Why We Can’t Afford to Ignore NFTs Now

It all started as a joke: something funny and ridiculous that nobody could really understand. NFTs were considered something exclusive to ‘techy’ or very wealthy people who for some unknown reason wanted to spend incredible sums of money on NFTs. Like when Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter and Founder of Block, sold his first tweet as an NFT in March 2021 for over $2.9 million. What?

However, NFTs have come a long way in just over a year. The technology is constantly being developed and explored and soon could be integrated into our daily life. Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that Instagram has plans to open up as an NFT marketplace. If this is indeed true, we may want to dig in and understand the concept a bit better. Time to look at the future with our crypto lenses on and see what’s in store.

So, what’s this about NFTs and Instagram?

After the Zuckerberg announcement, the internet went crazy. Up until now NFTs were essentially their own universe, to access them you must go to the specific NFT platforms, so the idea that it could be introduced to such a popular and everyday-used app could change the game completely. Before we know it, we may all own NFTs.

Zuckerberg stated that his plan is to allow users to display and mint their NFTs within the app. For reference, minting an NFT means to publish it on the blockchain to make it available to possible buyers. It is sort of like uploading a picture on any social media app, only in this case instead of a funny caption we’ll write our name and price. To be able to mint an NFT today we need cryptos and access to an NFT marketplace. We can create a digital wallet on Binance, Coinbase or MetaMask. Once we have our wallet in place (and some cryptos in it please), it can be linked to a marketplace and - soon - this could be Instagram. Instagram could in fact be the ideal marketplace to sell NFTs of our photos, videos, and stories. Instagram would enable the NFT technology to reach millions of users utilising its potential to get paid and credited for content creation.

The NFT creator economy

If used well, this technology has the possibility to change lives. Emily Yang, or pplpleasr as she calls herself, is a great example of this. At only 27 years old she is an outstanding NFT artist and entrepreneur who created PleasrDAO, a platform for early NFT collectors and digital artists, and just launched her first Web 3.0 interactive short film, "White Rabbit," on her own decentralized film distribution platform, Shibuya.

After being left unemployed because of the pandemic, Emily started by selling some of her personal artwork to various DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations) and DeFi platforms, where she started to make a name for herself. Her funny artworks started trending and caught the eye of many. The big shift came when she decided to auction one of her viral animations as an NFT for charity. After a very successful sale, her growing community and support attracted more buyers which finally enabled her to make a living out of her artworks and develop so much more. It made her an NFT star.

Emily made the Forbes 2022 Under 30s list and is now in the top 10 global, female, metaverse entrepreneurs. Earlier this year she sold an animation for $525,000, and with the sale created the Stand With Asians Community Fund to which she herself donated over $700,000 of the sales proceeds of her various digital artworks

Blockchain technology, which enables NFTs is something that is changing our digital world and it will further accelerate the transaction of all goods in digital form as well as credit and reward creators for what they produce. In Web 2.0 (our current one) most information and content are free unless content creators ‘gate’ their output, which can expensive and complicated. Web 3.0 can even the playing field, at least in the beginning. No more copy-paste that is, you might infringe on someone’s NFT rights.

Love it or loathe it, NFTs are building the path to a future where we may want to own digital goods as much as – or more than – physical goods. NFTs will be opening doors and possibilities we did not yet have. Ignoring NTFs? We can’t afford it.

With thanks to @caolinaatani

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