Weekly Updates

NFTs—More Than Just Art

Back in February, we talked about NFTs having their first mainstream moment with NBA Top Shot (Dapper Labs also happened to announce a $305M venture round today). Since then, Beeple’s “The First 5000 Days” sold for ~$69M in ETH and SNL did a spoof rap about NFTs… so yeah. Things are pretty wild in the NFT world.

Any time something explodes onto the scene like this, there’s going to be (fair and unfair) skepticism. The two most common criticisms that I hear are versions of “It’s just a JPG!” or “Minting a single NFT is worse for the environment than running a physical art studio for X years!” I’m not going to rehash the arguments about subjective value, deconstruct the social complexities/implications of “ownership,” or talk about the transition to Proof of Stake on Ethereum. 

Instead, I simply want to point out that NFTs aren’t just art and collectibles! We’re big believers in those use cases, but they’re just scratching the surface of what NFTs can be and do. We’re obviously quite early in the adoption cycle, so I’m not going to blame SNL for glossing over details, but I don’t even think all crypto natives grok that NFTs can have productive utility and not just speculative value.

ENS is well-known in the Ethereum ecosystem, but many don’t seem to recognize that the names themselves are NFTs. They can function as censorship-resistant domain names and human-readable wallet addresses. That’s real utility from an NFT! 

We’re especially bullish on this sort of NFT property rights utility because Geo Web land parcels are conceptually similar. The holder of a Geo Web land parcel NFT gets the exclusive right to anchor digital content within the boundaries of the land parcel on our network. It’s like the owner of a domain name getting the right to point to a web page to useful business applications, ecommerce, games, entertainment, and, yes, art. 

Linking digital information to an easily discoverable thing or memorable name is powerful, but is just one example of NFT utility. So if you don’t mind being a “Well, actually…” type of person, the next time you hear someone talk about how pointless NFTs are, talk to them about utility. Tell them about the Geo Web and virtual land, how Uniswap V3 LP positions will be NFTs, or that NFTs can be decentralized identifiers (DIDs) and therefore “own” other NFTs & content. You’ll still get a lot of glazed over eyes, but if they leave the conversation knowing that NFTs aren’t just “expensive JPGs,” I’d call that a win for now.

On to the updates...

Technical

  • We’re putting the finishing touches on our AR Media Gallery publishing functionality. Updates soon!
  • We finalized our Q2 development roadmap including v1 Geo Web Browser, lots of Cadastre publishing enhancements, a Filecoin archival integration, L2 ETH scaling, a documentation site, and mainnet readiness! 
  • We’re very excited to welcome Vishal (@10dimensions) as a core contributor to the project. He’s a AR/VR expert amongst many other interests and talents, so he’ll be leading the spatial browser development to start.

Community

  • Our Gitcoin GR9 grant wrapped up last week. We had over 1,200 unique contributors and raised over $5,500. Final matching totals are still being tabulated (Gitcoin & BlockScience are collaborating to review the round for adversarial behavior). Thank you to all that contributed! We’re excited to have this budget to execute regular SourceCred distributions this next quarter.
  • We’re still working with the team over at POAP to mint and issue our GR8 & GR9 supporter badges. We’ll get the claim instructions out as soon as possible.
  • Vitalik wrote a great post last week about “legitimacy” for open-source/blockchain projects, public goods funding, and NFTs—all subjects near and dear to our hearts and very much aligned with how we see the Geo Web opportunity. Highly recommended read!

On Deck

  • Geo Web Browser development
  • Filecoin integration spec’ing
  • Start building out a public documentation site
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