For starters, NFTs are not just about bitcoin and cryptocurrency. They're a glimpse into what the next iteration of the internet looks like.
BRIEF OVERVIEW - What is the next iteration of the internet? (Web 3.0)
The internet is arguably one of the most impactful inventions for humans ever created. However, it is still just a baby. The invention of auto-mobiles are also arguably one of the most impactful inventions ever created.
It wasn't until 1927, when Ford's Model T price had been reduced to $290 and 15 million units had been sold thus making mass personal “automobility” a reality.
That was almost 100 years ago. In the last century, we have surely seen improvements for automobile technology - faster cars, better fuel economy, more comfortability, seatbelts, etc.
But only now we're seeing the beginning of mainstream adoption for automobile technological disruption and innovation - electric cars and autonomous vehicles. These iterations to car technology are and will have serious impacts to the rest of the world.
We've only seen mainstream adoption with the internet for less than two decades.
The internet, compared to other hugely impactful inventions, is still a baby. There is so much more to come. The internet is subject to change. Massively. We have to acknowledge this when we're seeing new trends of internet usage and behaviors.
The next iteration of the internet refers to a massive change in how it's used. It refers to an innovative disruption of how a product has been previously used. Mass social media adoption over the last decade has surely introduced new features and behaviors for users. This is Web 2.0.
A Brief History On The Internet
~1991 - 2004: Web 1.0
Web 1.0 refers to the first stage of the World Wide Web evolution. Earlier, there were only few content creators in Web 1.0 with the huge majority of users who are consumers of content. Personal web pages were common, consisting mainly of static pages hosted on ISP-run web servers, or on free web hosting services.
TLDR: Access to a world wide web technology is accessible.
2004 - 2021: Web 2.0
Web 2.0 refers to websites that emphasize user-generated content, ease of use, participatory culture and interoperability for end users. The term was coined by Darcy DiNucci in 1999 and later popularized by Tim O'Reilly and Dale Dougherty at the first O'Reilly Media Web 2.0 Conference in late 2004
TLDR: The mainstream adoption of social media content consuming and creation. Access to being your own media agency and creating your own platforms.
2021 - ?: Web 3.0 - The Metaverse
In Web 3.0, data will be connected in a decentralized way, unlike generation 2.0 of the internet in which data is primarily stored in centralized storage locations. In Web 3.0, users will also be able to interact with data through the use of AI and machine learning technology. The AI and machine learning powers the Metaverse.
The word metaverse is typically used to describe the concept of a future iteration of the internet, made up of persistent, shared, 3D virtual spaces linked into a perceived virtual universe.
The pandemic has accelerated remote and virtual work for the marketplace and in academic settings. Virtual is increasingly becoming intertwined in our everyday lives. Web3.0 is here.
The Gig-Economy and the Creator-Economy has helped paved a clearer path for Web 3.0. I explain what these two economies are, how they intersect, and how they differ in this post: The Gig Economy vs The Creator Economy (EXPLAINED).
TLDR: Community building at scale is easier than ever before. And people are ready for it. Fewer barriers to creating internet income, exciting opportunities, new relationships, and finding/creating a community than ever before.
Why The Internet Is Adopting NFTs
NFTs are cogs and wheels in the large web 3.0 system. They're just a mechanism used for specific purposes. Mechanisms used to create community, get access to community, create income streams, or to express your interests and motivations.
“NON-FUNGIBLE TOKENS” or "NFTs" has made leaps out of the corners of the internet into the mainstream conversation when in March 2021 Christies, a globally known British auction house, sold a digital work of art for $69m.
You might think NFTs are just digital artwork with no real value. But in Web 3.0, people measure and express their values differently. And we can see how they're being used by some of the most dominant platforms today.
You might say Beanie Babies were value differently.
Beanie babies lacked utility.
Utility refers to NFTs that carry some underlying utility or application. Not just art.
Beanie Babies also lacked status and clout. In 2021, status and clout gets you into high level networking events, valuable communities, and the ability to change your life financially. I see it every day on Twitter and in Discord for NFT artist and creators.
At the end of the day, we must recognize there is a much larger picture unfolding with NFTs. They're not just art being sold for millions of dollars. They're empowering generations of creators with communities to learn from and communities to share their art.
NFTs are humanitarian.
We all know the popular phrase “starving artist”
Why is this so common? why do we all know it?
Art is a beautiful thing. It’s transcended energy, history, stories, and culture for thousands of years.
Artists have trouble sharing their art. Creating community around their art. And creating a living with their art.
NFTs fix this.
I mentioned the clout & status signaling from NFTs can get someone into high level networking groups and events.
Previously, these artists would never have had any opportunities in their lives, with such low barrier to entry, to change their lives like that.
More power to the individual.
The technological innovation that comes from NFTs are creating creators. Similar to how blogging on the internet gave way for writers to make a living, NFTs are empowering the individual artist to create their own life.
Read deeper into NFTs:
WHAT IS AN NFT? WHAT DOES NFT STAND FOR?
"Right, sorry. “Non-fungible” more or less means that it’s unique and can’t be replaced with something else. For example, a bitcoin is fungible — trade one for another bitcoin, and you’ll have exactly the same thing. A one-of-a-kind trading card, however, is non-fungible. If you traded it for a different card, you’d have something completely different. You gave up a Squirtle, and got a 1909 T206 Honus Wagner, which Stadium Talk calls “the Mona Lisa of baseball cards” (The Verge).
What's an NFT from Ethereum official website:
NFTs are tokens that we can use to represent ownership of unique items. They let us tokenise things like art, collectibles, even real estate. They can only have one official owner at a time and they're secured by the Ethereum blockchain – no one can modify the record of ownership or copy/paste a new NFT into existence.
NFT stands for non-fungible token. Non-fungible is an economic term that you could use to describe things like your furniture, a song file, or your computer. These things are not interchangeable for other items because they have unique properties.
Fungible items, on the other hand, can be exchanged because their value defines them rather than their unique properties. For example, ETH or dollars are fungible because 1 ETH / $1 USD is exchangeable for another 1 ETH / $1 USD (Ethereum Org).
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW from Investopedia:
NFTs are unique cryptographic tokens that exist on a blockchain and cannot be replicated.
NFTs can be used to represent real-world items like artwork and real-estate.
"Tokenizing" these real-world tangible assets allows them to be bought, sold, and traded more efficiently while reducing the probability of fraud.
NFTs can also be used to represent individuals' identities, property rights, and more.
The distinct construction of each NFT has the potential for several use cases.
"For example, they are an ideal vehicle to digitally represent physical assets like real estate and artwork. Because they are based on blockchains, NFTs can also be used to remove intermediaries and connect artists with audiences or for identity management. NFTs can remove intermediaries, simplify transactions, and create new markets" (Investopedia).
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