Super Crypto Conference (SCC) is a full-day virtual conference for the latest insights and necessary conversations about blockchain and cryptocurrency in Asia, in particular Southeast Asia, and priming the next blockchain boom in the region.
Following the success of SCC, SCC SERIES is a series of virtual events focusing on the hottest topics in the blockchain industry.
With over US$2 billion worth of NFTs transacted in the first quarter of 2021 alone and the largest transacted amount for a living artist of US$69.3 million for Beeple’s First 500 Days, NFTs are too big to ignore.
Non-fungible tokens or NFTs are rising in popularity as more people discover their importance. These tokens come with unique metadata and identification codes, making it easier to distinguish individual tokens. Unlike digital currencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, you cannot trade or exchange NFTs. They are cryptographic assets representing the value of physical items, such as artwork and real estate, on a blockchain platform.
The excitement around NFTs feeds a similar narrative to other recent price surges such as GameStop and dogecoin, in that these are speculative bubbles brought about by stimulus cheques in the US, lockdown boredom, and low-interest rates.
Look no further than celebrities like music star Grimes and YouTuber Logan Paul releasing their own flagship NFTs to ride the wave. Even Vignesh Sundaresan, the entrepreneur who bought Beeple’s record-breaking artwork, sees investing in NFTs as a “huge risk” and “even crazier than investing in crypto”.
However, NFTs create opportunities for new business models that didn’t exist before. Artists can attach stipulations to an NFT that ensures they get some of the proceeds every time it gets resold, meaning they benefit if their work increases in value. Admittedly football teams have been using similar contractual clauses when selling on players for a while, but NFTs remove the need to track an asset’s progress and enforce such entitlements on each sale.
The potential of NFTs goes much further because they completely change the rules of ownership. Transactions in which ownership of something changes hands have usually depended on layers of middlemen to establish trust in the transaction, exchange contracts, and ensure that money changes hands.
None of this will be necessary for the future. Transactions recorded on blockchains are reliable because the information cannot be changed. Smart contracts can be used in place of lawyers and escrow accounts to automatically ensure that money and assets change hands and both parties honor their agreements. NFTs convert assets into tokens so that they can move around within this system.
This has the potential to completely transform markets like property and vehicles, for instance. NFTs could also be part of the solution in resolving issues with land ownership. Only 30% of the global population has legally registered rights to their land and property. Those without clearly defined rights find it much harder to access finance and credit. Also, if more of our lives are spent in virtual worlds in the future, the things that we buy there will probably be bought and sold as NFTs too.
In this episode of the SCC Series, find out how industry professionals see where the NFT sector is headed and learn about the opportunities from investing and engaging with NFTs as an important subsector of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.