Ian’s Crypto Journal: Ever-Changing NFT’s & Reading Smart Contracts

Ian Kar
January 11, 2022

What’s up everyone, Ian here.

This is my first post of the year—I’m hyped! I didn’t write that much last year—we were so busy with other aspects of Fintech Today (including launching Crypto Tonight) that I didn’t really have time. I’m making a much more concerted effort to write this year though, and a lot more on crypto too :) 

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This Week's Playlist

First off, a little playlist I made for this week. The Weeknd & Gunna both dropped some great albums last week so picked a few of my favorites from those. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Don Toliver and his new album, so I added a bit of that too.

Future Use Cases For NFTs

So, these NFT things. Pretty neat huh? In terms of use cases, however, we’re just scratching the surface. Right now, NFTs are mainly being used to buy and sell digital art. These transactions are essentially smart contracts, so some of the smart contracts have code that automatically transfers royalties to the creator each time there’s a sale (or, sometimes around other parameters.) NFTs for ownership right management—transfers, authentication, royalty payments—are pretty straightforward solutions. I think there’s a ton more experimentation to do.

Earlier this year, Brenner Spear from The Metagame released Token Garden, a unique type of NFT project. Token Garden creates a unique 3D garden of flowers based on the number of NFTs you’ve minted, and will mint in the future. In an announcement tweet we’ll see more continuously updated NFTs.

Personally, I found the project fascinating and minted a Token Garden to check it out. And it works as designed—I now have a little garden as an NFT (check it out on OpenSea lol.) When I mint a new NFT in the future, another flower will "bloom" in it.

The cool thing about this is the potential to create derivative products around NFTs. Because the data is publicly available since its sitting on a blockchain, you can take a wallet’s on-chain data to create new types of products and experiences. Over time, as there’s more and more on-chain data to build off of, the NFT changes too.

There’s been a ton of talk on Twitter around on-chain reputation and leveraging data from Web3 transactions. Because this data is immutably tied to someone’s wallet, builders are thinking about how to use that data to do things like verify someone’s on-chain activity to even things like creating a score for credit underwriting.

But what’s interesting, too, is that this data doesn’t necessarily need to be on-chain, it could exist anywhere. Even in Web2. A centralized system could easily pull internal user data based on a user’s email address or phone number to create NFTs that provide different benefits or perks to early customers, frequent shoppers, etc. It’s a simple way to start experimenting with Web3 without having to jump into the deep end, something that I’ve been personally thinking about a lot.

Another cool aspect that Spears pointed out on Twitter is that there’s no way for people to “buy” their way into a bigger garden; the only way to add more flowers is to keep minting NFTs. But, overall, I found the project fascinating as a way of using data to create a new product—in this case, art.

Some Great Twitter Threads

I learn a ton from Twitter, and use Bookmarks religiously (the Bookmarks product has finally gotten better so now I can sort Bookmarks too...super dope.) Anyway, I was looking through them over the holidays and went through some great threads that I missed over the last few weeks. Side note: If you come across good Twitter threads, tag us at @cryptotonight_!

I loved this thread on “Layer 1’s,” like Ethereum, Solana, and new ones like Avalanche and Terra that are blowing up. The quick synopsis I took away was that there’s a ton of potential upside for Layer 1’s, both from a product and an investment perspective.

In the Eth world, Layer 2’s are all the rage—they have the potential to dramatically reduce Gas fees on the Ethereum network, which should spur a lot more transactions on Ethereum too (why am I going to send my friend $100 in Eth if the gas fee is another $100?) Chris Cantino from Color Capital explains why you should be paying attention to Layer 2’s (and which ones).

Another fire thread from Chris—this time on how to read smart contracts. There’s a plethora of data within a smart contract that gives you a lot of insights into the project, the holders, and more. Definitely recommend taking some time and checking this out. 

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