It seems all anybody wants to talk about nowadays is NFTs. We want to mint them, sell them, trade them, philosophise about them… all while remaining painfully unaware of financial, ecological and societal harm they cause. But enough about me and my seminal article about the profound stupidity of NFTs. Let’s talk about what NFTs are actually good for — in a way that goes beyond lazy punditry.
More specifically, I want to explain how NFTs can (somewhat) improve life in 2022 and beyond. After more than a year exploring the NFT universe and consuming an inhumane amount of buzzwords, I’ve narrowed it down to the following five features. Rest assured that none of them include the word “decentralised”.
1. Re-creating a social contract for young men
NFTs are creating a sense of belonging for thousands of people that really need it, which is a clear net benefit for the world. If anything, it proves that we do, in fact, live in a society.
2. Building brand multiverses
Successful complex systems evolve from simple systems. As such, today’s silly JPGs are the basis on which companies will build empires. Granted, this doesn’t improve the world for you, but it does create shareholder value so…
3. Funding new ventures
NFTs can help entrepreneurs get funding, do away with investors asking for a percentage of profits, and create a community invested in one's success. Maybe, just maybe, you also reduce the accumulation of wealth in only a few pockets as an added bonus.
4. Re-defining ownership
Can I retain very partial ownership over an asset for a long period of time? Can I own the “concept” of an object? Can I own something that is free? Public discourse shapes actions, and discussing these ideas could help ensure future laws are fair.
5. Creating hedonic value
The digital world always lacked biographical indexicality — a way of seeing the history of a digital asset. And history has value, if only in the eyes of its beholder. As such, NFTs create hedonic value: owning one creates pleasure for its own sake.