So, in the last couple of years we've seen NFT's pop up everywhere. First it was gimmicky, hard to do, than the influencers and fake gurus discovered them and made fortunes.
Than companies stepped in. It was all the hype, using actors (even Keanu), gurus and influencers to peddle digital goods. Crazy prices. Copycats came along and did what they always do. And then they all started to sue each other.
And now we're right at the start of the crypto winter.
That however didn't stop GameStop. The company with the weirdest recent history ever launched it's NFT Marketplace. So what is happening here?
With the current turmoil in the world, all eyes are on power consumption. All forms of crypto use electricity, coming from various sources, including very troubling ones. There's also the issue of the materials used in the equipment needed to keep the blockchains running. And no one is consolidating. People keep creating more blockchains, born out of a need for discerning properties, because without that, a blockchain is just that, another blockchain.
NFT's brought a way for artists to distinguish themselves and reach a different, broader market. That is, if their art fits the possibilities, of course.
Ether is the exception as it offers a blockchain that has it's own unique properties, allowing for many different companies and developers to create tokens with a wide variety of options, making some more or less unique while all using the same underpinnings. Less complexity, more conformity.
What lies in the future?
The blockchain model as we now it cannot be sustained in the long term. It's just impossible. There have been many dreams about what blockchain could solve for mankind. From digital identities to accounting to ticket sales, and many more. In some, it is easy to see the value. But at the current cost of the power hungry machinery that is needed to create these opportunities, none have successfully proven the pros outweigh the cons.
The number of crypto projects has declined significantly over the last couple of years. After all the rug pulling, the buy the hype tokens and coins and the NFT scams, crypto cannot sustain in its current form. So in what form will it survive?
I believe crypto, including NFT and whatever new thing will come along for the blockchain ride will eventually mature. And with maturity, every token, coin or digital artefact that is simply a hype, will die off, leaving room for the blockchain to become what it is supposed to be. The technology behind blockchain is complex, yet advanced and pretty innovative. So much so, that big banks and even governments are not only regulating crypto, but creating their own, or joining existing ones. That fact alone is a simple pointer towards the crypto future.
We're not done yet. Blockchains need to evolve, ripen, become less power hungry, and easier to consolidate. Crypto projects need to become serious and carry a value to survive and prove their right to exist in the word. The development of new products that are built on top of blockchain needs to be carefully nurtured, as there is no need for a million different tokens, we need useful products that are well thought of and future proof. Not an overpriced link to an image or sequence of images showing an athlete perform an action that can be seen in video. What is the need to own something like that? By growing up, the blockchain world will find its rightful place in the word. I believe that this is already happening.
Exciting times are ahead of us. The crypto winter is a logical movement in the development of blockchains, combined with the current state of the world, no matter the reasons. After this so called winter, blockchain will rise and become what it is supposed to be. Energy efficient, useful and with a clear purpose in our world. I'm excited.