What’s an NFT and Why Should Tech Consumers Care?

Overview From funny pet videos and kindergarten finger paintings to patient records and patents, the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) both fascinates and, at least to some extent, puzzles consumers. Find out what’s up with the NFT, and what may lie ahead for you to check out at CES® 2023.

So, what's an NFT? Think of the NFT as your exclusive and permanent receipt for a one-of-a-kind digital artifact.
This receipt, stored in your NFT wallet, originates from the blockchain, which is a digital public ledger where transactions are recorded.

Isn’t an NFT Just a JPEG or PDF or Whatever?

No. The NFT isn't the actual image or digital file itself. It's your token of authenticity and ownership.
The token is stored – securely and, basically, forever – on the blockchain. We explore blockchain further in this article, Breaking Down Barriers to Cryptocurrency Adoption.

Why Should Consumers Care About NFTs?

Use cases, actual and potential, abound. Your highly portable and accessible proof of a unique and authentic digital file can be invaluable. Think about the potential for medical records. Licenses. Patents. Your personal identifiable information. These can be validated by NFTs stored on the blockchain where you own your presence and identity. Your certificate would, or could one day, stand up to any authority’s scrutiny at anytime, anywhere in the world.
The possibilities grow every day as businesses and consumers become more comfortable with the non-fungible concept, and as more platforms emerge to enable its applications. Artists across the worlds of design, photography and music have been among the early adopters. As Art Blocks CEO Erick Calderon said in a CES 2022 interview, within the NFT space, “…the whole idea is that you own your stuff [and] your stuff is provably owned.”  

At a glance, a few of possibly thousands or more applications include the following.    

Ticketing Via NFT

Imagine if CES were ticketed with NFTs. At the ground level, ownership of a ticket would be validated via the blockchain and the ticket would become part of the owner’s digital identity. The ticket itself might be CES-related original art displayed on attendee badges and elsewhere. Moreover, tickets to CES could be keys to a community platform or digital space built for attendees, a sort of massively online multiplayer game.

Countering Counterfeits Via NFT

Luxury brands spend billions annually defending their products against counterfeiters. Consumers are cheated daily by low-quality knockoffs posing as the real deal. With NFT technology, a unique identifier could be applied designating authenticity of your designer purchase.

Deep Gaming Customization Via NFT

Gamers covet their freedom and individuality in the digital gaming. With NFTs, a gamer’s character or avatar and costumes could be fully owned by the player rather than by the game publisher, as is often the case today. The player could, then, further customize one or scores of characters in video and massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, such as World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV online. A player may even opt to sell character images and costumes with minimal, if any, intervention by the game publisher.

What’s Next with NFTs?

The many passionate advocates for everything NFT are already driving and shaping applications, and where and how the blockchain will evolve, along with cryptocurrencies, digital wallets and more.
A new economy is emerging thanks to the next generation of fintech and cryptocurrency entrepreneurs. Companies including, Blockparty and Danvas, Inc. exhibited at CES 2022. Expect to get an early look at what’s next this January when CES 2023 returns, live, to Las Vegas.    

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