The Promise of NFTs

July 19, 2022

It seems many in the NFT space are going through some…growing pains. Makes sense since NFTs have basically been on a rocket ship straight to the moon for a few years now (we’re looking at you, Beeple). Now it seems we’re coming back down to Earth. Along with the rest of the market, NFTs have seen a precipitous drop in prices alongside a groundswell of questions about their utility.

In truth, crypto winters are never very fun, but they are often great times to get real work done. After all, Ethereum was invented during the winter of ’13 -‘15. It gives all of us a chance to build something new, something cool, something truly useful.

Promising Projects

While digital art is a great proof-of-concept and has done wonders to bring attention to the space, the promise of NFTs and blockchain technology has a much broader reach. We’re already seeing this across the industry, and we’ve been inspired by our peers who are helping to advance the utility of the NFT sector as a whole.

Companies in the healthcare space are trying to upend decades of paper files and incompatible computer programs with an NFT solution, as well as setting up spaces in the metaverse to explore providing virtual care to remote patients. Telemedicine has been on the rise even before the pandemic, and leveraging nonfungible medical records is a revolutionary solution that can save lives (medical errors account for over 250,000 deaths annually just in the US).

NFTs are being explored to replace clunky validation methods, as they are the perfect digital credential to verify not just one’s identity online but also to attribute educational credentials (ie., degrees, diplomas), resumes, ticketing, basically anything one would need to prove who they are and what they have.

Music, which is always forward-looking, has a slew of artists and companies looking to leverage NFT technology. This includes raising the experiential level for the consumer (e.g., a music NFT that contains digital liner notes, pictures, music videos and more). Other explorations look to provide more avenues of revenue for the artists by allowing them to retain ownership of their work and also make royalties every time that unique NFT is resold/redistributed.

What’s Next for NFTs

Yet what all these projects have in common are running into limitations of speed, storage and cost due to the current de facto standard of NFTs being based on Ethereum. TechTimes reports that storing just 500Kb on the Ethereum blockchain would cost $20,000! With costs like that, NFTs won’t solve anything except to digitize family photos for Elon Musk. And, at 500Kb, those photos of X Æ A-12 are going to be really low resolution.

Up that storage to a gigabyte? That’s going to run you over a million bucks, according to Max Ogles, co-founder of Toniq. But on Internet Computer, that gig would cost about $6.

That’s a not-so-small part of why ORIGYN is building our NFTs on the IC. If we want to cater to the world, the tech has to be fast and robust, but ultimately affordable as well.

We think the promise of NFTs can only be realized by moving into this direction, where the cost is low enough to truly be democratic and decentralized. And NFTs built on IC have to be large enough to store worthwhile amounts of data, not just 500Kb. In fact, NFTs need many other properties so that they are flexible enough to service all these different industries with varying visions.

You know, it’s almost like there has to be a new NFT standard. Hmm…