August 28, 2021
The Internet is now a place where everyone has an inventory.
NFTs mean that for the first time, we have something like digital objects on the Internet. The importance of this change goes way beyond the kinds of things that are currently popular in the crypto space. It’s not contained to art markets, collectibles, or even gaming. The existence of programmable, interoperable digital objects will fundamentally change the logic of the Internet.
It’s true that many digital objects will be purely cosmetic, like a rare avatar or piece of art you can display within different applications. But if digital objects are as versatile as physical objects (how many different things can “objects” do?), many NFTs will provide functional benefits to their owners. Digital items will move with their owners across the Internet and allow them to perform special actions across independent pieces of software.
As the implications of this reorganize how people use the Internet, many valuable companies will be created and destroyed. This doesn’t mean companies need to “get into NFTs” by selling digital collectibles or buying them. It means they need to build their companies on a mental model of the Internet that acknowledges all of the second order effects of digital objects.
For entire broad categories of software, if an application doesn’t recognize that people hold inventories, it won't be compelling to users. As we move into the future, more people on the Internet will be accumulating their own inventories of digital objects and won't want to spend time in software that forces them "start over.”
Some of the most valuable software of the coming years will be software that grasps and quickly adapts to the logical combination of scarcity and interoperability that NFTs bring to the Internet.
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