There is a new and growing phenomenon in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. That is the appearance of non-fungible tokens on a massive, international market, which now is quickly generating new institutional investors. Companies like Visa and Budweiser are purchasing their NFT tokens and paying hundreds of thousands of USD for them. For many, this is an almost incomprehensible situation and something that would be publicly lampooned just a year ago. Two or three years ago few outside of the crypto circle would even understand what an NFT is and how it functions. Today, there are true spending frenzies for entities like Cryptopunks, Bored Apes, and many other communities working in the NFT domain. Those names are just some of the monikers that will likely become household terms in any environment that are at least somewhat technologically savvy, if not fully into the entire cryptocurrency intellectual and business space.
The futurists are trying to make sense of this process, just like market analysts who are charting the future course of the price of these unique and digitally stamped works of art. The future of the process will include a new way of thinking about digital assets and digital art, as well as who and how has the ownership of these entities. But, it is also charting the course of the crypto markets as a whole, as well as the potential of blockchain technology to permanently penetrate the domains of everyday life and the global culture in general.
No matter how one chooses to look at the process behind the NFTs and their upcoming potential trajectory, the thoughts quickly turn to the notions of futurism. After all, the idea is very much in line with the concepts of things like esports, social media, and many other advanced fields that include the evolution of social and technological processes in a state of near-unison. Blockchain and these unique tokens that can be produced inside of these networks seem just like an additional layer to this already rich segmentation of digital phenomena.
But, despite their advanced and novel technological facade, the same elements are behind the non-fungible tokes as they were in the marketplace of art for hundreds, if not thousands of years. With that in mind, it is important to take a step back before taking a big leap forward in terms of understanding NFTs and plotting out the potential courses they can take in the months and years to come.
Iconography and Art
It is impossible to disconnect concepts of arts as a broader field of human endeavor and the ideas of iconography as a social occurrence in almost all cultures throughout history. In this regard, symbols of Nike’s swoosh logo and that of the cross of many Christian nominations inhabit a similar space. From the dawn of time and human civilization, these icons of meaning were something that people developed in many ways before writing itself. These can be visible everywhere, from the caves of the neolithic man to the street graffiti of ancient Rome, almost in equal measure as some other iconographic symbols are present on marble floors that came with a huge price back in the day.
So, there is a deep-seated thread that connects community, art, and iconography (in this case some basic distillation of visual concepts of the previously mentioned factors). With digital assets, the same thread is once again visible, but now in an ecosystem that traverses the restrictions of old setups. Instead, it provides a great degree of opportunity for the economic disruption that many of the previous systems had. That applies even to the systems that are themselves inside of the digital currency domain, like the initial coin offerings or ICOs of the previous huge bull run in the crypto markets.
Emergent Tech Potential
NFTs, in many ways, have everything that initial coin offerings had. But, they also come with a range of other abilities and characteristics that transcend those from the ICOs and their boom of 2016 and 2017. Furthermore, things like decentralized autonomous organizations, better known as DAOs, as well as the much more famous DeFi or decentralized finance apps are also playing a big part in the same emerging ecosystem.
All of these are amplifying the potential of NFTs to work better as tech entities, but also to be more effective at carving out their place inside of the crypto market. The same improvised alliances will continue to come about just as blockchain 2.0 in the form of ETH token abilities and the upcoming blockchain 3.0 come into play. Inside of that evolution, the NFTs will be able to capitalize on the upgrades, but also be sheltered from market fluctuations inside of the digital currency arena. So, these advantages cut only towards one side and it favors non-fungible token systems for sure.
Future of NFTs
While the phenomena of NFTs are more than real, both in terms of their technology and their social significance, that should not imply that their prices are grounded in sustainable processes. Instead, they are also a part of the wider crypto volatility sphere, where individual prices will rise and fall sharply. The same will see a particular artwork cost several BTC tokens at some point but then fall to next to nothing. People will lose huge amounts of money in a blink of an eye and the mass media will blame it on the NFT market.
The public will work through that sentiment in a way the public usually does, trying to define in cookie-cutter terms something that encompasses much more complex things. The regulatory domain in all of this is even more intertwined with different aspects of existing crypto markets, which themselves are nowhere near regulated. NFT ventures bring just further complications and intrinsic unique elements to all of that. So, the NFT craze will get bigger and bigger, until it contracts sharply. However, it will stay here, like cryptocurrencies, and its transformative potential will remain more or less publicly visible, but still enormous.