The perception surrounding the blockchain ecosystem has been changing rapidly over the past few years, as innovators have been exploring a number of use cases bothering on the technology. The efforts of these innovators have been yielding fruits in no small measure as we now see representations of blockchain technology in a number of platforms brandished as Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocols and a host of others.
Amongst the broad innovations around blockchain technology, as we have it today, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) come off as one of the most intriguing. While these tokens, which represent a way to maintain the ownership of a digital object resident of the blockchain, took the center stage as a way to preserve works of art, their potential has been shown to be much more promising.
The NFT Buzz
For keen observers in the digital currency ecosystem today, the NFT buzz has taken a very massive twist with a lot of prominent celebrities joining the bandwagon of those who own an NFT.
Of major repute, digital collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT have shifted the paradigm when it comes to the nature and type of value that can be attributed to these works of art. The NFTs, of which there are 10,000 pieces go for at least 111 ETH as their floor price, and beyond the high cost, the team behind the project, Yuga Labs is creating a lot of massive utilities that will benefit a lot of collectors who currently own the art.
While BAYC comes off as the duplicated version of high-cost NFTs that was introduced by Mike Winkelmann (aka Beeple) who sold an NFT collage for $69.3 million in ETH back in March 2021, there are other less expensive NFTs sitting on multiple blockchain protocols today.
With NFTs becoming a prominent force in the Web3.0 ecosystem, adoption has often become a major challenge, especially amongst non-native crypto people. It is often a common conversation to see individuals on Twitter troll an NFT as an image that could easily be saved as JPEG.
Besides the ignorance that these set of individuals may exude on the subject of NFT ownership which confines some sort of ownership rights that cannot be infringed upon, the question of adequate education and eventual adoption has proven to be a difficult narrative that many innovators are still brooding over.
Dealing With NFT Adoption: Drawing on Big Tech
It is not uncommon to find new cultures become ingrained on social media platforms that are owned by big tech companies. The NFT ecosystem could learn a lot from the modalities of integrating these cultures to propagate awareness of the emerging technology and its inherent capabilities.
While a lot of NFT startups have a home on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram amongst others, the gradual entry into the Non-Fungible Token world by these big tech companies is becoming a common trend in the ecosystem.
From Twitter to WeChat, to Reddit, and now Facebook (through Instagram) have either started supporting NFTs in one way or the other, or in the case of the latter, have unveiled plans to integrate the emerging digital innovation for the benefit of its users.
Speaking to CryptoMarketsBeat, Ilman Shazhaev, the Chief Executive Officer of Farcana, the first triple-A P2E game with a BTC prize pool, its own NFT marketplace, and battle royale mode said that the announced support for NFTs by Meta Platform Inc’s Instagram is good publicity for the broader digital currency ecosystem.
“The fact that Instagram is getting into the digital currency ecosystem through the support for NFTs deserves a lot of accolades,” he said, adding that the move “showcases how malleable the NFT innovation can be adopted for any creativity-driven platform. Instagram is a hub for personal content production, and the NFT support will provide over 1 billion of its users with exposure to the digital collectibles world. Looks like Meta — the parent company of Instagram — is looking to focus on metaverse-related content. Without giving room to undue speculations, the company is poised to introduce a lot of abilities for NFT usage, which will eventually accelerate the adoption of non-fungibles in general.”
With the embrace of NFT by Instagram, more than 1 billion of its users can relatably find a way to embrace these new, confusing, yet exciting digital innovations.
Adoption Through Unique Creations
The NFT ecosystem is still in its infancy, and as an offshoot of a base technology that is still considered relatively young, a lot of active research is still going on to determine its easy adaptability to existing legacy systems, like gaming.
More people around the world relate better to gaming than to these nascent technologies, and by finding a point of intersection between both, the chances of steering increased adoption are also high. It appears the big tech companies like Tencent in China and Meta Platforms in the United States are gearing up in particular for related integration through their patent applications.
“While Meta Platforms apps, including Instagram, are not typical gaming companies, the series of patents that Meta has been filing regarding its metaverse pursuits may also extend to games and related developments. This is not unexpected as the blockchain gaming niche accounts for one of the easiest ways to attract new users into the metaverse and Web 3.0 ecosystem. Besides, with Meta Platforms broadly exploring sitting at the table as one of the pioneers of the Internet’s future, a press into the gaming industry should not come as a surprise,” ilman added.
Beyond gaming, NFTs, crypto, and blockchain technology stand the best chance to become a more prominent global entity. However, in order to draw in the number of users and adopters over the next years, Big tech companies including those not mentioned in this piece must be carried along and be made to commit to the integration of these NFTs when regulations become less ambiguous.