August 17, 2022
Despite the recent downturn, NFTs are still red-hot with big brands. Just recently, Starbucks announced plans to introduce NFTs as a part of its loyalty program; brands like Gucci and Tiffany are going in on NFTs to engage with customers.
In fact, many businesses are utilizing NFTs in one of two ways: as perks for their customers or as tickets. The former is obvious, as digital art has ruled the space and is being sold or given out by various brands to customers as something fun and novel to own and share. The latter is closer to the promise of NFTs by adding a business purpose to the tokens, allowing for a more accurate and convenient form of an entry pass. But Web 3.0 is destined for much more.
You may have read that Web 3.0 is about decentralization, ownership or accountability. That’s all true, but the TL;DR is that Web 3.0 is also about relationships — between people (P2P), between businesses and people (B2C) and between the businesses themselves (B2B). It’s to facilitate relationships because, ultimately, that’s how people live and businesses work.
The P2P side, no business or organization necessarily has to weigh in on. The community will figure that part out, as they always do, and it will be something unexpected and unpredictable.
The B2C and B2B relationships are, however, ripe for impact with the right vision and technology. The hard part is that no two business are alike. They all have different needs and goals in their relationships. Starbucks’ interaction with its loyalty program members will look very different than how IBM interacts with Salesforce. Yet Web 3.0 has to provide the railways that service all of these relationships.
An example of a B2C change is in removing the middleman when it comes to brand interaction. Such middlemen have been lambasted as an expensive friction for both the artists and fans. Social media sites like Facebook are also middlemen, as gatekeepers of how brands find and communicate with their base. Web 3.0 can eliminate these intermediary entities and connect brands/artists to their followers directly. That’s already beginning to happen around specific NFT communities.
Likewise, B2B can be transformed by Web 3.0 in providing “trustless” relationships. Trustless means the business relationship doesn’t have to be supported or attested to by a 3rd-party intermediary. In essence, a business no longer has to be concerned about working with a new vendor; the smart contracts eliminate the need to verify with the Better Business Bureau because the transaction won’t execute without certain criteria being met. Suddenly, with Web 3.0, business gets much faster because the relationships are facilitated by a trustless blockchain.
Of course, today’s NFTs can’t fully help businesses just yet. First of all, brands won’t invest into changing their business relationships unless it can scale. And most NFTs can’t handle the amount of transactions or data needed to meet business needs.
Second, it needs to be simple. Today’s NFTs may be fine for startups to use in these robust ways, but for large corporations, Web 3.0 solutions have to work without barriers and added complexity. These organizations don’t need to know what a private key is; they just need functional solutions.
Third, it has to be stable. Because today’s NFTs only point to where the data lives off-chain, the NFT is rendered useless if a server goes down. The data itself has to be stored on the blockchain where it remains much more stable and accessible no matter if there is a server outage or even if the brand itself dissolves.
All this calls for a better, enterprise-ready NFT standard that can provide the features big brands need to deploy Web 3.0 strategies en masse. Here at ORIGYN, we’ve been leading the charge on that front, leveraging the near-infinite scalability and speed of the Internet Computer to create the next generation of NFTs.