Co-founder and chairman of NFT game creator Animoca Brands, Yat Siu, says NFTs offer a new means for culture to be stored virtually, also that new NFT users should look past profit and see how NFTs can shape culture.
While the technology that underpins NFTs is new, Siu noted in an interview that the desire to “store culture” has been with us throughout human history.
“We refer to NFTs as culture stores because they encapsulate a historical moment,” he explained, adding, “What is art?” “Culture is stored in art.”
Siu is a Hong Kong-based IT entrepreneur who started the Outblaze gaming company after working at Atari. Animoca Brands was created in 2014 and has produced significant NFT titles such as The Sandbox, F1 Delta Time, and MotoGP Ignition, as well as investing in Dapper Labs, OpenSea, and Axie Infinity.
The Animoca chairman stated that culture is about more than just the monetary value of an artwork, citing his daughter’s favourite band BTS as an example, noting that she does not want an autograph from the popular K-Pop group in order to sell it for a quick profit:
“Most paintings in the world aren’t worth a ton, but like owning culture, the vast majority of people who buy art today or photography don’t intend to sell it right away. That’s not how we engage with culture.”
When asked what advice he would provide to beginners to the NFT, Siu advised them to focus on the revolutionary utility enabled by the technology rather than looking for quick profit opportunities.
“Begin by purchasing your first NFT not with the purpose of making money, but rather with the desire to […] learn from it,” he said.
“What’s amazing about this ownership that we’re able to generate, is that it doesn’t originate from a kind of scarcity that you can dig up from the earth,” Siu said of NFTs.
Siu called data one of the world’s “most precious commodities,” citing huge tech companies like Amazon and Facebook’s tireless efforts to extract every skerrick of data from their consumers in order to personalize the ads they see on social media.