What I’ve Learned of NFTs and Web 3.0

Recently, a friend read about a new concept called NFTs and came up with a brilliant idea.  I was tasked to create the NFTs.  But I had no clue what an NFT even was. So, I began doing some research.

Apparently, there is a new set of ideas coming forward with the new Web 3.0.  Three of the dominant ideas are NFTs (which stand for “non-fungible token”), social currencies, and decentralized organizations.  Nonfungible tokens are one-of-a-kind (artistic) designs that you can trade on a marketplace, called an NFT platform.

I haven’t had a chance to wrap my head around decentralized businesses nor the underlying reason behind them.  So, I’m going to skip discussing decentralized organizations in the context of this article.

But I have read a little bit about social currencies. Some circles say social currencies are a covert way for government to eventually assume a level of control over its citizens actions.  In China, for instance, according to Business Insider, a system of social credit is underway where “people can be punished if they drive badly, buy too many video games, or steal.”

Businesses are more focused on social currencies as a way to reward customers for participation in the organizations’ online communities, such as Discord.  These social currencies can then be used by the customer to receive discounts on products and services or gain other benefits, such as swag or anything else the business might like to offer in exchange for the desired social action.  I also read that this transition to social currency is still in its infancy, so early adopters are still carving out what counts as a desired social action and subsequent reward—in other words, what can be done within the social currency model.

As for NFTs, nonfungible tokens, they are a form of cryptocurrency, where you can perform tasks such as generate 10,000 variations of a single design very quickly and sell every one of them on one of the NFT platforms.  The NFT platform I wish to sell on simply has people purchase the designs from you they want and, from there, the buyers can resell them at any price.  It’s like a trading environment or a barter economy, but all online and with cryptocurrency.  To convert the cryptocurrency to cash, you go to a crypto exchange.  Crypto exchanges are kind of like foreign currency exchange services where they convert your Canadian dollars to US depending on the relative market value of the Canadian dollar to the US dollar.

So, to get started, all you need are basic design skills in, say, Canva; a tiny bit of coding ability; and a good course on NFT’s purchased from Udemy for around $17.00. For the artistic designs, you need to have enough combinations to account for 10,000 NFTs.  If that doesn’t make sense, then perhaps think of it has four sets of ten similar items that you need to generate.  In other words, you can have one set (one layer) as ten different color backgrounds; another set (another layer) as ten different hats on the person; still another set (yet another layer) as ten different sunglasses on the person, and so forth until you get to four sets (four layers).  That way, you can use a nifty little piece of code to instantly generate ten combinations of four layers to create 10,000 similar designs (10 to the exponent 4), each unique.

And then you go and sell them.  And, if I’m correct, for each sale subsequent sellers make with your NFT, you automatically take a cut.  What’s not to like?

But there are a lot of different NFT platforms out there.  Some are as crazy as a virtual world, where you buy and own property on it.

Personally, I’d like to know why this transition is being made to Web 3.0 and who is behind it.  Only then, I believe, can I truly understand why these changes are being implemented.