New social interactions may be possible thanks to nonfungible tokens (NFTs), a concept that isn’t as far-fetched as it seems
Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are transitioning from a niche topic to a mainstream discussion. The variety of NFT art, from cuddly to edgy to menacing, is attracting a new audience of fans. Aside from the art, NFTs offer a glimpse into a new layer of social interaction.
When framed as micro-social networks, NFTs have the potential to pave the way for a new type of social media based on creativity, ownership, and contribution.
Groups act as hubs for NFTs projects
Every week, dozens of Discord and Telegram groups spring up to support new NFT projects. These groups act as the focal point for a project, allowing people to connect and learn about the NFT space.
A quick listen to a Twitter Spaces conversation with one of these groups reveals a diverse group of NFT enthusiasts. Some members are seasoned cryptocurrency users, while others are new to NFTs and have never used cryptocurrency at all.
These groups create a friendlier onboarding experience for first-time crypto users, reducing anxiety about getting started with crypto.
The discussions in these groups reveal a common interest in digital self-expression and a desire to connect with a community of like-minded individuals. Community values are frequently formed around art quality, rarity, and ideas that align with the community’s emerging energy.
These groups, like other forms of social collaboration, tend to have identifiable leaders who are interested in growing and nurturing the community. These members set the tone, assist the community in organizing, and ensure that the community’s rules are followed.
Each group is forming its own set of roles, values, and standards of conduct, often in ways that mimic the animal features or ideas depicted in the NFT artwork. Ape Island Apes exchange monkey memes, Degen Yetis encourage one another with terms like “Haha, Yeti,” and CryptoDads exchange their greatest dad jokes.
For those in the know, there is a shared lexicon across organizations. Almost every group greets one another with “gm,” an acronym for “good morning” popularized by CryptoTwitter.
And it’s not uncommon to see comments like “looks rare” — a hat tip or playful insult to an NFT’s rarity. This type of banter is the heartbeat of an NFT community, and for many aficionados, it has replaced the never-ending scroll of Facebook and Instagram.
The entire planet has entered the Metaverse
The major social media sites have reached a tipping point. Concerns over digital privacy and dwindling consumer trust are driving speculation about the future of these pervasive platforms.
As the world enters a new phase of digital connection, dubbed the Metaverse by some, individuals are investigating ways of expression and interaction that do not necessitate the loss of digital privacy.
NFTs could be the first step toward new social interactions, which may not be as farfetched as it sounds.
These indicators point to a mainstream audience, which could expand the opportunity for NFTs to become an important part of our social connections. Big social media will continue to play a role, but the concepts emerging in NFT communities point to a new type of social interaction based on NFTs rather than following and likes.
Beyond monetary value, utility
Communities are all striving for project visibility because it can lead to an increase in the “floor price” — the average value of an NFT on secondary markets.
Aside from the average price, the most forward-thinking communities are considering how to add value for members through perks and exclusive access. This type of member incentive represents a huge chance to create a new benefit that goes beyond the NFT’s monetary value.
The use of treasuries, which are funded by project proceeds, is becoming more prevalent as communities strive to put their ideas into action.
CryptoDads is brewing beer, while CyberKongz is constructing a banana vending machine that will produce, you guessed it, more NFTs. It may be counterintuitive to provide the functionality to NFT projects dominated by profile pictures and memes.
However, as these groups mature, they are discovering new and innovative methods to coordinate action around shared values.
DAOs and governance reimagining
As organizations navigate collective decision-making, the necessity for governance has sparked the concept of a “decentralized autonomous organization” (DAO).
By empowering members with a “one token, one vote” model, the Nouns community is rethinking governance through NFT ownership. Members possessing at least 1% of the token supply can submit suggestions for the community to vote on.
DAOs are becoming an important element of the conversation as the decentralized web takes center stage. Combining NFTs with governance frameworks appears to be a natural value alignment that rewards ownership and community involvement.
The idea of NFT culture includes a new social code fueled by ownership and participation. While the NFT story is still in its early stages, it is evident that a social layer is driving adoption. NFTs could be the trigger that ushers in a new wave of crypto consumers.