Written by: Boba Epicure
"Young man, in mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them". -John von Neumann
Ah, another afterthought.
You're in the shower after a long night and you remember how you explained mfers to your friends. You remember the occasional flash of worry on their faces as they nod over and over at your whimsical assertions. You remember shaking your head nervously when your (ex) boyfriend and girlfriend confronted you the morning after EDC about why you spent your rent money on pictures of monkeys.
Then, all of a sudden, you get it. The light bulb flashes in your head and you think: Omg, I wish I was talking about this! You will find that you are like this. If this feels familiar, this guide is for you. Here are the things I wish I could remember as I explain why I proudly own NFTs.
"Yeah, brother, these goblins are deliberately ugly."
Note: This is a practical guide, not a technical in-depth study. For more data-driven NFT how-tos, check out this one below.
Your friend's only impression of NFTs is "the monkey picture Musk tweeted about". He hits you with "NFTs feel like a giant bubble" when you try to explain the efforts of different NFT series in building a global brand (making anime, throwing parties, giving out small gifts, etc.).
NFTs are not necessarily pictures of monkeys.
In reality, they could be your car keys, your passport, or your Casablanca membership card.
●On the web, they can be your Facebook profile photo (couldn't be just me?), your LinkedIn credentials, your avatar in a 3D party space, your favorite song, or your in-game RPG character, Can be used in different games.
Yes, it does feel like a bubble. There is definitely a lot of speculation that if the macro situation is not good, the price will collapse even more.
But, behind the noise, NFTs are just code running on the blockchain with specific properties that allow them to interact with other code; of course, they are meaningless. Any meaning or value they have comes from a consensus-based community or society: that's why your Gucci hoodie costs less to make than your Uniqlo, but sells for 10 times more. From the other side of the coin, as more niche communities discover the benefits of NFTs for community building, NFTs will also drive the next round of large-scale adoption of cryptocurrencies. Ultimately, Web3 and NFTs unleashed the era of creative sovereignty. Pandora's box has been opened - there is no way to seal it again.
NFTs will continue to evolve with social platforms (even web3-native platforms like Gallery.so or Lens Protocol), so naturally more people will discover them. Tell people that once Instagram and TikTok integrate NFTs, you can "show" your NFTs to billions of people around the world. And now, you can take ownership of your social media connections on the web, forming a fully composable, decentralized social graph derived from your Web3 persona-centric PFP avatar NFT. Beat Meta by "Read, Write and Own".
Even if they don't seem like the type to show off, it's easy to stress that they can find like-minded community members/people who share their beliefs through NFTs. Tell them you can get a good idea of a person's personality based on just their PFP (if they make goblin sounds, that's a deadly cue). Do this quiz on Buzzfeed -- seriously, I'll pay you.
Your friend highlights the fact that NFTs are not useful in the real world -- "They can't take you on a date!" he said.
First, tell them they're not wrong. "Otherwise how am I single?"
Jokes aside, you can say: "NFTs are just a new medium for an old tradition: storytelling.
Remember Harari's Homo sapiens? Remember how he thought "Homo sapiens is a storyteller, thinks in stories rather than numbers or diagrams, and believes that the universe itself is like a story, full of heroes and villains, conflicts and resolutions, climaxes and happy endings .As we search for meaning in life, we want a story that explains how reality is and what is my special role in cosmic dramas. This role makes me part of something bigger than myself and empowers All my experiences and choices have meaning."
We all long to belong, to be part of something bigger than us. You can never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising to have unlimited bananas in monkey paradise after the monkey dies. This is a strictly human trait.
Human society operates in storytelling. With our new technology, you can truly become a character in your favorite multimedia franchise. You can even influence how the story unfolds through community management. In my opinion, NFTs don't need to be some kind of metadata in VR like Ready Player One, although it's likely to be a very important part of your future online avatar or identity. NFTs are also about augmenting real-life experiences, solving existing problems with new technological implementations.
More specifically, you can stress that "as we speak, new social experiences are brewing that are only possible through the web3 technology stack. Projects like Azuki are building community-owned lifestyle brands that focus on Yu grow their IP through parties, merchandise, stickers, skateboards, art, mini figurines, and even an anime series. A recent project called Goblintown brought 200 people together to scream like goblins for two Hours. Another project called Anata promises to make you a virtual idol in Zoom meetings."
The tried and true fatal blow: right-click to save
"Of course, save my NFT and use it however you want!"
Embrace it and don't be too defensive. Many still consider this the biggest criticism, but they understand when you explain the power of digital ownership to them. This is usually where the change begins.
You can say: "While it's true that you can take away your old professor's royalties by going to libgen.rs and pirating his linear algebra textbook, every time you right-click to save my NFT, you're actually increasing its memory value. Can you right click and save the Mona Lisa or Guernica?"
The answer is obviously not literal, but you can save its masterpiece, which only adds to its value. Van Gogh's Starry Night is not just a representation of the night sky. He flattened the pictorial space and layered thick layers of paint in a technique known as dip painting, which gave his masterpieces an almost sculptural presence. This stronger physicality enables the work to assert its status as a sublime object, a Kantian ontology. NFTs are just that. Orangutans are not some sort of digital proxy for primates, they represent a new hominin, a new mode of digital ownership and existence: they are you.
Furthermore, as the cultural significance of the man behind the painting increases (Van Gogh is almost the ancestor of the artist as a special case of painful genius), the idea of owning a classic becomes all the more enticing. If Van Gogh made his work into an NFT, his family could enjoy a steady stream of secondary sales income from the work, because after his death, the work's fame rose sharply, and it was very popular throughout Europe. famous. By owning NFTs, collectors enjoy the benefits of owning artwork, with the added benefit that their collections can be distributed freely around the world without restrictions, thereby accruing more value due to wider dissemination .
Now you realize that the metaverse is just more and more impressionism in the digital world. Just like Van Gogh laid it on top of our reality. When you buy a Birkin bag, not for the supple leather, but for the likes you get from Instagram, and the new Hermès customer group chat you can join, you're diving deep into the realm of the metaverse. Can your friend right click save this package? What about a Rolex watch, my special-edition Charizard Pokemon card, or my Coachella tickets?
The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh
Your friend grudgingly admits that he can't completely right-click to save your NFTs, but completely ignores that, insisting that he can go straight to making another series of NFTs, called Fatigued Orangutan Jetski Club, with similar properties.
You can say: "The difference between Web3 and Web2 is its open ownership. The code for any project is completely open source. So if you want to use something I've built, or even my ideas, you can do it in five minutes. Come up with your own version. The problem is, unless there is some kind of innovation, no one is going to use it. Likewise, web3 encourages innovation because traditional barriers to entry do not exist in this space."
Sometimes art itself is so innovative that it will be impossible to replicate. Show your friends this masterpiece of dynamically generated art by Zancan on fxhash.
Garden, boulder #232 – fxhash
Your friend now understands the value of digital ownership, but he doesn't appreciate how innovative NFTs are.
You could say: "When the digital universe was born, people had access to all human knowledge on their mobile phones. As a side effect, the cost of information depreciated dramatically due to the invention of copy and paste. Blockchain reintroduces this scarcity. NFT is the best of both worlds because it is essentially a digital token that represents ownership. My token is viewable by everyone in the world, but the provenance of my ownership is recorded on-chain. They can Save jpeg files that visually represent my NFTs, but they can't copy my tokens unless they break the Ethereum network. My tokens are unforgeable, digitally secure, easily transferable, and perhaps more importantly , composable. I can have other people build on it, or create a virtual world that communicates with it."
Now that they're involved, let's talk about some cool experiments. I usually say. "There's an item called Loot, which is really just a list of adventure gear from some '00s MMORPGs like WoW. It's really just white text on a black background. However, by creating this base NFT for the entire fantasy world, any Anyone can build anything using these NFTs; it's like Tolkien provided the conceptual framework for Lord of the Rings and then told the community to take it where it wanted to go. I believe that one day NFTs will guarantee us Registration of ownership of everything that is cherished, which has a huge impact on artists, creators and everyday users like you and me. The creative core is already here."
You can stress that NFTs can capture the monetary value of memes due to their accessibility and composability. They can create a value pool of meme. Capturing the value of a meme in a brand-conscious way will expand its adoption and disrupt traditional media: you can make a meme with your NFT, share it on Twitter, and build followers (and gain attention). UGC will power the web3 economy, and whoever catches the memes of production becomes the king of the metaverse. If you build a meme on my NFT - a cultural aRTiFaKT, the value will accrue to my NFT if you will. If I write an article explaining how to explain NFTs to people, my NFTs will have value.
Dancing Pallbearers NFT is priced at 327 ETH at the foundation
Your friend went to a guest lecture on NFTs, and some hipsters thought they were like high-end art. They assert that since "the art market is 60 billion and NFTs are around 30 billion, they have peaked".
We can already see that the end game of many NFT projects goes well beyond collectible artwork like Fidenzas or Chromie Squiggles. My two favorite projects are Otherside/Yuga ecosystem which is Fortnite+Roblox+proprietary p2e economy, and Azuki which is Sanrio+Supreme+popmart+animation studio and is decentralized. GenZ quickly figured this out.
I can wear the Cryptopunks necklace I bought at Tiffany's, put on my custom Moonbird hat, and go to the gym with my Azuki skateboard. I can go to my local Doodles workspace for a meeting while drinking my Coffeedoodles (I get a percentage of all sales thanks to my Doodles NFT). At night, I wear my Byredo X RTFKT fragrance and use my CloneX as my membership card to enjoy a fancy nightclub. All these NFTs are part of me. Fashion, luxury goods, video games, etc. are all industries that NFTs will penetrate.
Their art history professors were kindly reminded that Dada, Impressionism, and Abstract Expressionism all started as opposition movements, rejected from their salons by the high-flying art nerds.
Seriously, some art critics think Impressionism is a joke.
If your friend is actually your mom.
As an addition to the above point, if your audience is your parents/grandparents, try comparing NFTs to digital designer handbags or boxes of Moutai. If this worked for my grandpa, it will work for your grandpa.
"The logic is simple: you understand how people have elastic needs, right? Compared to NFTs, Lamborghini's potential elasticities are actually limited. NFTs can instantly view anyone in the world from anywhere in the world. You can 24/7 Buy and sell them. They're even potential stores of value - you can think of them as buying ether on steroids. Buying NFTs ultimately means you'll be able to find and join a fun community of like-minded people who also value the novelty technology, and share the narrative you weave together.”
Young man/woman, if you talk to your mom like this, you have to explain it.
Your friend praised your storytelling skills, but pointed out that no NFT project has really come close to accomplishing what you describe.
You can say, "You're right, but if what I'm saying is already true, we're not early players and have a fighting chance. Even so, there are a lot of people building every day, and the rate of innovation in this space is Unparalleled. One day, NFTs will be so ubiquitous that it’s hard to notice that they are NFTs themselves. If NFTs drive the next adoption of cryptocurrencies, as I believe, that day won’t be too far away.”
If under your persuasion, your friend still thinks NFTs are speculative investments.
You can say, "Sure. But what I would say to every friend is that there is always something substantive under the bubble that will accelerate adoption. Without these dizzying prices, our monkey brains would never Will head into the fire. Without the rail bubble, the rails wouldn’t be laid; without the gold rush, we wouldn’t have California. Just remember that Bitcoin has been declared dead over 400 times.”
Tell him it's okay to stick with his dollars and keep an eye on cool projects. The top 100 items by OpenSea 24-hour trading volume change every day.
There is no moral to this story. I'll be the first to admit that to my friends (and me a few years ago) this may sound like a convoluted internet rabbit hole, the stuff of Carroll's fantasies. However, as Kierkegaard puts it, "life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced". Sometimes, it takes a little faith, a little pause in the teleology of logic. Then he will have confidence.
Your friend needs one last push. rush!
Know your enemy. If they trade Pokémon cards, start with Pokémon cards. The same goes for any trade collectibles.
If they like art, you say NFTs allow artists to fairly monetize their creations, collectors can own the art they like (capped supply, store of value, strong consensus around a particular artist, allow collectibles, in creation Collector communities are formed in the collector economy). It is said that Hearst and Murakami are in NFT, and there are many people watching closely.
If they like basketball, say Curry has a monkey, the NBA has an official NFT collection that tracks the performance of its players.
If they like the game, tell them that you can have immutable game items and, thanks to its open cryptocurrency economy, take money out of the game ecosystem (tell them imagine WoW or Clash Royale, except that you can put the game in gold coins into US dollars).
If they are native to cryptocurrencies but are skeptical of NFTs, explain to them that scarcity and pulls apply to NFTs as well, and that social utility is as much a real application as financial utility (perhaps the most important type of utility) , as they relate to human nature).
NFTs are revolutionary because they provide direct liquidity to social capital, allowing them to freely exchange financial capital at the click of a button. If you think NFTs aren't as cool as your DeFi liquidity protocol, dig into it -- your funds are with the master anyway.
I hope this quick guide is helpful to those who have been trying to explain NFTs to friends from a more top-down theoretical perspective. I hope these scenarios are at least somewhat realistic and they can have practical uses. If you do it right and sincerely, acknowledging that many NFT projects are speculation-fueled hype and smashing, you can get people to open up about this new digital primitive. In the end, few can resist the prospect of a massive storytelling enabled by a technology.