Onomy Protocol
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Onomy Protocol

Key In: How NFTs Are the Fad That’ll Define The Future

NFTs are testament to the old adage that everything is worth what its purchaser will pay.

It’s hilarious to many, then, to see pixel art of apes, punks and cats go for small fortunes and for inane art and silicon valley mob squad tweets to fetch millions in mainstream auction houses. This primordial bent towards both art and collecting resides deep in the human psyche. It has been fostered by the avarice of capitalism and the toy-industrial complex of the modern generation.

Yet the first cavemen, when they figured out how to leave marks, began to paint. The primitivism of the NFT space is a ringing endorsement of its very viability. Humans are hard-wired for this. We obsess over trinkets, over status, over neatness, over pride, over amulets that represent our life as one well lived. The predominance of animals in the art speaks further to the element of proto-kinship in the NFT space — of belonging, of tulip trade turbocharged by tps and tech.

But, what are NFTs?

An NFT is a code (or hash) on the blockchain that certifies your wallet as the owner of the contract. A contract is as simple as ‘this jpeg picture from this collection belongs to this wallet’ or ‘this tweet’s owner is this blockchain address’. There are no rights, no matter what they say, and you can’t stop others from using it. It’s just immutable proof of a transaction that placed that token in your wallet.

They are also non-fungible. What this means is that they have no set value of exchange, e.g the way you can change dollars for bitcoin. If you went to a hotel and tried to pay with your CryptoPunk, they’d laugh out loud. Although they’d be extremely foolish to turn you down since fungible tokens — like money — exist for this purpose. NFTs are purchased more akin to the way art would be purchased, through bidding and private deals. For many though, the idea that they have value at all is absurd.

Seriously, What Are NFTS?

The thing about NFTs that is spoken too little is the fact they are keys. ‘To what?’ you might ask. To anything. NFT utility, as long as the contract hasn’t been coded by a complete numpty, can be completely backended as the metaworlds that accommodate them are built out on the blockchain. The code that comes with your grinning, perfect ape can, ultimately, be used as registration (secure as any private key held in crypto) for anything that the person requiring it wants.

Perhaps they’ve made a show only Bored Apes can see (a la Stoner Cats by Kutcher and Kunis), perhaps you can use it as a profile pic on a music platform, or perhaps you can BE a bored ape, in full virtual reality, hanging out at the yacht club with the privileged crypto elite through your total immersion VR bodykit, before heading to the local metatropolis with the chads for drinks in the Matrix. None of it will mean much — you are bored after all.

The Manic Multiverse of the Metaverse

The fact is that any future platform will be able to integrate NFTs of value into them, whether that’s by porting it to its custom blockchain, or installing a codebase that recognises the original contract. If Binance or Uniswap or Metamask suddenly decided Bored Apes could be deposited into their wallets in exchange for certain privileges, it would be perfectly viable.

This emerging membership status asset-class has immense potential. Onomy NFTs, for instance, could give owners Shark avatars on the virtual reality Forex trading floor 👀.

Thus NFTs of old could have untapped value once the worlds they can inhabit emerge. This, then, is part of the insanity of the gold rush that has erupted in the space. Never more perfectly captured has the fever of human mania been than by the discord airstrikes; fraternity, sorority, elation, betrayal, sophistry, FOMO, fear, hatred, yolo, and meaning playing out at a thousand micro beats a minute. The trading floor has nothing on this. It’s so pure as to be worthy of scorn, as South Park comments, but what of the peddlers of this fine art?

How Do You Make an NFT?

It’s easy to make an NFT. It can be expensive, but it’s fundamentally an easy thing to do. With a decent computer mind and a few days work, you could launch your own collection. A plethora of sites and services have sprung up to help handmaiden this process too. Somewhere out there, young men and women are scarcely believing their luck as thousands of punters pile into their discord to snap up their new 10,000 strong collection of pixel art ducks, often for hundreds of dollars at a time.

A spate of young millionaires have been born out of their ability to use paint and a few boring evenings after school. Celebrities have wasted no time getting in on the act. Hawking off digital merchandise they’ve branded (WIlliam Shatner sold a dental x-ray of his teeth). Even Tim Berners Lee sold the internet. The NFTs inscribed on the blockchain by their creators do have collectible memorabilia aspects, and value might rocket in time.

Although celebrity NFTs garner headline prices, the real action is still in the jpegs, where new projects sprout daily like wildfire, and hopium is sold on the daily. Powerful NFT groups have emerged, with certain CyberKongs paying dividends of upwards of $250,000 a year (at current market prices) and high-end Ethereum NFTs acting like passports to meta-cartels where wealthy collectors move the minor markets of pigeons and platypuses for profit.

The Dark Side of Market Forces

The counterpoint to all this is that, other than a unique hash on the blockchain that marks their private key as the owner of it, NFT holders own nothing at all. Despite claims to the contrary, NFTs bestowing ‘copyright’ is murky legal waters at best. The integration of these assets over time with larger platforms is still, truly, at the behest of those larger platforms. An early and promising attempt at integration has come with blockchain gaming, with assets in play-to-earn games being NFTs that users can hold in their wallets to unlock features in their games. However, they are still in their infancy, and right now are more hype than reality.

The idea of NFTs being used for sports ticketing is intriguing (remember, it’s just a key to whatever it needs to be a key to), and a huge boom in NFT sports collectibles have emerged around Barcelona, Porto, PSG, and other large clubs fan tokens. Messi even received part of his PSG contract in the club’s own NFTs.

Tax evasion, compliance issues, and wash-trading are all doubtless occurring in the space too. It’s just too easy to do. Yet when Senators in congress are having debates in attempted understanding over a PowerPoint presentation featuring a drooling Degenerate Ape with a rose tiara, you know we’re in the weirdest timeline.

Seedy Market Stalls And Men In Suits

That easy allure brings the bad people too. If people are frothing for jpegs with no inherent worth but willing to throw money at it thanks to a flashy ‘roadmap’, then they shall have them. Luminous moon flashes can last literally minutes, a 10x upswing on the wild rumour of whale presence, before crashing to nothing and beyond. As well as the slew of jpegs and a dream, there are the actual shysters.

They set up minting websites, lure the flock with great promises, before opening the minting contract, taking the funds, then locking up the discord and throwing away the key. And that’s just the actual projects who get marketplace listings, to say nothing of the dark underbelly of scammers and false links, selling hopium to hope addicts who just missed the gravy train this time, but a special bonus mint for long time discord holders remains…

New Fangled Toys and The Desire to Collect

Cultural kudos can take you pretty far however, as can the dark arts of Discord, as well as a bit of mainstream press and celebrity endorsement — but that is only for the tip of a very large pyramid and, like all purely creative arts, will generally only reward the few. The long tail doesn’t yet exist with NFTs. It is moon or bust.

A fool is easily parted from his money. Yet in this rogues gallery world of NFTs, we are all fools. Yet we are also dreamers. The underlying logic, like that of the blockchain, is sound. If enough cultural kudos gathers around this specific key, this specific ape, then the metaverse will follow — and great futures will unlock.

Your original NFT, be it of a sewer-living MetaRat, Zombie Ape, a Dancing Duck, a dragon in flight or a simple Pet Rock, thirty years hence could be your key to immortality in the metaverse, with admirers in VR swooning sideways as you swagger down the street. Okay — that’s extreme — but the logic holds. NFTs are keys. To whatever they want to be. Cradled in cryptography.

The issue is, the backend is still sketchy at best, and only now are blockchain-powered crypto metaverses coming to fore — and they’re in their early stages. Current NFT delirium has nothing but the faintest glimmer of these dreams, inspired by ascension, yes — but fundamentally powered by avarice. For now, their value will reside in their online kudos, their early-mover glamour, and the promises of utility powering frenetic profit traders to bubble the market while that utility is discovered.

The Current State of The NFT Market

So what of that current market? Well, on the 23rd December, the Bored Apes finally flipped the Cryptopunks, overhauling a lifelong time at the top for the 2017 collection credited with starting the NFT craze. What’s exciting about this for NFT holders is that the Bored Apes are recent compared to their forebears, launching only in April of this year, while CryptoPunks have an artistic history stretching back generations (in crypto terms — a mere four years for the normal markets).

Right now, OpenSea rules the roost on Ethereum, with other platforms like Rarible also doing a roaring trade acting as an auction house. However, NFTs have already broken away from their grandfather blockchain (and thus, it’s important to note, changing the blockchain authenticating them) for the same reason many other crypto sectors did — it’s just too slow and expensive. New NFT communities on Solana, Binance Smart Chain, Fantom, and now Terra have sprung up in force, with their blue chip projects, trading for tens of thousands of dollars already — and that’s just the start of it.

The NFT market is currently valued at $7 billion, according to JP Morgan. Never before, not even with Bitcoin, were so many analysts calling it a bubble. Everyone is waiting for the story to end and the market to crash and the rich to win again. Yet right now, the NFT market is churning out winners, and the show is going on. With the rise of the metaverse and the NFT tokens that will open their doors, the bubble might be more resistant than detractors think. We are all ultimately apes, caught in the crossfire of a gas war, our meagre sentiment gushed into one little jpeg for the hope and meaning it provides — and the future it will unlock.

Storing NFTs with Onomy Access

Having a blockchain authenticate NFTs is a fairly minor developmental step and, as such, most blockchains are adding the functionality. This has led to a typically segregated market for NFTs, and collectors having to manage multiple wallets to view their collections.

Onomy Protocol will, in ethos with our blockchain-agnostic approach, support full storage and collections of these NFTs through Onomy Access, our multi-chain DeFi wallet. The difference? You won’t have to download a dozen browser extensions just to manage your collection. Neither will you have to constantly change the network. Your collection will — simply put — exist before your very eyes, no matter the chain. To end this on an alpha leak, do expect an official Onomy NFT drop sometime in the future. You’re an early supporter, patience is a virtue, and that’s enough for us. Maybe by then, the NFT utility puzzle will have been cracked, bestowing significant benefits to holders other than simple eye candy.



A Layer-1 ecosystem to converge Forex and Decentralized Finance.

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Onomy Protocol

Offering the infrastructure necessary to converge traditional finance with decentralized finance.