The NFT Experience Recap: NFTs 101 – The History of NFTs
This panel was put together embracing the meteoric rise of NFTs in both mainstream and crypto circles. This group is looking back at the history of NFTs to understand where they started and how they’ll continue radically shaping the future of digital technology.
Meet the Panel
Eathan Janney – Co-Host, Edge of NFT Podcast – Podcast host in the NFT space, the Edge of NFT Podcast covers the whole spectrum of the NFT space from the top projects going down the line to projects with the best business plan and growth projections. Eathan lost connection like 5 seconds into this session, but figured he deserved a shoutout anyway!
Jehan Chu, Co-Founder and Managing Partner Kenetic Capital – Jehan has been investing in the crypto space since 2013. We joke that a week in NFTs feels like years, so investing in the space for 8 years must be many many lifetimes. Jehan and Kenetic are super connected in the crypto space with investments across the board in exchanges and more.
David Pakman, Partner, Venrock – David has an unreal track record outside of the crypto space, Smartling, Nest and Dollar Shave Club, but then in Cryptos and NFTs he’s sitting on investments in Dapper Labs, Flow and Rarible. That investment lineup is unbelievable, given Dapper Labs owning Top Shot and the money we’ve seen flowing into them. I think it’s fair to say David has some foresight with his investments.
Anthony Georgiades, Interim COO at Pastel Network and General Partnerat Innovating Capital – Anthony wears multiple hats here and is actively involved in both the venture investment and presumably through Innovating Capital’s investment in Pastel Network took on an interim COO role there. Pastel marketplace is a purpose-built NFT blockchain and is launching its own marketplace!
Mickey Maher, SVP of Partnerships, Dapper Labs – If you haven’t heard of Dapper Labs, and you’re in the NFT space, you’ve heard of their marquee product, Top Shot. Mickey and Dapper Labs have really helped bring the NFT space to the public, and that’s been a huge benefit to all of us!
Douglas Dimola, Co-Founder, GigLabs – GigLabs is an innovation lab focused on transforming the digital space leveraging unique NFT solutions. Douglas has been around software and technology in varying capacities for 20+ years where he’s continuously been tackling new innovative spaces.
We kicked this off, by losing our host! Eathan lost connection during his introductory monologue and then the panelists took over the party. Another day in the life of COVID workplace. Charles Adkins from NFTGenius quickly took over and helped get us through the agenda!
These different panelists all came to the Crypto and NFT space at different times, but one thing that was consistent across most of them was following the technology. These panelists felt as though different industries were slated for disruption via technology and they saw their developers becoming more and more interested in this space. Smart money follows smart people and that was what caused them to start taking their first look behind the hood of crypto and NFTs.
The historical context of what was the first NFT ever to be created is extremely difficult to pinpoint. That is because the technology is constantly advancing, how we view NFTs today is not necessarily the same as how it looked even just a few years ago. CryptoKitties was definitely very early on, an interesting piece “claims” the title called quantum! Decentraland comes in as one of the original MetaVerse plays shaping what we’re seeing in today’s virtual worlds.
These different projects were all involved in the run up to what this panel deemed one of the first large scale NFT projects, Top Shot. Top Shot was one of the first mainstream large corporations to on-board thousands of users in rapid fashion and included a pretty massive news cycle because of their ties to the NBA. This was tied into some major news from Cryptopunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club kept the NFT plane humming.
This brief look into the history of NFTs sparked some conversations on where the NFT space is going in the future.
Takeaways & The Future
The way today’s era of NFTs have succeeded is by making smooth user experiences (UX). NFTs that continue to succeed will be streamlined for their users and communities. Most of the people in the NFT space are not going to be satisfied with having to review code and verify smart contracts. Users flock to projects that have a user interface (UI) which allows them to interact with the product in ways they are familiar with other software tools.
Another theme I’ve noticed during both this, and the Mark Cuban keynote session is a focus on the future of NFTs. We are just now brushing the surface of the capabilities of what can be done. Right now, many NFTs are kind of one use, whether that is a piece of unique art or a generative profile picture. The future of the industry is advancing this technology and smart contracts to revolutionize different industries. There are partnerships happening with universities where donors are receiving private tokens identifying them as donors, and those tokens are being used as access for future events.
Mark Cuban talked about this as well, and investors and collectors alike are excited about the future use cases for NFTs. Anything that is process oriented, requires auditing or validation could and should be on the blockchain and issuable as an NFT in the future.