The People’s NFT was born today. A successor DAO to the famed ConstitutionDAO, enthusiasts hoping to continue the mission of acquiring historical artifacts are joining the new discord dedicated to the cause. According to an announcement there, the purpose “is to drive cDAO’s spirit forward.”
A twitter account has also been set up to provide updates on the movement. Its very first tweet acknowledged its origins.
If the attempted merger between PayPal and Pinterest left you scratching your head, a comment coming out of Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong could offer another clue about the future of online photo sharing platforms.
“There was a question there about the social experience, and I think that’s something that Coinbase can bring to the table here,” Armstrong said during the company’s Q3 earnings call in regards to the upcoming release of their NFT platform. “You know, we’d like to make the Coinbase NFT a little bit more like, you know, Instagram as opposed to say an auction like eBay or something like that.”
Armstrong continued by saying that their NFT platform will allow people to follow their favorite artist and creators, while offering a “feed of content that is populated from those people you follow.”
“In addition, you can go in there and buy an NFT if you really like it and kind of showcase in your own social profile,” Armstrong said.
Coinbase was mostly mum about its crypto competitors except to say that “there are companies like PayPal and Square and Robinhood and traditional financial institutions who are entering and we believe that that’s a huge validation of the whole space.”
I attended NFT.NYC in Times Square on Wednesday and was blown away by the amount of energy around not only NFTs, but blockchain technology. For the first time, people like street-artists and musicians who rarely take an interest in investing are now developing a liking to extremely niche, complex, and heavily unregulated investment platforms. In a mix of Silicon Valley tycoons and seemingly broke college students trying to make it big, I poked around NFT.NYC and tried to figure out how any of this stuff could be useful to the traditional financial world.
Here’s what I found.
-Blockchains Have Potential
In terms of record keeping, a blockchain’s ability to function as a ledger is the first thing that comes to mind in terms of real world practicality. There are companies out there that are attempting to put mortgages on the blockchain through things like NFTs, but no one at the event was talking about banking documentation. Things like loans, credit history, customer information, and merchant history all would thrive in an objective virtual record keeping database that could cut data processing and approval times into fractions of what they are now. Imagine having all of the information needed for a deal in one place, accessible by anyone that had the credentials to get it?
-These Companies want Cash
With the amount of money in the crypto world being thrown around, startups are popping up everywhere to try to get their piece of the action. With gaudiness and flamboyance being the marketing technique that’s dominating how these companies talk about what they do, it is clear that the key to starting a successful company in the crypto space is how quickly you can legitimize your company to your customers. If lenders are looking to expand their marketshare, this is the place to look. A lender, who will remain unnamed, was handing out business cards at the main showcase of NFT.NYC, and said “we are here looking for opportunities.” There is a huge potential for funding an entire industry in this space, and it seems as if lenders haven’t quite caught on yet.
-It’s marketed by Gen Z, but Operated by ex-Wall Street
The mix of people who work for these companies is interesting. Outside of the Gen Z people talking about the notion of monetizing art and creativity, it seems the X’s and O’s of the industry are being run by a large portion of former Wall Street people. I met former commodity traders, investment bankers, stockbrokers, and hedge fund people that left that world to get into crypto; and it seems like they’re the ones running the books of these companies.
-Learn what an NTT is
A non-transferable token is what one CEO told me will innovate the everyday processes of finance more than anything else in the crypto space. Although he described it as an up and coming, abstract part of blockchain technology, the individual said that these types of tokens give access to information on the blockchain on a one way-basis, primarily eliminating the ability for anyone to access personal information if stored on a blockchain. He said this is an extremely mind boggling topic for most, even in the crypto space, and is largely not talked about because of the complexity of its nature. As more people work with NTTs, this CEO claims that anyone in the field of moving, borrowing, or lending money in the future will be working with NTTs on a daily basis.
-Digital Art is Part of the Hype, the Value is in the Technology
When people hear NFT, they associate it with a JPEG of a funky design that can be purchased and viewed solely the internet. This is true, but will not be the future of this type of technology. The artists who are trying to promote digital arts via NFTs are there to profit off of the hype of the space. The idea of buying a virtual picture for half a million dollars, which actually happened at the event, is just a combination of the excitement around the industry, and it’s widespread financial boasting mentality. The concept of a fully independent, tamperproof form of virtual record keeping that can be used by financial companies to speed up everyday processes is where the ones who have the most knowledge about finance that work in the crypto space are keeping their focus.