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The first wave of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) brought with it mostly speculation on art linked to a blockchain (though not deployed on a blockchain) and a little technological innovation. Yet the NFT sales were through the roof: Beeple at $69 million, CryptoPunks at $7.58 million, and many more. This created FOMO (fear of missing out), in which everyone out of greed tried to make a quick buck without examining what they were buying or when they were buying it. In the long run, however, NFTs could be adopted across a wide spectrum of use cases, including in the gaming market, and crypto art may play a decreasing role in the overall use of NFTs.
State of NFTs today
An NFT is a form of technology – a form of information – that is stored on a blockchain, and it represents the right to digital property. This technology is a byproduct of a type of Ethereum smart contract standard – generally, the ERC-721 standard.
The underlying technology of NFTs has been around awhile, but only recently has the public come to better understand a specific use case. NFTs can be digitally linked to items in real life. For example, a lawyer or judge can view a unique token as proof of ownership. NFTs can also be linked to virtual items, such as 3D in-game items or digital pieces of land.
First, NFTs can be used in slower markets. For instance, you might be able to sell your house or car using an NFT. Once you want to transfer the item, you conduct the payment with, say, Ethereum and transfer the NFT to the other person. The person who now owns that NFT can show it to a court and prove ownership of the property.
NFTs could become widely recognized in the legal world, representing real estate ownership, shares in a company, and even marriage or divorce agreements. This is what Bitcoin and subsequent blockchains were designed to do: keep records.
In the case of a cryptocurrency, the record tracks who controls access to a coin and when. Similarly, in the case of real-life property, NFTs offer a process that’s more efficient than dealing with paper agreements.
This technology is coming. But certain questions persist. How quickly will the legal reality catch up? What interfaces will be used? How will people use them? How quickly could an NFT be transferred and how much will it cost?
The future of NFTs
Because virtual reality is the best place to feel and experience 3D in-game items, the future of gaming will likely be built on VR, and NFTs can have a role in this space. The movie Ready Player One showed us how virtual reality can transform our daily lives. Based on a novel of the same name by Ernest Cline, the film’s story is set in the year 2045, when people seek to escape from reality through the OASIS (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation), which is a VR simulation that must be shut down every Tuesday and Thursday to force people to spend more time in the real world.
Within 10 years we might have direct integration of augmented reality (AR) with glasses or even with our eyeballs, and the virtual 3D environments may be directly broadcast through our brains. For example, Snap’s new Spectacles are AR glasses. Although they’re not yet ready for the mass market, Snap’s Spectacles serve as an example of what’s to come.
They boast dual waveguide displays capable of displaying AR effects, as well as frames featuring four microphones, two stereo speakers, a touchpad and front-facing cameras to detect objects and surfaces so that graphics may naturally interact with the world around you.
“Forget about the Covid crisis,” Rafael Yuste, a neurobiologist at Columbia University, told Moises Velasquez-Manoff, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. “What’s coming with this new tech can change humanity.”
Recent computing leaps have transformed society. We’ve gone from room-size mainframe computers to personal desktop computers and laptops to mobile computing with smartphones. Is non-invasive brain-reading tech, a potential third great leap, coming next? Many believe it is a certainty.
Elon Musk’s Neuralink is considered by some to be the leading brain-sensing tech currently in development. Although it requires surgery, Neuralink is intended to be thin, flexible and capable of adjusting to the topography of the brain, with the ultimate goal of reading and writing to the brain.
It’s possible that in the future we’ll have high-quality graphics broadcasted directly to our eyes, and that the best way to experience everything – including NFT-based 3D items – will be in our heads.
Former CTO of CFlow, Andrius Miron is now the CEO of the largest NFT gaming marketplace and fundraising platform, Gamestarter, a competing powerhouse platform of Kickstarter with niches in NFTs, indie gaming, and fundraising. Andrius is a veteran in the gaming industry and has an outstanding track record in software development. Riding the wave of NFTs and blockchain gaming, Andrius is helping emerging games and products fundraise through the Gamestarter platform to reach new levels in development and engagement as the space continues to grow rapidly.
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