Ahh the internet, what an invention. Thirty years ago, if you wanted to find an answer to a difficult question, you either had to pick up a book or pay a professional for his time. Today, just about any question you might have can be answered in milliseconds with a quick search on Google or some other social network.
The internet isn’t just an answer provider. Today, it’s how the masses shop, communicate with family and friends, go to school, and even visit the doctor. There’s no doubt that the technological innovation that led to the internet as we know it has changed our way of life for good. There’s only one problem:
The Internet Is Broken!
OK, I get it, that’s a loaded subheading. After all, if the internet was truly broken, how would you be reading this article? From a technical standpoint, there’s nothing wrong with the internet. Wires haven’t burnt, connections are still strong, and you can search for whatever you’d like. However, from a theoretical perspective, the internet is indeed broken and NFTs are the fix.
You see, the world wide web has become a copy and paste platform, one in which the user owns little to nothing, even if they pay for it. Think about it for a second…
Have you ever purchased a movie, a perk in a game, or access to any other digital content, then realized that when you stop paying the monthly fee for the service, your purchase disappears. After all, if you don’t pay the monthly fee for Disney+, the Disney movies you purchased on the platform are simply not available.
Essentially, the internet has created a platform in which consumers buy short-term rights to use products, rather than products themselves, and there’s a big issue with that.
Before the internet, when you purchased a movie, you had a disc, or cassette, and when you were done with it, you could trade or sell that disc or cassette to a second-hand user. Your purchases actually resulted in something of value. Today, many of the purchases you make are nothing more than rentals that will only last as long as you reside in the ecosystem in which those rentals are available.
There’s something fundamentally wrong with that concept.
NFTS Are the Solution
Imagine having the ability to buy a movie on Disney+ or some other streaming service, stop paying the monthly fee, and still have access to the movie you paid the full price of ownership for. From a basic logistics standpoint, that’s how things should work, and with NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, it’s possible.
Recently, Kathryn Haun, general partner at the crypto fund of Andreesen Horowitz, brought this issue to light at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit. Here’s a key statement from her presentation:
“Everyone in this room should definitely care what an NFT is… Crypto is about much more than just currency. It’s about digital goods ownership and how people will own digital things in the future.”
Think about the implications of that statement.
That gun that gave you the upper hand in the sniper game, that car that you played for months to earn in that racing game, and that player that helps you win the Super Bowl in your football game can all become digital assets with value and verifiable ownership. This means that as with traditional goods, when you’re done with these digital goods, you’ll have the ability to sell and trade them. Moreover, you won’t have to pay monthly subscription fees for access to digital products you’ve already purchased.
Yes, as Haun said, EVERYONE should definitely care what an NFT is because the technology has the potential to bring value to digital ownership that was essentially meaningless in the past.
The Internet Is Broken, but Not for Long
Yes, the internet is indeed broken. You’re still paying monthly fees for access to products you’ve purchased, but that won’t last long. NFTs are becoming more and more popular by the day, and as their popularity continues to grow, corporations have found the industry hard to ignore.
As was the case with the pivotal shift the internet itself made, NFTs are likely to change the digital world as we know it, and when such a valuable transformation happens, it tends to happen fast. Think about it, just a couple of decades ago, the internet was limited to a dial-up connection that took forever to load just about anything. Today, you’ll find high-speed internet in nearly 90% of United States households.
NFTs have the potential to experience growth and a speed of consumer adoption that’s just as significant.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line here is simple. Humanity has a funny way of solving problems, even when the masses don’t realize there’s a problem to be solved. That’s why lights turn on when we flick a switch, vehicles move forward when we hit the gas pedal, and the internet is available to answer any question you could imagine.
However, as the world goes digital, the problems that arise in the digital space are likely to be met with solutions, and in the world of digital goods ownership, NFTs are the solution!