An NFT collector got mad that somebody on Twitter was saving their NFT, a hilarious exchange that cuts to the core of a very nuanced debate.

In a mystifying new trend, people are willing to spend an astonishing amount of money on digital pieces of artwork in order to own exclusive rights to them.

Non-fungibles tokens, or NFTs, have become a mainstay of the cryptocurrency world, offering those who have plenty of cash or crypto to spare a way to “reinvest” it in what they say is exclusive ownership over what often amounts to not much more than a cartoon image of an angry ape or a whale wearing a top hat.

In short, it’s not exactly about the artistry — it’s about making claims over ownership using blockchain. What exactly are crypto-heads getting when buying an NFT? Beyond often dubious resale value, it’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer.

Some NFT collectors are upset that vandals are right-clicking on their newly-purchased digital assets and hitting “save as.” After all, copying an NFT is often as simply as that.

Most recently, Twitter user SaeedDiCaprio got confronted by an investor.

“You think it’s funny to take screenshots of people’s NFTs, huh?” the rando messaged him on Twitter, according to a screenshot he posted of the exchange. “Property theft is a joke to you? I’ll have you know that the blockchain doesn’t lie. I own it.”

DiCaprio dug deeper.

“I could make a whole NFT collection of screenshots of me right clicking and saving the image and sell it,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet.

It’s an admittedly hilarious exchange that goes to show just how strange — and absurd — the NFT trend really is. It’s trivially easy to copy NFT artwork and disseminate it elsewhere. Even the blockchain isn’t always able to back up claims of rightful ownership, depending on the platform selling the NFTs.

But that’s not exactly the point, either.

“Even if you save it, it’s my property,” the upset user wrote in their message. “You are mad that you don’t own the art that I own. Delete that screenshot.”

The artwork in question, titled “Lazy Lions #348,” belongs to a collection hosted by OpenSea and bids have surpassed $5,000 at the time of writing.

In some circles, the kind of attitude shown by SaeedDiCaprio is being labelled as “right-clicker mentality,” Vice reported this week. It’s a term first coined by NFT collector and creator Midwit Milhouse, who complained at the time that somebody was cheaply recreating gold-coated steaks online.

According to Milhouse, it was a homebrewed version of a steak popularized by internet sensation Salt Bae, who was selling the creation for $2,000 at his restaurant in London.

“Sure, you can make your own gold-coated steak for 65GBP, but then you don’t have the satisfaction, flex, clout that comes from having eaten at Salt Bae’s restaurant,” Milhouse wrote in a tweet last month.

“The value is not in the cost of the steak,” Milhouse argued. “It’s all about the flex.”

Right clicker mentality is a term that cuts right down to the crux of the misunderstanding. It’s been appropriated, in fact, to mock the entire concept of ownership for ownership’s sake, as is often the case with NFTs.

Despite the kerfuffle, the tokens are still selling for plenty of cash — and that’s also inviting all kinds of shenanigans. Most recently, an NFT developer took off with about $2.7 million siphoned out of an NFT project’s funds.

And NFT collectors have essentially no recourse in that kind of scenario. As with cryptocurrencies, NFTs are being traded inside a regulatory vacuum. It’s the Wild West — and the only real rule is “buyer beware.”

NFTs are an ostentatious display of contemporary wealth: by owning a simple JPG, collectors are hoping to invest their money, while also status signaling.

But that doesn’t amount to much for those who aren’t operating within those circles. The mockery, justified or not, will likely go on as long as NFTs are still being traded.

All told, fully embracing concept of value when it comes to NFTs takes some serious mental gymnastics. No wonder many aren’t buying it.

The post Person Furious That Someone Right Click Saved Their Precious NFT appeared first on Futurism.

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Bitcoin is the world’s first decentralised cryptocurrency – a kind of advanced resource that uses public-key cryptography to record, sign and send transactions over the Bitcoin blockchain.

The value of Bitcoin hit its all-time high simply a day after the first Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) was launched on the New York Stock Exchange. On Thursday, October 21, the world’s most-esteemed cryptocurrency was trading at $67,139, with a peripheral addition of less than 1 percent. The development comes like a much-needed refresher for Bitcoin investors, who have seen a major dip in the crypto-coin experience in recent days, particularly after September 15, when China criminalised and restricted all crypto-related activities.

Keeping things fascinating for crypto investors, Ether opened with a profit of 6.74 percent, according to the resources, the world’s second most-esteemed cryptocurrency trading at $4317.72 per token.

“Bitcoin beat the $67,000 mark for the first time in history. The past 24 hours were extremely eventful days for both investors as traders as the crypto range made new highs. After all-time highs, we saw some gains in Bitcoin. The biggest Altcoin, Ether, proceeded with its positive momentum. A few other altcoins including Cardano, Ripple, Polkadot, and Dogecoin have also seen value climbs as of now.

In the meantime Tether and USD, Coin is among the couple of altcoins that have started the day with enlisting minor misfortunes. While countries like China and Russia are taking steps to check crypto-activities, the US is expanding ways of presenting more people to the crypto space.

For example, the newly launched Bitcoin Futures ETF on the New York Stock Exchange, is a trade exchange fund that allows people to directly gain exposure to the Bitcoin price without buying the cryptocurrency. Exchange-traded funds are managed monetary products that can represent a wide scope of various resources.

“Crypto is gaining its balance as an investment vehicle, and the rollout of an ETF could be a major step in that direction, said Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist at Ally Invest. She said the fund’s moves may not intently follow value changes in Bitcoin, making the ETF a flawed intermediary for investors.

Other Bitcoin futures ETFs are relied upon to begin trading in the coming weeks. They should open up another way into crypto markets for investors who “fear the regulatory uncertainty and risk” of buying Bitcoin directly. Indeed, recently the total capitalisation of all cryptocurrencies crosses an achievement of $2.5 trillion according to the resources.

While Bitcoin can be used as a currency – especially in El Salvador, which announced it legal tender this mid-year—its appeal lies almost entirely as a theoretical monetary venture. This meme-stock has been a favourite among the Reddit-wired crowd of young investors who view cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and the joke-inspired Dogecoin as a pass to wealth and a thumb in the eye of the monetary foundation.

Like other trend investments, the price of Bitcoin has been wildly volatile. It traded at less than $12,000 a year ago, in the $30,000-range in January, rose to over $64,000 in April, then fell by more than half in July. Action by China against Bitcoin, as well as regulatory scrutiny around advanced resources and profit-taking people, has hindered the Bitcoin cost lately.

What Should Bitcoin Investors Do?

A new record high certainly doesn’t mean Bitcoin’s instability is finished – indeed, hope for something else. It is a beginning industry, and subsequently, it’s profoundly unstable. Thus, keep your investments low enough. As such, don’t invest so much that crypto’s outrageous unpredictability can wreak havoc on your absolute stocks portfolio.

As a guideline, keep any speculative investment – ​​cryptocurrencies, specific ETFs, alternative resources — to under 5% of your all-out portfolio. It is also important to never invest in the cryptocurrency market at the cost of not meeting other financial goals,  like putting something aside for retirement or paying off high-interest debt.

However, if you’ve done these things and are considering what to do since Bitcoin has hit a new high: do nothing. Long-term investors should cling to their coins, and don’t let the publicity of these daily swings affect their investment decisions. If you have confidence in the long-term potential of Bitcoin, simply don’t mind it. It is the best thing you can do.

Expectations for the future value of Bitcoin vary depending on who makes the gauge. According to Jeremy Lew, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, Bitcoin could reach $500,000 per coin by 2030. As indicated by the June 2020 Crypto Research Report, the cryptocurrency prices could go more than $397,000 by 2030, yet others predict that Bitcoin is only an air pocket and they are useless, predicting a very low value in a decade.

Here at Spiking, we educate and coach you so you can understand cryptocurrencies. Like anything else, you don’t want to invest or trade until you understand the market and how it works. Knowledge is key.

I am inviting you to join me at Spiking To The Moon $100,000, where I will be trading $1,000,000 LIVE during a 5 hour window. Grab your chance and sign up for this rare once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come trade popular crypto currencies like Bitcoin, LIVE together with me!

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The state of artificial intelligence is promising, and it is increasingly ready for real-life enterprises. But there are shortages of talent, lack of diversity in the field, and concerns about the handling the data that fuels ever-more-sophisticated algorithms. 

These are some of the observations of Nathan Benaich and Ian Hogarth, prominent investors in artificial intelligence, who released their fourth annual and densely packed “State of AI” report reviewing developments in the field over the past year. While the report focuses on AI academia and specific advancements in medicine and other areas, there are important developments raised for those seeking to leverage AI and machine learning to move forward in building intelligent enterprises. “The under-resourced AI-alignment efforts from key organizations who are advancing the overall field of AI, as well as concerns about datasets used to train AI models and bias in model evaluation benchmarks, raises important questions about how best to chart the progress of AI systems with rapidly advancing capabilities,” Benaich and Hogarth state. 

Some notable AI developments over the past year include the following:

AI talent is a growing concern, as well as area of opportunity. “Computer research scientists, software developers, mathematicians, statisticians and data scientists saw an evolution of their employment that is far ahead of the general employed population,” Benaich and Hogarth state. “Computer science and engineering were the fastest growing undergraduate degrees over 2015 to 2018, accounting for 10.2% of all four-year degrees conferred in 2018. Their numbers increased by 34% and 25% respectively during the period, while the number of other awarded degrees increased 4.5% on average.”

Globally, Brazil and India are leading the way in AI employment growth, hiring more than three times more AI talent today than they were in 2017, matching or surpassing the hiring growth of Canada and the United States, they add. 

The gender and racial diversity data within United States organizations radically differ between technical and non-technical teams, Benaich and Hogarth state. There is “a massive lack of gender diversity in technical teams, while a better balance is achieved in product and commercial teams. African Americans and Hispanics constitute a lower share of the AI workforce than their share in the general workforce, with the severest drop coming from technical teams. These teams also have the highest share of Asian workers.” Interestingly, on a global level, “almost 30% of scientific research papers from India include women authors compared to an average of 15% in the US and UK, and far greater than four percent in China.”  

The venture capitalists point to concerns about managing big data in the AI space. “Careful data selection saves time and money by mitigating the pains of big data. Working with massive datasets is cumbersome and expensive. Carefully selecting examples mitigates the pain of big data by focusing resources on the most valuable examples, but classical methods often become intractable at-scale. Recent approaches address these computational costs, enabling data selection on modern datasets.”

Benaich and Hogarth point to the need for greater data quality data particularly in real-time situations, such as detecting or predicting life-threatening events. For example, they cite the threat of “data cascades,” defined by Google researchers as “compounding events causing negative, downstream effects from data issues.” These researchers warn “that current practices undervalue data quality and result in data cascades, pointing to factors such as “lack of recognition of the data work in AI, lack of adequate training, difficulty of access to specialized data for the studied region/population.” This calls for “developing metrics to assess goodness-of-data, better incentives for data excellence, better data education, better practices for early detection of data cascades, and better data access.” 

The VCs also predict that the coming year may see the launch of a research company focused on artificial general intelligence (AGI), “formed with significant backing and a roadmap that’s focused on a sector vertical, which could potentially involve developer tools or a life science application.

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Bitcoin, frequently described as cryptocurrency, virtual cash, or a digital currency – is a type of money that is virtual. It resembles a web-based form of money that operates free of any central control. It depends on peer-to-peer software and cryptography. You can use it to purchase products and services, however, only a few shops acknowledge Bitcoin yet and a few countries have prohibited it altogether. However, a few companies are starting to get tied up with its developing impact.

Every single Bitcoin transaction that’s ever been made, exists on a public record accessible to everyone, making transactions hard to fake and reverse. That is by configuration: core to their decentralized nature, Bitcoins aren’t upheld by the government or any issuing institution, and there’s nothing to ensure their value other than the evidence prepared in the core of the system. The motivation behind why it’s worth money is essential because we, as people, decided it has value – the same as gold.

Since its public launch in 2009, the value of Bitcoin has increased dramatically. Although it once sold for under $150 per coin, as of October 26, 2021, one Bitcoin presently sells for more than $62,000. Since its inventory is restricted to 21 million coins, many expect its price to continue to rise as time passes, particularly as more large institutional Bitcoin investors consider it as a kind of digital gold to hedge against market instability and expansion.

How Does Bitcoin Work?

Each Bitcoin is fundamentally a computer file that is stored in a “digital wallet” application on a smartphone or computer. People can send Bitcoin to your digital wallet, and you can send Bitcoins to others. Every transaction is recorded in a public list called the Blockchain.

This makes it conceivable to follow the historical backdrop of Bitcoins to stop people from spending coins they don’t possess, making duplicates, or fixing transactions.

Blockchain is decentralized, which implies it is not controlled by anyone’s association. It resembles a Google Doc that anyone can work on, no one owns it, but whoever has the link can contribute. And as various people update it, your Google Doc is updated as well.

While the idea that anyone can edit the blockchain may sound risky, it’s really what makes Bitcoin trustworthy and secure. For a transaction block to be added to the Bitcoin blockchain, it should be verified by the majority of all Bitcoin holders, and the unique codes used to identify users’ wallets and transactions should adjust to the right encryption pattern.

These codes tend to be long, random numbers, making them amazingly hard to produce fraudulently. In fact, according to Bryan Lotti of Crypto Aquarium, a fraudster guessing your Bitcoin wallet’s key code has generally nine times the same chance of winning the Powerball lottery. This level of randomness blockchain verification codes, which are required for each transaction, greatly reduces the risk that anybody can make fake Bitcoin transactions.

Purpose of Bitcoin

Bitcoin was made as a way for people to send money over the internet. The purpose of the digital currency was planned to give an alternative payment system that would be free from central control however in any case be used in the same way as conventional currencies standards.  

What is Bitcoin Mining?

Bitcoin mining refers to the cycle through which new Bitcoins are made and given to computers helping to maintain the network. The computers associated with Bitcoin mining are in a kind of computational competition to handle new transactions going onto the network. The winner — normally the person with the quickest computers — gets a piece of new Bitcoins, 12.5 of them at present. (The prize is split at regular intervals.)

There is usually a new winner every 10 minutes, and so on until there are 21 million Bitcoins in the world. At that point, no new Bitcoins will be made. This limit is expected to be reached in 2140. About 16 million Bitcoins have been distributed so far.

Each Bitcoin in existence was made through this strategy and at first given to a computer to help keep records. Anyone can set their computer to mine Bitcoins, but these days only those with specialized hardware manage to win the race.

Is Bitcoin Safe?

The cryptography behind Bitcoin depends on the SHA-256 algorithm designed by the US National Security Agency. Breaking it is impossible because there are more conceivable private keys that would need to be tried (2256) than there are molecules in the universe (assessed to be somewhere close to 1078 to 1082).

There have been many high-profile cases of Bitcoin trades being hacked and funds stolen, however, these services have always stored digital currency on behalf of clients. What was hacked in these cases was the site and not the Bitcoin network.

In theory, if an attacker could handle more than half of all Bitcoin nodes in existence then they could make an agreement that they claimed all Bitcoin, and embed it in the blockchain. However, as the number of nodes increases, it becomes less practical.

A real problem is that Bitcoin works without any central authority. Because of this, anybody who makes a transaction error on their wallet has no response. If you accidentally send Bitcoins to a wrong digital wallet or lose your password, you will not be able to retrieve it back anymore.

The possible appearance of functional quantum computing could break everything. The majority of cryptography depends on numerical estimations that are extremely difficult for current computers to do, but quantum computers work very diversely and might have the option to execute them in a fraction of a second.

Here at Spiking, we educate and coach you so you can understand cryptocurrencies. Like anything else, you don’t want to invest or trade until you understand the market and how it works. Knowledge is key.

I am inviting you to join me at Spiking To The Moon $100,000, where I will be trading $1,000,000 LIVE during a 5 hour window. Grab your chance and sign up for this rare once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come trade popular crypto currencies like Bitcoin, LIVE together with me!

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The Fed said Wednesday in a statement that it will reduce the pace of asset purchases by $15 billion a month starting this month. Purchases of U.S. Treasurys will drop to $70 billion a month from $80 billion, while purchases of government-backed mortgage securities will decline to $35 billion a month from $40 billion.

“The committee judges that similar reductions in the pace of net asset purchases will likely be appropriate each month, but it is prepared to adjust the pace of purchases if warranted by changes in the economic outlook,” the Fed’s monetary policy committee, known as the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, said in the statement.

The U.S. central bank left interest rates unchanged at close to 0%, but a growing number of analysts in traditional markets are predicting the Fed might have to start hiking the benchmark rate to tamp down inflation at a time when U.S. consumer prices are rising at a clip not seen on a sustained basis in three decades.

“On one hand, tightened monetary policy may lead to less rapid growth of bitcoin demand, as many use it to hedge inflation, and less QE in theory means less inflation,” said Joe DiPasquale, CEO of the cryptocurrency hedge fund BitBull Capital. “On the other hand, the effects of the largest QE in history may lead to the largest inflation in history, regardless of the Fed attempting to scale back. If this happens, we expect demand, and prices, for bitcoin to rise to new all-time highs.“

A growing group of high-profile investors including the legendary hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones II and the venture capitalist Peter Thiel have joined many crypto traders in betting that bitcoin can be effective as a hedge against inflation. That’s mainly due to the limits on new supplies of bitcoin, as hard-coded into the 12-year-old blockchain’s underlying programming.

This content was originally published here.

NFTs are here. They’re no longer fringe. Specifically, art and collectible NFTs have gone mainstream with breathtaking speed – faster than even the most starry-eyed, to-the-moon crypto bull could have dreamed. We now have a better idea of why. As I wrote in the beginning of this cycle, NFTs (especially art and collectibles) are fun, visualizable, culturally relevant and they’re easy to understand in a way that many blockchain concepts are not.

Then there’s the development that many in the space – myself included – dramatically underestimated: the community angle. The social angle. When you pony up for a Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunk or World of Women NFT, it shows that you get it. It shows that you belong in the club. “People identify with them on a personal level,” said Maria Shen, a partner at Electric Capital, a blockchain-focused venture capital (VC) firm. “Ownership says something fundamental about their identity; it says something about their interests.”

Only a year ago, art and collectible NFTs were mostly ideas with “potential,” but no one outside the crypto space took them seriously. What categories today are in that same phase of early speculation, which are likely to erupt? What goofy-sounding NFT will get endorsed by Tom Brady in 2022? What bold, industry-disrupting NFT will Ariana Grande promote in 2023? What are the next chapters of this wild narrative?

I consulted with a brain trust of NFT insiders – investors, founders, people who live and breathe non-fungible tokens – to give us a glimpse into the (possible) future. Some of these categories will seem obvious. Some will seem far-fetched. Some might even feel absurd. Yet considered en masse, they have the potential to change how we consume content, how we spend and make money, how we prove our identities, how we attend events, how we dress or even how and where we spend the bulk of our time.

Jamie Burke, CEO of Outlier Ventures (a U.K.-based blockchain VC and accelerator lab), was originally encouraged by research showing that “people spend five times more in a blockchain game than in a conventional game.” He said that skeptics originally “poo-pooed” this research, but then came Axie. The Axie juggernaut is proof, said Burke, that if the gamer can exit the game and cash out with crypto, and if they’re free to “do whatever the hell they want with the money,” then they’ll spend more money. “It feels really obvious now,” he said, predicting that Axie is just the very beginning of a much larger boom in gaming that will be “huge in the next decade.”

Just two weeks earlier, at London Fashion Week, a new brand called Auroboros, which describes itself as “the first fashion house to merge science and technology with physical couture,” unveiled a line of digital apparel that you “wear” using augmented reality (AR). For perspective, this was not at a crypto conference. This happened at London Fashion Week.

Fashion wearables might just be scratching the surface. Shen imagines that NFTs could create new ways to monetize and invest in fashion. Take sneakers. “In order to flip a sneaker you have to take the physical inventory,” she said. “Imagine if you could increase the speed in which you can flip items.” Or maybe new financial instruments, fueled by NFTs, could allow people to invest in the fashion sector. “You can create financial products, like an index of the top-selling sneakers today,” said Shen, which could let you invest in a pool of the 100 hottest sneakers, for example, instead of tossing the dice on a single pair.

Think about that loan. When you hand over the CryptoPunk as collateral, you automatically get it back when you pay off your debt. And if you default? Thanks to the wizardry of smart contracts, the NFT gets transferred to the lender, eliminating the need for debt collection and bounty hunters. That’s just the beginning. As my colleague David Z. Morris has written, NFTs are being fractionalized (to provide more liquidity), they’re acting as quasi-securities and they’re becoming finance-y enough that they might soon curry interest from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Burke expects the innovation to continue at a rapid clip. He imagines a rise in secondary markets, or even “derivative” markets. Imagine that for whatever reasons, Epic Games decides not to integrate NFTs into Fortnite. Perhaps some derivative NFTs could fill in the gap? “Let’s say I’ve got a sword, and it’s a really valuable sword,” said Burke. “And I want to cash out of the game. The sword is so valuable, it has the ability to pay off my student loan, or buy a house.” He continues, clearly enjoying the thought experiment: “S**t, I love my sword but I need the cash.”

In that vein, Burke thinks it’s far more likely that we’ll see growth in the new, creative, blockchain-enabled financial products before we see the NFT-ization of things that already exist in traditional finance, such as the deed to your home. “Where’s the growth in DeFi going to come from? In this regulatory environment, it’s sure as s**t not going to be real-world assets, or anything that remotely resembles a security,” said Burke. “That’s going to be a decade-long fight.”

This future is closer than you might think. “What excites us is NFTs being used in the real world,” said Carolin Wend, co-founder of Mintbase, an NFT-minting platform. Take an upcoming festival in Lisbon, the NEARCon, which is anchored around the NEARProtocol, a smart contracts system that Mintbase uses instead of Ethereum. “The festival founder wants to do 100% NFT ticketing,” said Wend, and this could (one day) include “staking” your ticket, meaning that you could earn a profit on what you plunk down for the ticket.

Remember those Dolce & Gabbana NFTs? Now imagine that you’re the lucky person who bought one. Pretend you’re the proud owner of the crown jewel of the set – literally a crown – called the “Doge Crown,” an almost comically ornate piece of jewelry. (Alas, the “Doge” refers to the Doge Palace in Venice, not the Shiba.) The crown looks like it came straight out of “Game of Thrones.” How do you store it? Maybe you keep the physical crown in your private vault, or perhaps you showcase it, modestly and tastefully, atop the throne room in your Mykonos villa.

But what about the digital NFT? What do you do with it? Or as Burke puts it, “Where do you flex that?” Think about it from Dolce & Gabbana’s perspective. “If you’re a high-end luxury brand, it’s all about controlling the retail experience,” said Burke. He guesses that trying to render such a lovely, intricate crown in a pixelated metaverse like Decentraland might – at least in today’s version – make for a “pretty sh**ty wearable.” (Burke notes that for this very reason, Dolce & Gabbana is giving the buyer of the NFT two years to figure out where to render it.)

So Burke predicts some kind of environment where people can gather, chat and flaunt their NFTs. Maybe it’s a form of AR, or maybe virtual reality (VR), or maybe something Web 3.0-ish or maybe something else entirely. The point is that there needs to be a good environment for experiencing NFTs. “What are the platforms of networks? That’s going to be the big trend,” said Burke.

Shen has a similar idea with a different twist. She envisions “a home for NFT communities,” or, more precisely, “a social network that’s made for NFT owners.” Perhaps this network is connected to your wallet that owns a Bored Ape, and it can only be accessed by verified users who own certain NFTs.

A wise investor once said, “Land. It’s the one thing they can’t make more of.” The investor was Lex Luthor. And his advice might ring true in the metaverse. Virtual worlds like Decentraland, The Sandbox and Cryptovoxels give their real-estate a hard cap, meaning that – in theory – a finite supply will become more valuable if the demand soars.

“This is quite promising,” said Matty “DCLBlogger,” an influential voice in the NFT community who has been something of an oracle, dashing off a widely-shared Twitter thread in 2020 – over a year ago! – that outlined 25 future use cases of NFT. The thread looks prescient, correctly calling the rise of art, collectibles and gaming. Matty is just as bullish on virtual land. “Look at Axie Infinity,” he said. “There are a million-plus players,” and some of these players will think, “maybe it makes sense to own that land.”

Once you begin to wrap your brain around the idea that people could profit from digital real estate, the possibilities are dizzying. Maybe you own a plot of land, you build a virtual office building, and then you rent out the building for a virtual conference. And when the conference attendees want to blow off some steam, maybe they’ll want to gamble during their cocktail hour, so you rent out a casino game that lets them win and lose real cryptocurrency. As Matty said, “It gets real crazy.”

Self-sovereign identity (SSID) has long been one of the most intriguing applications of blockchain technology, and NFTs could be the key that unlocks the door. (Why does SSID matter? Here’s my primer from last year.) Laglasse views Ethereum Name Services, or ENS, as a useful example. “Now you can link your Instagram account, your Twitter account, and almost every social media account to ENS,” said Laglasse. “Since it’s decentralized, you can truly own the name you show to the community.”

Laglasse categorizes these as “Utility NFTs,” in the sense that you can’t typically exchange them for money (like art and collectibles), but instead they exist to prove that you own something. Another idea in the same vein: NFTs of college diplomas. This would let a Vietnamese student travel to the U.S., for example, and decisively prove that she has a diploma. Laglasse predicts, “It’s going to happen one day.”

This one’s a little squishy, a little tough to visualize. But stick with it. “Think about all the digital value created through social media platforms,” said Burke. He’s referring to that elusive and hard-to-quantify concept of “online influence.” Currently, Burke argues, the only real way to monetize that influence is through advertising, and the influencer only earns a small slice of the revenue pie. But what if this influence could be quantified, scored, and captured as an NFT?

This “Influence NFT,” let’s call it, wouldn’t be as simple as just rewarding the number of Twitter followers. “It’s a form of atomized socialness,” explained Burke, where “I can atomize every bit of content, and I can quantify the relationship I have with my community.” He said this NFT might factor in variables like online reputation, trustworthiness or even the ability to curate and create good content. “This is the hardest one to explain,” he said with a laugh.

Remember the “Klout” score, in Twitter’s early days, where an algorithm tried to quantify users’ social mojo? Klout never seemed to catch on, and it went belly-up in 2018, but you can see the idea’s (arguably evil) appeal. “Literally any form of digital value flow could, in theory, be turned into an asset,” said Burke, who also envisions this NFT being plugged into a DeFi ecosystem, such as being used as collateral in a loan.

Shen thinks of this concept as a more refined version of a credit score, but one for credibility and influence. “You can actually have NFTs that form parts of your identity and reputation,” she said. She points to the example of Rabbithole.gg, where users can earn cryptocurrencies, tokens or NFTs by proving that they have certain skills or have completed certain tasks, such as registering for an ENS name.

Steinwold likes another example: Galaxy.eco aims to use on-chain data to reward people for certain verifiable activities. Maybe if you have 1,000 trades on Uniswap, you earn a Master Trader badge. Or if you’re a big and longtime holder, you get Diamond Hands. Maybe I should mint you an NFT if you can prove you’ve read this far in the piece.

Or maybe NFTs, music and DeFi could all merge. “If music masters could be actually pooled and then fractionalized, you could then receive income as dividends for streaming,” said Shen. She then whips up another possibility: Imagine if the rights to each song are captured as an NFT, and then you pool together the top 40 songs of the month, you fractionalize the pool, and then you could buy a piece of that pool and receive streaming income. “That would be interesting,” she said, “We just haven’t gotten to that point yet.”

NFT Search: “Right now, NFTs are this interesting but muddled and chaotic category,” said Shen, adding that they “look a lot like websites in the 90s before Google came in.” She has a point. There’s no clean search function for NFTs … yet. Imagine a Google for NFTs. Or a decentralized Google for NFTs.

“We’re spending most of our waking hours online,” Steinwold reasons, arguing that this is a trend that will continue to accelerate in the next 20 or 30 years, and that soon “we’re going to have a lot of digital goods.” In the future, said Steinwold, if he buys a cool pair of Air Jordans (physical ones that go on your feet), he’ll want its NFT companion. He’ll want the NFT so he can flaunt it, flex it and perhaps to use it in a metaverse or a play-to-earn game.

This content was originally published here.