Building in the Cold: Cultivating Utility in a Crypto Winter

September 15, 2022



If you’re a crypto enthusiast, then the current community advises you to move your crypto into stable coins and ride out the winter. Buying the dip on ETH and BTC is encouraged only when safe to do so, but what does the other side, the side of building in this space, look like?

All these signify a leap in the evolution of the internet has arrived, and now that the cryptoscape is experiencing a bear cycle; it is quite understandable that fear, uncertainty, and doubt about its future are top of mind.

The internet as a flop? 

It would be difficult to believe the internet was never going to become what it is today. Some can recall when major publications mocked the internet with titles like “Why cyberspace isn't, and will never be, nirvana.” (what a throwback!)

Of course, there are many examples today that more than defied these sentiments that began during the dot-com crash and despite their significant downsizing, survived and with many record-breaking market caps. History tends to rhyme, just like the dot-com bubble, the hype had heightened the spectacle of many internet businesses that went to zero, so the assumption the public made is that the internet was a non-starter. 

Now that the crypto market is down, headlines are insinuating that NFTs, and all which surround them, will go just as fast. However, underlying the finger-wagging, activity in the blockchain (the technology that powers NFTs) infrastructure space is rapidly growing and creating new age of incredible innovation.   

Hodl steady and Buidl 

NFTs gained recent popularity in the digital art collectibles sector, however, during the crypto downturn; the public hype that came with it now seems to have died down. This has become a dog-whistle for builders in the Web3 (blockchain-powered) product sector who truly understand the opportunity we have been presented with.

Developers, programmers, coders, non-tech founders, and anyone willing to learn about this emerging technology are in a unique moment to take advantage of this paradigm shift of the internet’s workings, to become the pioneers that set-in motion the next evolution in technology. 

If you understand the capabilities that NFTs have beyond their current, widely known use cases, there are a multitude of utilities beyond collectible digital art. This is a significant time to be curious and experiment with these possibilities.

[Read Same World, Better Products: “Phygital Assets” and the NFT Revolution]

An illustration of web3 products

NFTs as Utility

Before unpacking the possibilities of where NFTs could go, or how it could change the way we interact digitally and within the real world, let’s discuss utility. Although NFTs first gained popularity in the digital art industry, the vast use-cases it can offer go far beyond that. The term “utility” has quickly become important for NFT projects as their communities are asking the other forms of value that their investments could give them; there is an urgency to enable more meta-brand touchpoints.

NFT’s operate within the blockchain and because of this immutable ledger, it allows NFT’s to be virtually impossible to be tampered with without immediate recognition. With this foundation, the vast scope of use-cases allows for people to incorporate this form of security in their everyday physical products. 

In case you’re not familiar with what the utility of an NFT is, think of them as a greatest truth mechanism to ever exist….imagine all notaries near you were secure computers instead of humans, you can see how it makes for a system that is free of inherent human corruption.

This allows for possibilities to securely verify and authenticate almost anything for a lot of what we do in the physical world.

[Read: Harnessing The Greatest Truth Mechanism]

Ok now is an important moment to clear up a few NFT misconceptions:

NFTs are not just for crypto enthusiasts.

NFTs are not just digital collectibles.

NFTs are not just for speculative trading.

NFTs are not just for blockchain gaming.

We believe NFTs, with our encrypted SmartSeal NFC Smart Tag, are currently the best way to connect the physical world to the digital. NFT’s will forever change how the internet is operated from this time forward, by introducing proof of ownership, authentication and possession. The overarching theme is to enable complete ownership of data; further strengthening one’s personal digital rights and the ability to monetize it. 

Blockchain technology makes it possible for users to carry their data everywhere with them in a most secure/trustless system. This greatly differs from the current and endemic Web 2.0 structure where big tech companies place all that data behind a walled garden, then monetize it all, at times without consent. This has big implications for what the market will want once it understands how Web3 empowers every internet user to be a true stakeholder in its growth.

NFTs as digital deeds

Just like any legal document that is needed to verify and authenticate anything from an asset to a contractual agreement, soon enough digital deeds will be preferable to physical ones as they will live on an immutable blockchain. Here are a few examples that have immediate global implications:

  • Real Estate - Property deeds will no longer need to be a physical document that requires a third-party to notarize it and then later authenticated by the town hall. With a digital deed, it can be connected to the physical property where its linked to the blockchain to easily verify the property’s owner.
  • Capital Markets - An embedded, NFT-enabled tag on an asset ensures that anyone can verify if that particular asset is being used as collateral for a loan. This can be part of a smart contract and it solves the issue of knowing if an asset is cross-collateralized.
  • Insurance Technology - The ability to carry all of your records, from medical to auto, in an NFT-enabled card (or any other physical product) to avoid the lengthy process of onboarding or retrieving past records from previous insurers. 
  • Equipment Maintenance - Electricians, contractors, and other maintenance workers will no longer need to rely on records (or lack thereof) from previous workers, instead they can verify the latest information from the NFT-enabled tag attached to it.

It goes without saying, the potential impact of this concept on our current supply chain infrastructure is simply breathtaking.

Phygial assets - physical assets with a digital signature

NFTs embedded in physical items

Physical items, from collectibles to high-value assets, like luxury items, that benefit from having its authentication embedded within can now do the following:  

  • Eliminate the time, energy and monetary cost associated with third-party authenticators 
  • Easily and securely transfer ownership rights
  • Easy accessibility to verify the origin and related metadata across the value chain, from the manufacturing floor to a happy end customer 

Here our unique NFC (Near Field Communication) hardware allows for this new type of NFT-enabled, product utility to now exist. The embedded dynamic authentication feature in our Smart Tags allows an NFT to be linked to the physical product using a special NFC architecture.

If you have ever used Google or Apple Pay at a kiosk, that same tap motion is all you need to do with your phone (no app needed!) and it authenticates with your mobile browser. Utilitarian NFTs will increasingly transform how people interact with the real world. According to this Decrypt article, from ticketed events in real life, Like Veecon access, to repackaging how discounts could work in the future. The article highlights what the future can look like when mass adoption takes place, with an in depth look at the non-standard ways NFTs could be used.

[Read The Evolution Of The Blockchain-Powered Marketplace]

The next phase of building

Some think the cold means that it is all bleak, but on closer inspection, there is a growing community of tinkerers that are building next generation of encrypted global interconnectivity.

Creating compelling NFT use cases and blockchain-powered decentralized applications, otherwise known dAPPS, require thought leadership. So be curious, engage, explore the what is now possible.

Notature is a SmartSeal Product. To enable your physical products, contact us here.

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