• Jeremy Miller

There are 7 Types of NFTs. Chris Dixon Breaks Them Down:

Chris Dixon, partner at a16z, who focuses on cryptocurrencies/blockchains and new computing platforms. You can find his crypto thesis and investments here.


For starters, NFTs are not just about bitcoin and cryptocurrency. They're a glimpse into what the next iteration of the internet looks like.

Related: 'NFTs Are Here To Stay. Here's WHY'


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.


You might think NFTs are just digital artwork with no real value. But in future iterations of the internet, people measure and express their values differently. And we can see how they're being used by some of the most dominant platforms today.


- Twitter is implementing NFTs

- Coinbase is building an NFT marketplace

- Facebook is all in on Metaverse

- GameStop is building an NFT marketplace

- Nike working on NFT verification of shoes

- Warner Bros looking to release music NFTs



In late 2021, Chris shared the 7 Types of NFT's in a Twitter Thread:


NOTE. Before continuing, Chris here.

"NFT are new digital primitives, similar in flexibility and generality to past digital primitives like the website. ​"

Related: Tokens are a new digital primitive, analogous to the website (Chris's Blog)


From Chris's thread:

"NFTs are a simple set of blockchain standards that enable genuine ownership in a way that is interoperable, re-mixable, and secure.


For the first time, users can now genuinely own digital objects.


We are starting to see different varieties of NFTs emerge. Here are 7 types of NFTs I’m excited about.


1. Art

These can be part of a collection like Punks and Bored Apes, or 1/1 art like you find on sites like Foundation and SuperRare.


People like collecting digital art for the same reason people like physical art, fashion, baseball cards etc – a mix of aesthetics, patronage, status, collecting, and socializing.


2. Music

Music is a particularly important area for NFTs because web2 pays out very little to musicians.


A bunch of new music NFT projects have launched recently, including Arpeggi.io, Sound.xyz, and Royal.io.


Here is a fully on-chain song NFT that was created using Arpeggi’s composing tool.


Sound.xyz is doing NFT song drops where the NFT is a collectible and also let’s you join a small audience of super fans.


3. Access

NFTs make tickets low friction and widely interoperable.


You can use them to replace traditional tickets, lowering friction and making them more interoperable.


A more native use case is digital access, like a private discord server or video lessons.


4. Game Objects

Web2 gamers spend about $40B/year on virtual goods. But users don’t really own those objects, the company does. And the objects cannot interoperate and compose across games.


As we’ve seen again and again in the history of tech, interoperability and composability dramatically accelerate innovation.


NFTs allow users to genuinely own the objects, flipping the polarity: games build around user-owned objects instead of users having to depend on the game.


Pioneering games like Axie Infinity and Top Shot kicked off a wave of new web3 game development. Many of these projects should launch next year.


5. Redeemables

Unisocks was a whimsical pioneer of the model where a token could be redeemed for a physical good. This mechanism can be applied to lots of offline goods.


For example, many high-end collectors of physical goods keep their collections in a vault. You could create a digital token representing them, letting them be showcased and traded digitally, reducing friction and intermediaries, and expanding the UX possibilities.


6. Identity

The web2 way of handling personal information has failed. Your sensitive personal information has been hacked many times. Handling passwords is a mess. Long privacy policies and terms of service get changed on a whim.


Contrary to what you might think from reading the news, blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum have never been hacked.


In web3, users are in charge: there is no centralized database to hack or sell.



Today this means a better way to login (http://login.xyz) & identify yourself in an interoperable way using systems like ENS.


Later, you might store and selectively reveal other aspects of your identity using NFTs for things like records, credentials, and reputation.


7. Web 2 Databases

Using cryptographic methods and decentralized data stores, you can extend NFTs to anything stored in a centralized web2 database today.


This could be something simple like your viewing preferences or much more advanced things like your entire social graph.


This would allow you to switch from one service to another seamlessly – and have full control of your own data, a key part of the web3 vision.


This year we’ve seen an explosion of innovation around NFTs. This will likely continue for many years as it’s still extremely early in the evolution of web3.


 

That wraps it up for Chris's Twitter Thread. Go follow him.


Something you might find interesting with NFTs:


NFTs and museums


A study carried out by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) found that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 30% of museums were forced to reduce their staff and nearly 6% may never be able to reopen to the public. But the digitization of museums is taking place at high speed, with some museums turning to NFTs for a variety of reasons.


Related: Charitable sustainable NFTs for the United Nations’ 17 SDGs


 

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