NFTs: What’s the story? (Part 2)

–– 9 Sep 2021

This is part two in a three-part blogpost series that looks at the rise and adoption of NFTs. It will help you understand what they’re about, why they matter and how Tapmydata will be using them. It’s always good to learn…

Part 1: A colourful intro to NFTs

Part 2: NFTs beyond art and collecting

Part 3: How Tapmydata are using NFTs

In part one, we put on our digital overalls and went under the NFT hood. We explained what they are and set out the reasons why they’ve suddenly waltzed their way into the spotlight. So far, so good.

At this point, as far as NFTs are concerned, you’re probably thinking deep aesthetic thoughts featuring bored apes, kitties, pixel punks and pirates, out-there art, sports legends, super-famous memes and more. 

The fact is NFTs have a plethora of uses outside of art and pop culture. After all, being able to verify data and capture it in an immutable (and exchangeable) form is supremely useful. Time to go deeper.

Knowledge is the key. Spreading the word far and wide. After all, for many in business and beyond, tech is not necessarily a first home. NFTs may feel alien and unfamiliar. Sometimes you have to ease people into the adventure.

Let’s consider Gartner’s famous technology hype cycle. All emerging technology passes along this well-trodden path (or so it is argued). All eventually landing where they land. Some tech (smartphones, Amazon) become enshrined into the everyday. Others meander into dusty digital cupboards of despair and obscurity (figuratively speaking) accompanied by the painful sighs of a million disappointed venture capitalists.

As things stand, NFTs sit somewhere just beyond the Peak of Inflated Expectations. There’s plenty to suggest that while their Are-They-A-Magic-Bullet hype might slip a little, they have an abundance of uses – in property, land usage, data ownership – that will ensure longevity and mass acceptance. There’s every possibility the best uses for NFTs haven’t even been thought of yet. NFT that!

Just do it

Nike, never a brand to take a backward step when it comes to adopting new technology, have been busy patenting a blockchain-powered connection between real-world sneakers (yes, you actually get to wear them) and an associated NFT that links purchaser to sneakers. But that’s not all, the verified owner will also have the ability to set limits on how many other pairs can be made as well as being able to “breed” new iterations. 

The patent filed is an interesting read: 

“Using the digital asset, the buyer is enabled to securely trade or sell the tangible pair of shoes, trade or sell the digital shoe, store the digital shoe in a cryptocurrency wallet or other digital blockchain locker, intermingle or “breed” the digital shoe with another digital shoe to create “shoe offspring,” and, based on rules of acceptable shoe manufacturability, have the newly bred shoe offspring custom made as a new, tangible pair of shoes.”

Every ETH you take

Right now the most popular network to mint NFTs is Ethereum. Though it’s scale and influence is vast, it’s pricey and not particularly environmentally friendly. This is because it’s run as a “proof of work” solution. Without getting overly complex, the way it operates in terms of transaction security leads to high energy usage. Worryingly high. 

In response, alternative NFT minting options have sprung up like a field of wildflowers. Labelled “proof of stake”, these don’t rely on energy-intensive puzzle solving, rather they lean into using small amounts of token “lock-up” to help ensure the accuracy of the ledger.

Less energy to create is good. Even better when those blockchain providers actively seek to offset their energy (ostensibly CO2) footprint.

Clean NFTs. Sustainable NFTs. Environmentally friendly NFTs. Call them what you like, this has to be the way forward.

And what of Tapmydata?

Two blogposts in and you’re wondering perhaps where does Tapmydata fit into all of this? What are they doing with NFTs? 

A valid question, and one we’ll be answering in full when we roll out part 3 of this NFT extravaganza. 

Coming to a screen near you very soon.

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