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Why NFTs Are Not Just JPEGs

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The Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have taken the world by storm in the past year. Everyone is talking about NFTs now.  Some thought it was just a craze that would pass, but now it’s becoming crystal clear that NFTs are here to stay. In other words, we are witnessing a revolution in the artistic field.

Collin’s dictionary even made it their word of the year in 2021.

Most people think of NFTs as merely JPEGs – digital art – that you can right-click and save to your device without paying for them. This is not the case with digital art NFTs as the underlying token itself offers features that a downloaded picture cannot.

And looking at the broader picture, most believe that NFTs have no other use case whatsoever. However, this is not the case, as they function in a way where they can enable a lot of utility. Let’s dive into what else, other than art, NFTs could offer to the world.

Digital Marketing

A significant problem in the world of digital marketing is lost advertising revenue. Millions of dollars are spent each year on companies trying to get their brand and product out via ads on the internet.

But with countless bots and malicious software roaming around the net, it is often tough to tell if the views they are getting are genuine. 

So one use case for NFTs is making ads into NFTs themselves and utilizing Web3 tech to gain real views.

The Scenario

Firstly, a company would make an ad in the traditional way -a  photo or video. Once this is done, they would then mint that ad as an NFT token and host it on decentralised storage such as Arweave.

The user – aka potential customer – would log in to their digital wallet – e.g., Metamask – through their browser. Upon coming across the aforementioned ad on the internet, they would either be able to watch it or skip it. If they chose to watch it, they would automatically be rewarded. Crypto would leave the company’s wallet and flow to the viewer’s wallet.
This would incentivise the user who otherwise, in web2, would have no reason to watch an ad, and there would be no lost marketing revenue for companies, as they are only paying actual views.
On top of this, they are not paying upfront for an extensive marketing campaign that would have an expiry date.
Brave browser has already dwelled into the realm of “Pay Per View Ads” by offering ad viewers BAT tokens – also known as Basic Attention Tokens.

Source: https://brave.com

The Book Store

There is a reason why so many digital artists are excited about NFTs. It gives them digital ownership and control over their art. Sure, there will still be pirated versions of their creations, but those are likely to be fake.
It could be highly possible that we see a future where devices have built-in web3 features.
So just like Amazon started their migration from brick and mortar bookstores and popularised the transition from physical copies of books to a digital age with Kindle, we could see something similar happen in the age of Web3.
It is not a difficult concept to make an NFT out of a book. You can pretty much make anything digital into an NFT.
Koii and their Atomic NFTs have developed a way to have a smart contract – that mints the NFT onto the blockchain – and the real assets (aka files) of the NFT all in one place. On Arweave.

So taking that same concept and applying it to a PDF file is very simple. All we would need to do is integrate the PDF format into NFT marketplaces – so that the file is viewable – and then we would have the whole ecosystem for digital Web3 books ready.

Throw in an app that can read these NFTs on a mobile device, and we essentially have the Web3 Kindle.

Using this approach would create a fairer market for authors. This is possible by allowing them to benefit from secondary sales of their digital books. Something that is just not possible in the Web2 space.

Our Identity Cards

The world of Web3 and blockchain has brought on a trustworthy way of interacting with others. Every transaction and interaction with others is verified by multiple nodes and recorded to an immutable blockchain.

Digital wallets allow us to connect and use protocols that have been built on the blockchain – for example, Phantom wallet enables users to connect to the Solana network.

Blockchain offers a system in which digital signatures can be signed and recorded with ease without worrying about fraudulent behaviour. 

Might we see the day when we can all have our ID cards, passports, and driving licenses stored on the blockchain and present them to others in a trustworthy fashion?

Imagine crossing the borders of a country and having to present your passport. Border control asks for you to swipe your device to show your passport, and so you do. All that appears on the border control staff’s screen is a photo of you – so they can verify it is you indeed – and a green tick showing that you can enter the country. There is no need for border control to read a foreign document.

You cannot lose your passport while traveling as it’s stored on the blockchain. In the same fashion, you could attach any additional documents you need for your travels – like a visa or an equipment certificate – to that same wallet. This would automatically be verified upon swiping your device at the border.

These are just some use cases we could see NFTs having. Likely, we will see many use cases we have probably not even thought of yet. Developers might set forth different network improvement proposals to establish new NFT standards that will better accommodate the utility they are striving for.


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