NFTs and Schrödinger’s Blockchain

This post is by Jason Preston from Alsop Louie Partners


Bitcoin and all of the related technology behind it seems to divide people sharply into two camps: those who think it is revolutionary and those who think it’s a scam waiting to collapse in on itself. I’m more of a mind that all of blockchain technology is a bit like Schrödinger’s Cat: it’s both alive (revolutionary!) and dead (a scam!), but we won’t find out how it all turns out until we actually “measure” it.

I’ve spent more time recently exploring the innovation happening on top of blockchain technology: buying into and exchanging some of the coins and currencies, looking at the services behind many of those coins, and playing with NFTs.

Some of these innovations are genuinely interesting: Non-Fungible Tokens take the basic idea of making a unique digital asset and apply that to art. In other words, it’s becoming possible for me to own an “original JPG.” If you want a longer explanation of NFTs, The Hustle has a great one here.

Taking it further, it’s easy to start thinking about what kinds of businesses and business models haven’t worked so far on the internet because it’s almost impossible to make something online that can’t be copied. Money was the first idea. Art is one of the most recent ones. Moments in sports? Particular matches in eSports? How about original music recordings?

In many ways, blockchains are allowing people to dream about a world where you can overlay properties of the physical world on (Read more...)