The Non-fungible Alliance is proud to be gathering not only ground-breaking projects and visionary teams but also inspiring individuals who keep on promoting and protecting the uniqueness of the world.
We’re proud to announce that Arnold Waldstein, a well-known market strategist, philanthropist, and activist who promotes the world of NFTs and applies them to his admirable causes has recently joined the Non-fungible Alliance as an honorary member.
Arnold, first of all, welcome to the Alliance, it’s great having you with us. You are a big believer in the power of good and collective fight for global wellbeing. While much is dependent on the people, how would you describe the role of the blockchain tech in this endeavor?
Great question and let me answer this way.
You should never extricate the people and the market from the objective potential of the technology. They trigger each other in unique ways and this is specifically true of the blockchain and NFTs.
Reimagining the idea of social impact giving and environmental philanthropy is uniquely different from traditional thoughts on the core fundamental power of NFTs as a technology, and as well, other types of Projects for Good on the blockchain.
I grew up in the game industry and I agree that the potential for digital collectibles is significant as it has roots back decades, and ties into people’s innate desire to collect and trade stuff.
But environmental philanthropy is categorically different.
The Philosophers Stone of possibility is that you can tie offline things of inherent value and visceral worth — like a coral reef, an endangered animal, a specific real-world cause — to an online market only through this programmable building block.
Removal of that off-/online friction is a world changer for social and economic design.
As profound and different from the collectible value chain is that there already exists a massive community of support, a built-in market for giving and participation.
A market proof is not a function of whether the market exists, only a function of platforming it in a behavioral sensitive way.
Few things are a success waiting for a connecting key to unlock with such innate power as this.
And none with the impact for social and environmental good as this.
With ingenious use of NFTs in the form of a part-cat/part-sea turtle Cryptokitty, you managed to raise funds for an admirable goal while catering to the community of collectors. What other similar cases of non-fungibility in a digital form helping out and saving the uniqueness of the real world do you think could emerge?
First, I want to give a shout-out to the Honu team — Bill Tai and the ACTAI Global Group, and Cassidy Robertson and the Kitties for good organization. It was truly a community project.
Your question, however, raises two adjacent thoughts which frame one important opportunity.
Honu the CryptoKitty charity auction had key learnings worth noting.
Tying an NFT (the custom CryptoKitty) to a specific non-profit cause with an emotive narrative gathered in a 14-day period, a community of over 50m people as readers and social media sharers. A massive latent force.
On the other side.
While an NFT can potentially instantiate a new way of funding like an annuity of support, auctions like we used do not and that is where innovation needs to take place.
Some projects like Last of Ours in Bangkok and CryptoCorals in Paris are exploring how to make the NFT more flexible so that the economy bubbles up from the masses, not one individual, consolidating community in the process. And that each time this NFT changes hands, it continues to support the causes. Forever!
This is a truly inspiring design platform inclusive of an ecosystem of partnerships off- and online.
It lives organically at the intersection of tech capability and community vibrancy as the elements that come together in this very special way.
The merge of the digital entertainment and funding good causes has seen an increase both in monetary values as well as in media attention. Do you expect it to gain even further adoption and popularity with new technologies like blockchain and NFTs?
Yes! Human nature en mass truly gives a shit. And feel good about themselves in the process.
That is the most powerful learning from the Honu the CryptoKitty experiment.
What is missing today are NFT-powered connections to real-world needs with incentivized communities that provide support naturally, ongoing from the ground up.
The current crypto market madness (and it has been a truly painful freefall) will not impact the propensity for giving if the platforms for doing this naturally in easy pieces are there.
It is not intent that holds back sharing, nor even the economy, but tools to make it easy.
That is the big dream that lives within the internal optimism of communities of interest.
You are also passionate about wine and winemaking, another element of personal wellbeing on the one hand and a big global industry on the other. While we have already seen some projects that set-off to tokenize wine, what other traditional businesses would you like or anticipate to see brought to the blockchain level next?
Here’s the backstory to a larger purpose.
The web engendered a huge promise of democratic participation and economic support to new ways of working and the world as a whole.
We created enormous new forms of wealth in the digital world, especially with software that scales without limits. Each of us benefitted from this.
But the unscalable and the intrinsically beautiful — artisanal products like wine, organic food, hand-made art, the creative process itself and of course, the endangered and indigenous pieces of the planet itself, have not risen with the tide. The opposite, in fact.
I hold to a broad vision where NFTs are the building blocks of new economies which will include the unscalable arts and the environmentally endangered, in a rising tide of wealth and communal support.
To sum up, what are your expectations or vision for the NFT world in general, both short and long-term?
Ahh… Dreaming the dream to new heights with advanced building blocks is easy.
We all know the developing list of must-haves as tools:
- cross-platform migration of NFTs
- in contract governance
- easy onboarding
- wiring in IoT data feeds
- allowing tokens to own others for increased flexibility.
But the true meditative vision where NFTs redefine our world is where the very idea of philanthropy and non-profits go away.
Where ideas like impact giving will be as common to our way of building profitable businesses as creating a positive balance sheet is today.
Can a simple programmable tool like an NFT act as a catalyst to replumb how we build incentivized communities of support, inclusive of for-profit businesses?
I think yes!
With such an inspiring final note, we believe that the Non-fungible Alliance is richer for another great mind, and the sum of all members just got much bigger.
Many thanks to Arnold Waldstein for joining in and for his contribution to the NFT space and the Alliance community.
You can find more on Arnold’s blog here.