Crypto is everywhere these days. From news to sports-break ads, literally everywhere. It is indeed difficult to not know something or the other about crypto these days. There’s of course more noise than signal. But that is a problem for another day, another time. For now, let’s ask why crypto is everywhere. Hype? Speculation? Gambling? Marketing? What?
I’d say it’s all of these and more. Crypto is after all a budding industry and stakeholders are investing heavily in marketing. There’s speculation and hype, as well. And some people are pumping crypto simply to make more money for themselves.
But at the same time, there’s tremendous disruptive potential. Denying this would be short-sighted and foolish. Especially if we take into account some of the ongoing trends. Most of them involve Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs.
NFTs can represent almost anything on the blockchain, from artwork to real estate to humans even. Each NFT is moreover unique, which makes it a potent tool for innovating community-oriented and user-centric business models. Another critical outcome is novel revenue streams that enable equitable value distribution in Web3.
Consider GameFi or Gaming Finance. It’s a hotcake nowadays. Particularly since the pandemic when it enabled people to earn a living through gaming while several traditional livelihoods withered away. This is a major breakthrough as gamers finally have efficient and accessible means to monetize their grind.
NFTs are moreover transforming creative domains like digital art and fashion. Provenance is one of the biggest gains here, letting creators establish intellectual property rights like never before. Plus the underlying technology makes forgery extremely difficult if not impossible. And artists need not wait upon labels and managers and whatnots for royalties—everything can be automated using code.
Then there’s the metaverse. It is supposedly where the so-called digital native generations will spend most of their time, doing everything from playing games to developing real estate. Moreover, PwC, JP Morgan, Samsung, and other brands have already bought virtual lands to launch showrooms in the metaverse.
So, we can very well imagine where it is all headed. Whether it will be for better or worse remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure—there’s endless possibility.
The author is a writer on Tech & Culture.