Are NFTs Dead?

On the latest episode of 100 PROOF, Kevin, Justin and Derek are joined by Zeneca, along with Amanda/akaStevey and a live audience from the PROOF community, to have a discussion about the elephant in the room…

Are NFTs dead? What will it take to bring buyers back? How is blockchain technology evolving and how are we all feeling about the future?

Here’s my main takeaways from the panel:

The Current State of NFTs

The panel makes it clear, that this is all opinion and speculation and that in three years, this discussion will either be remembered as insightful or completely wrong.

Everything moves in cycles and it’s hard to predict them or determine if this is as bad as it gets. Their confidence in the technology behind NFTs is unshaken, but it’s still unclear what will spark another round of growth beyond the current NFT user base. Most likely more media exposure or popular platforms like Instagram promoting NFTs won’t be the thing to move the needle.

They suggest that the next massive shift comes, when people see real-life applications for blockchain technology such as art, digital items in gaming or wine collecting. We need mainstream adoption where users may not even know they’re using NFTs or blockchain technology, much like how Ticketmaster and Reddit have embraced these technologies in the background. The tech needs to be abstracted away before going mainstream.

Essentially we need a moment like ChatGPT for AI, where it becomes accessible and useful to everyone without requiring specialized knowledge.

Although prices are down, the technology has never been better. There’s so much development happening which will likely lead to improvements in user experience and accessibility. Once people can easily use crypto wallets on their phones instead of dealing with seed phrases and other technical barriers, adoption will increase significantly.

What’s working vs. what isn’t working

The most successful NFTs tend to be collectibles with long-lasting appeal like CryptoPunks and Chromie Squiggles. While market speculation will continue, it’s crucial to focus on the actual value that these digital assets bring, rather than solely on their potential future worth. Embracing the idea of owning something unique and supporting artists or teams behind these creations is essential to building a sustainable community.

Utility-based applications like Ticketmaster are also emerging in this space, although they might not yet hold substantial value. The key will be finding ways to balance entertainment aspects with more practical uses for blockchain technology such as trust-minimized databases.

Blockchain technology offers numerous benefits beyond just entertainment, for example it can help save time by simplifying data exchanges between platforms like Facebook and Salesforce through wallet signatures instead of traditional API keys. However, there’s a tendency for people to focus mainly on entertaining aspects like movies or comic books due to their immediate appeal.

In terms of what has worked well in the NFT space so far:

  • Concentrated liquidity pools using Uniswap have been successful
  • Swaps enabled via email addresses before creating wallets offer convenience
  • Selling art tokens for even modest amounts can significantly impact the life of an artist

On the other hand, the speculative nature within this market isn’t working well since it detracts from technological advancements while attracting scams and negative attention.

To move forward during these uncertain times, focusing on projects pushing boundaries across various industries could prove beneficial in shaping a more balanced ecosystem where enjoyment factors co-exist alongside real-world utility applications.

What To Do in a Bear Market

It’s never been easier to access high-quality products and projects because of the price drops. There might be more reasonable entry points now for people wanting involvement in communities and ecosystems similar to traditional art prices.

Slow growth over time through collecting valuable pieces should be prioritized rather than expecting instant returns on investments (ROI). Some projects will achieve massive ROI quickly but that won’t be typical for everyone else. Instead of chasing a quick massive ROI, we should invest our time into communities which provide value beyond just financial gain. This builds personal connections which could lead you into new opportunities down the line.

Joining clubs or small communities has become popular as a means of engagement too – essentially NFTs create similar experiences where purpose matters beyond just owning an object. Projects will continue making decisions based on community values, attracting like-minded individuals while repelling others who may not find the same interests.

There are various ways for people to get involved in this rapidly evolving space even if they’re not directly part of the tech industry. By investing time and energy into communities and projects, individuals can find value beyond financial returns and create lasting connections.

Roadmaps & Business Plans in Web3

In the beginning, the main focus was to create an amazing community through art. However, as priorities shifted towards tangible roadmaps and plans, many projects lacked accountability.

As product builders, we must make tough decisions during development cycles due to rapidly changing markets. Launch without a roadmap and avoid promising unattainable goals like metaverse games or trendy concepts. Instead, focus on smaller initiatives such as courses, newsletters, podcasts or ebooks.

Keep in mind that constantly adjusting to changes can lead to spreading yourself too thin and only scratching the surface of each project. Success in this industry requires finding your niche and focusing on doing one thing exceptionally well.

By concentrating on specific aspects rather than covering every possible base allows you flexibility for exciting projects tied into our main goal, while keeping true fans engaged within your community.

Focusing solely on following a roadmap actually goes against successful models of staying lean and flexible in ever-changing market landscapes.

  • Embrace flexibility over strict adherence.
  • Clarify your goals but leave room for adaptation.
  • Listen closely to market feedback.
  • Remain humble during times of change.

All these elements will help ensure success in any venture.

Art Collecting on the Blockchain

Many of us have appreciated art but couldn’t participate in collecting since we were priced out. The impact of technology on the art world depends on which perspective we look from.

For artists, there’s never been a more neutral or democratic platform where they can share their work globally and find an audience that believes in them. This global database operates 24/7 and allows digital objects to hold value – something unheard of previously.

It’s a significant advantage for collectors as well, who can now enjoy access to various works without solely relying on museums or other traditional sources.

In this section, Derek also presents his Squiggle sweater, which is an innovative collaboration between Snowfro from Artblocks and Tribubrand. Over a period of eight months, they created an algorithm that translates Squiggles into generative sweaters based on specific properties like color schemes, segments, heights – and even different types of wool! This is an excellent example which demonstrates just how early we are in exploring this innovative technology across various industries including gaming, fashion, culture, infrastructure, finance and more.

The democratization aspect is particularly exciting because it opens doors for creators worldwide who may not have had opportunities – due to financial limitations, geographical location or lack of connections – to succeed in traditionally dominated fields such film or fine art.

Digital Ownership

How does crypto actually relate to peoples lives? When does owning digital objects start to matter?

A common challenge is understanding digital ownership. A useful analogy for explaining this concept involves email addresses – something most people own and control access to, even if they’re not into technology.

The idea of decentralization may be more difficult to explain in just 30 seconds. To make these concepts relatable, it helps to learn about the person’s interests and activities on the internet. For instance, if they play games or appreciate art, you can talk about the value proposition of owning digital objects within those contexts. You could also point out that we’ve always had a form of “digital scarcity” when it comes down to unique email addresses.

Ultimately, never bet against technological progress. As new technologies emerge and evolve over time, resistance eventually fades away in favor of innovation. In terms of currency or artwork creation today: would you choose traditional methods like printing presses or embrace efficient digital solutions?

Just as Tesla revolutionized electric vehicles despite initial skepticism, cryptocurrencies are likely here for good – unlocking greater creativity for generations ahead.

The Vision for PROOF

When asked what the ten year vision for Proof Collective is, Justin ends the panel with one of his epic passionate rants.

Even before Proof was a thing, the team was all about art and how it shakes up society. They wanted to build strong relationships with artists, support them, and provide access and opportunity to everyone involved.

What they’re really gunning for is to create an ecosystem where everyone comes out a winner – by backing artists and building a community that values their impact on the world.

But it’s not just about collecting art – it’s also important to understand why it’s been a big deal throughout history. With all the awesome tech connecting people all over the globe these days, Proof aims to unite different voices within the artistic conversation.

Proof’s game plan is to maintain excellent relationships with artists while building a community that acts as patrons of their work. By doing so, they hope everyone benefits from increased access and opportunities within this thriving ecosystem.

Watch the full panel discussion here:

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