Why NFTs Are the Future: Important Info and Trusted Resources for Learners

In a recent Twitter space conversation, I sat down with Patrick Widen, Lead Designer at Comcast, entrepreneur, and all-around NFT enthusiast and partner at MJSTC, to discuss why NFTs are the future. In the hour we spent together, where we were joined by a few other impressive speakers on the subject, we covered a lot of ground – everything from scams and getting rugged to universal identities and blockchain personal identifiers.

I’ve included a recap here of our discussion for everyone interested in this topic, along with some trusted resources for all NFT learners excited to get involved but unsure of where to begin.

NFTs are the future. Allow our Twitter Space conversation to tell you why.

Curiosity in Learning

One of the most important topics we discussed on the show was the importance of curiosity in learning. With the rise of cryptocurrency and now with NFTs, the world of technology is zooming past us, and if we don’t at least attempt to get on board, we may be left behind unnecessarily. Why leave money, information, or opportunity on the table when it’s just sitting there to be taken?

This is the situation with crypto and NFTs. All it really takes to get started is curiosity. Explore the world a little at a time. Jump on Twitter, read through Reddit Threads, pull up articles on websites. You can wade into crypto and NFTs with very little investment and just see how it goes.

Just like the stock market, crypto and NFTs are long-term investments. You win some, and you lose some, but with the world going increasingly digital and the people of the world increasingly demanding freedom from government oversight and decentralization of banks and currency systems, more and more people will shift to dealing in cryptocurrency.

From there, it is a short trip to only dealing in cryptocurrency.

To that end, NFTs are a good way to start dabbling in an area that may soon be in high demand.

What Are NFTs Anyway?

For those not in the know, NFT stands for Non Fungible Tokens. What does “non-fungible” mean? It means there’s only one. An example of something fungible would be, as I pointed out in the show, toilet paper. Patrick riffed on this and noted that toilet paper company Charmin recently released an NFT(P) on Twitter. Funny, right?

Seriously, though, an NFT is, essentially, digital art. You can buy it with cryptocurrency, and you receive a receipt of ownership. What does that mean in terms of interoperability? You can find out more about that in this podcast.

Celebrities release music videos, brands create digital images, artists create tickets to events, and domain names can even be an example of an NFT.  

The idea is, you buy it, you own it, there is no other one exactly like it, and you can use it as you will.

Resources for Newcomers and Creators

For those interested in learning more, or anything at all, about NFTs, check out the Kernel and Gitcoin. Rest assured, as we discussed on the show, there is a ton to learn, and falling down the rabbit hole of information to take in is totally normal. More on the Kernel community’s free open course and redefining money here.

For those creators out there ready to get involved with crypto funding, check out Filecoin Grants.

These sites are great places to start, they provide reliable information, and you can connect with other crypto enthusiasts and grow in these spaces as an investor and/or investigator.  

Watch for Scams and Protect Your Funds

Why is it important to find reliable sources of information and investment in the crypto, blockchain, NFT world?

Because that digital world is rife with scams and scandals.

In NFTs, we refer to getting scammed as “getting rugged.” What happens is a developer will start an NFT project, get investors, and then pull the rug out from under them, taking the project and all the invested crypto with them.

As Patrick notes, “people are so used to trusting the web two, and trusting things and clicking through stuff instead of reading it cause generally that’s a pretty safe thing to do if you’re interacting with you know major corporations. On Web 3, you have to look at absolutely every single line item of everything you do very carefully because it’s very easy to get hacked or scammed.”

Read every single line item anytime you do anything in the decentralized currency world.

You really cannot be too careful when it comes to managing crypto and NFTs on the web, which is why many of us have multiple wallets, which, as I noted on the show, creates a lot of digital clutter and can feel impossible to keep track of.

A few tips on how you can protect your crypto wallet funds:

  • Your Secret Recovery Phrase controls all of your accounts
  • Never share your Secret Recovery Phrase or Private Key with anyone
  • Always keep your Secret Recovery Phrase in a secure and secret place

Check out Rug Radio for more on decentralization and the problems therein.

Regulations, Financial and Monetary Policy

We also discussed the problems with the tension between fully decentralized and fully centralized.

When it comes to full decentralization, you can’t know who to trust. It is critical to have someone or some entity vetting information and investments. As I noted during that discussion, Wikipedia managed to solve that problem by creating an accountability system among contributors, not unlike blockchain itself.

Full centralization, however, can be just as problematic, with the gatekeepers having far too much to gain by keeping information and investments from the people and playing favorites with their friends and colleagues.

The ideal situation would be to have something in between the two – a purely democratic oversight system with total transparency.

As of right now, there is no government oversight on cryptocurrency or NFTs, no centralization whatsoever, but the US and UK governments are chomping at the bit to get involved. Check out more on Stablecoins here.

On the one hand, they worry about fraud and organized crime using these digital currencies to break the law.

On the other hand, they obviously want to monitor wealth for taxation purposes. Uncle Sam always wants to get his cut.

So yea, the government wants to get involved. But, as this Art News article points out, first, they will have to catch up.

And I’m actually thrilled to see some centralization come into play, as I said on the show, “I’m still listening and learning a lot. I don’t have shit figured out and I’m watching the financial aspect of crypto too with the Central Reserve Bank Digital currency that’s going to be released soon enough.”

Less than a week after this conversation, Biden actually signs an Executive Order about this here.

The Coolest Things I’m Seeing Now

Some of the coolest things we’re seeing right now in the crypto world and NFTs are making real waves among enthusiasts.

Nametag came up in our conversation, an application that allows you to create a universal username, secured on blockchain, that will allow you to display your collection of NFTs and link all of your wallets together, so that you don’t have to keep track of so much in such disparate spaces.

Keak is another fairly new invention that allows you to track anybody’s wallet and get a notification anytime that wallet mints a new NFT.

I’d have to say also, as I said on the show, that the absolute coolest thing I have seen in crypto, NFTs, and digital currency, is the community that has come together. People have shown a tremendous amount of goodwill, of willingness to trust, to learn, and to try new things. “Never invest more than you’re willing to lose,” has really come to be a crypto motto. And many of us are willing to lose to learn.

While there are a lot of things that aren’t ready for mainstream yet, it’s the potential that blockchain tech has to revolutionize interactions online. Going more relationship-based in some manners. It’s amazing.

Events Coming Up

A couple of NFT events coming up to check out for enthusiasts:

AOKI VERSE: https://twitter.com/a0k1verse

NFT LA: https://www.nftla.live

And additional platforms and resources to check out: https://royal.io for fractional music ownership for artists and https://e-nft.com/ , an NFT platform for music and some charitable drops and purpose-driven NFTs.

A Radical Collaboration to Save the Planet. Music4ClimateJustice Theme Song by Bootsy Collins, Stevie Van Zandt & Chew Fu. Exclusive Music4ClimateJustice Theme Song cover artwork by Gilbert Driver

What is Web 3?

In the end, blockchain technology, crypto, and NFTs are a lot to take in, take on, and learn about. We talked about this new term we use “Web 3,” which basically refers to any system that is decentralized and can be accessed on the internet. It takes the form of cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and lesser-known DApps, which are decentralized web applications.

Terms like Web 3 and NFT will soon enough be defunct where it becomes the status quo. To compare the previous significant technological improvement with the web, in the so-called Web 2 era (when dial-up was replaced by DSL or broadband, thus streaming was enabled en masse), I never referred to the web as “Web 2” when I first started using AJAX (JavaScript programming) in the mid-2000s. And it’s like how you don’t say “The Worldwide Web (www)” and just refer to it as the internet, online, or the web.

The web is an ever-evolving innovation that is used to connect people and teams, share ideas/knowledge, & gives us tremendous utility and convenience! There is a real utility of the evolution of the web as we know it, especially with the baked-in continuous improvement and the peer-to-peer aspect.

Web 3 is the future. The people want their power back, and it makes sense that we would start with money. It has allowed us to create new relationships, venture out of our comfort zones, and really ask ourselves what we are made of, and what we are willing to do to take back our power.

These digital spaces, crypto, and NFTs are allowing us to become the premier experts in our field, just average people in our apartments, learning as much as we can, going down the rabbit hole.

So, keep connected, keep in touch, and keep learning!