It seems in recent times that it’s impossible to go a day without hearing a mention of NFTs. You may have heard the words Blockchain, Cryptopunks or Beeple thrown around and not known what all the fuss was about or what they even are?
If you’re having trouble figuring out what an NFT is and why they’re important for the future of e-commerce and gaming (and other industries), then this article is for you.
Here is a super high-level view of what an NFT is and it’s possible applications…
Well, non-fungible tokens or NFTs, are a type of digital asset. These assets can be anything from digital artwork to virtual pets! They are blockchain-based tokens that can be used as digital assets or virtual items on blockchain games and applications. Each of these non-fungible tokens is unique because they contain a different set of attributes from each other. In this way, they are collectibles in the same way that physical art is.
So what are some use cases for blockchain non fungible tokens?
First off, the predominant usage is as a collectible. Think of it as a progression of art collection moving towards the digital world. In the physical world a painting or piece of art may be used to either hold value as an investment, as a display of wealth (i.e. I own nice things because I can afford to) or simply as an identifier of who you are as a person and NFTs are no different, they are simply digital versions of that.
But blockchain non-fungible tokens can also be used in a variety of other ways, such as:
You can store and transfer digital tickets that prove you have rights to attend an event. This could be anything from buying the last ticket for that sold out concert or getting into your favourite club on Saturday night.
Blockchain based passports are already in development allowing you to verify your identity online, which is great for anybody who needs to use a passport as ID when applying for visas or residency.
Proof of Residency & Ownership
The blockchain provides the ultimate solution to proving whether you own something without worrying about losing it, if someone loses their key they have to replace it with a different one… blockchain is secure. Imagine being able to prove you own your home without the need for a solicitor.
The smart contracts sitting behind these are the essence of this and that their applications could be used across most ownership-based contracts, so think shareholder agreements, mortgages, real estate etc.
So as you can see NFTs have the opportunity to find valuable use-cases across a variety of industries including real estate, gaming, music, logistics and finance. In reality, we are at an early stage of this process and it remains to be seen whether (or when) all of the use-cases are implemented in the mainstream but its potential is huge and could revamp the ways we do business and operate in the modern world.
The future will tell where we get to with this and when we can figure out whether these new methods can have any issues ironed in order to offer their benefits. Stay tuned to see whether they are a flash in the pan or the applications go supernova…
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