NFTs have become increasingly integrated into the world in recent months with their adoption in various uses such as in concert ticketing, art and video games multiplying. Less hyped and more institutional use cases have also started to emerge recently, such as the issuance of educational diplomas in Vietnam or with the transfer of contracts within companies.
There are many reasons for this increasing adoption and the benefits of using a public blockchain are numerous: Transparency makes it possible to fight fraud more effectively, the elimination of the trusted third party provides a fairer benefit for artists and the standardization of tokens allows interoperability between projects.
What these use cases have in common is the resolution they offer to well known trust issues that exist in already well established real world processes. It has been over three years since these different use cases have been implemented and tested out by various projects but very often, the central element is obscured by these technological advances: the community which made these successful use cases possible.
These communities are linked together through the use of this new technology but most often these formulate as “mini-clans” which seem to interact little with each other.. at least on the surface!
In reality there is an entire social life outside of the flagship NFT projects and in the creative effervescence of new projects, experiences have taken place around “social tokenization” which has the concept of matching a token’s value to that of an influential third party.
For example, Coin Artists’ social token gave governance rights to the holder within the virtual syndicate present in the Neon District project while Alex Masmej decided to offer the right to vote for certain life choices to the community that participated in the sale of his tokens..
For Alex, the value is backed by respect for the choices his community takes over a given time while for Coin Artist, it is the choices that most resonate with the community that makes the token valuable.
In the Cherry Blossom Project (NSFW), unlike the previous examples, it is the number of tokens owned that determine the extent of the accessible services. Their value will depend on the number of people who are active in this community as well as the quality of the services provided.
These ideas of decentralized mutual engagement seem to have inspired startups who propose to monetize choices in the lives of famous influencers in the US but no blockchains are currently involved in these projects..at least for the moment!
By tokenizing social aspects of life, a form of synergy develops between influential people and their community in a more horizontal way than was previously possible with only social media.
This new way of monetizing our existence by splitting it up on an open market may seem surprising at first glance, but isn’t it ultimately a way to regain control over our personal data which is currently held (and sold) by a few centralized platforms at present?
As humanity becomes more and more connected to each other through technology, it becomes increasingly important that digital identity can be verified publicly while maintaining the confidentiality of personal data. The character of Satoshi Nakamoto is a very good example of this: anyone can recognize his or her identity by reading the Bitcointalk forum but no one knows who he or she truly is.
On another scale, the character of Whaleshark has adopted a different identity: Anyone can check the contents of the Vault on which the value of the $WHALE is backed, but only a few people really know who he or she is.
Even though the existence of these characters only exists virtually, they still have a significant impact on the reality of many people. And it is this new way of living that further expands the definition of humanity.
Pushing back the limits of the human or the “natural” as it is commonly accepted is one of the creeds that we can find in the movement of transhumanism. Although mainly reserved for the health sector to replace a lost limb with a prosthesis, it is also found a lot in the army, especially for the war wounded or among athletes so that they can continue their passion.
With advances in research and development continuing to move forward, it’s hard not to imagine in the relatively near future that anyone can easily access them.
On the one hand there would be more people who could access robotic technology to transcend their humanity and on the other, a trend for monetizing social aspects of their online and decentralized life. It doesn’t care much to associate an NFT with the part of the body that has been replaced or improved.
If the owner of a prosthesis decides to make it available to his community, whether through governance tokens, rewards or services rendered, would the removal of the trusted third party not raise its lot of ethical questions?
The tabloid press would only wait for the first example of a “loaned” hand having been used in a murder, but on the other hand it could also be possible to witness, through “lent” eyes, the realization of a work by talented artists or even listen to a concert thanks to a “shared” hearing.
The universe of social tokenization and transhumanism do not seem to communicate with each other for the moment, but in a context where individual responsibility is more and more advocated, it seems normal to dilute responsibility if the latter is too important to manage alone. And this dilution, the blockchain allows it without borders and in a peer to peer way.
Without the control of a third party, the freedoms allowed by this new means of creating and interacting with communities are conditioned by moral principles of the individual who created the project and then of his community.
These are therefore initiatives where the individual is at the center but is never alone in making decisions that create these social experiences, reflections of a part of digital society … but more real than ever.