NFTs and Digital Ownership: A new digital good, and we’re making billions of ‘em
If you’ve been perusing Twitter in the past few months and are wondering why many users are rocking avatars that look straight out of a…
If you’ve been perusing Twitter in the past few months and are wondering why many users are rocking avatars that look straight out of a Super Nintendo game, the short answer is: NFTs.
NFT stands for “non-fungible token,” although that likely doesn’t help clear things up.
Here’s an NFT explainer from TIKI’s own Barry O’Connor and Shane Faria:
NFTs are digital assets that represent real-world objects. They enable people to own digital property, be it artwork of a cat with an eyepatch or the original “Charlie Bit My Finger” video. They’ve been around since 2014, but have increased in popularity lately, hence why we’re all seeing “NFT” all over the place.
The hype is simple collector exclusivity ethos — the same driving factor behind popular YouTube videos of card collectors rummaging through twenty-plus-year-old packs of Pokemon cards in hopes of netting something rare, like a 1st Edition holographic Charizard. If only I’d kept my packs pristine and unopened back in 1999 instead of trying to pull a 1st Edition holographic Charizard.
Now, collection has gone digital. Personally, I can see the appeal. As VR gets more mainstream, popping into a digital museum full of exclusive NFTs seems like a creative way to make sure your licensing and exclusive ownership has legs. Owning “Charlie Bit My Finger” means you can create supplementary content based on the license, and so on. But is NFT solely a means of collecting and showcasing exclusive digital content? We think not.
First, let’s get a basic understanding of NFT. Allow me to break the collective hearts of my high school teachers by citing Wikipedia, which describes an NFT (non-fungible token) as “unit(s) of data stored on a digital ledger, called a blockchain, which can be sold and traded.”
Units of data, you say? You mean licensing pieces of data creating ownership and the ability to sell and trade said data all documented on a blockchain. Pieces of data? You mean like your email data? Or your YouTube watch history? Or your Netflix preferences?
Are you picking up what I’m putting down?
One of the rights of ownership of anything, data included, is the right to earn income. TIKI is a user data ownership platform. A core feature is our data marketplace that gives users the ability to license their data in exchange for monetary compensation. To open a marketplace of any kind, there needs to be “goods” that are owned by a certain entity (you) which in turn can be sold (to businesses).
This is where NFTs are a natural fit. As it stands, outside of just declaring it, there is no real way to assign ownership to data. TIKI is changing that by turning your data points into NFTs — and there will be billions of them.
With these NFTs, you’re able to license your data and earn real money.
Because you’re simply selling access, while you retain ownership of the master. You can license your data and then stop the license, license it for a set amount of time, or license for a one-time use. This isn’t a new concept at all. I used to do a lot of work in the music industry while I was in college. A big chunk of that job was licensing music. We’d reach out to artists, or they’d reach out to us, and we’d license their music in commercials, movies, or ad spots. Some of those licenses were one-time use with a flat payment. Some were yearly deals. Some were longer with royalties paid out over time. Same concept, different application. And there’s plenty of other examples out there from photographs to automobiles to software.
Makes sense, so why hasn’t it been done before? Traditionally the cost of minting (the process of creating a new NFT) has been significant, often crossing $100 on Ethereum’s blockchain. This is driven by the high energy cost of a blockchain’s proof-of-work (or even proof-of-stake) consensus protocol. This is fine if you’re selling artwork for thousands of dollars, but unsustainable if you’re selling billions of data points,each at a fraction of a penny.
A business might buy an insight from TIKI’s Knowledge Graph composed of millions of anonymous user data points for $100 or even $10. Each NFT can’t cost $100. They must be fractions of a penny. So we developed a new approach.
I know for a lot of you these words may just be tech-jargon, but we’re rolling out what’s called a permissionless hybrid blockchain.
In effect, it works by leveraging the strength of TIKI’s huge network of users. 100k nodes is giant for a blockchain (for perspective, Ethereum runs on less than 10k). What this means is each TIKI user will generate their own data NFTs right on their phone and, with a mechanism a bit like Git, we automatically backup/synchronize them for you. That way if you lose your phone, your NFTs aren’t gone.
Don’t worry, this won’t use up all your phone’s battery or memory, either! The distributed minting removes the need for complex consensus protocols and peer-to-peer networks. Instead, with a simple efficient first-come, first-served consensus protocol we can mint billions of NFTs a day, costing next to nothing. And it’s all backed by the power of blockchain: decentralization, reliability, redundancy, security.
Now our marketplace has goods. Data, owned by you.
Time to change the game. Who’s with us?
Learn more about TIKI at mytiki.com.
Invest now at startengine.com/tiki.
++ Written by Shane Faria ++