely place their intellectual and physical property online. Additionally, NFTs offer a valuable opportunity to create communities online (and in-person) with individuals using their NFTs as membership into said community.
This could be a golden opportunity: Considering this modality is so new — and could very likely become widely adopted over time — learning and applying this technology now could separate you from the crowd. While we don’t have a crystal ball to see the future, here is what I see: NFTs are here to stay, and NFTs could very well become part of everyday life.
The key now is to find an artful way to utilize NFTs in our own endeavors and be at the forefront of what lies ahead. As innovators, we got this!