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NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token – Non-Fungible meaning unique, and token meaning record of ownership stored on a blockchain. Put together, an NFT is a record of ownership of a unique item that’s stored on a blockchain. While NFTs had their start in generative art, their use cases have expanded to include other digital items like metaverse land, blockchain game characters, and music.
Further, a process called tokenization allows the ownership of physical items to be encoded into blockchains, expanding NFT use cases even further to include things like merchandise, real estate, and physical art.
Data stored on blockchains is immutable and transparent – immutable meaning tamper-resistant, and transparent meaning visible and verifiable by all. Because NFTs exist on the blockchain, they cannot be deleted, and their existence is publicly verifiable. This makes NFTs ideal for ownership rights management and securely storing important records. Their applications are limited only by the human imagination.
The logic behind NFTs – their creation, how they are transferred between people, and their utility – is managed by smart contracts, bits of software that enforce digital agreements and run on decentralized networks like Ethereum. Combined with immutability and transparency, smart contracts make NFTs trustless, making it possible for people to transact directly without risk of fraud.
Thanks to trustlessness, networks of anonymous individuals can use and transfer NFTs without centralized authorities or middlemen. This makes NFTs fair for all people, and makes self-management of ownership possible, bolstering the freedoms of those without equal access to opportunities and resources.
For example, women in certain regions of the Middle East and Africa are not allowed to hold their own birth certificates and passports, making citizenship verification and travel difficult. NFTs stored on a secure and decentralized blockchain could be used as digital passports, empowering these women to control their own citizenship and travel rights. NFTs can be used for other important documents as well, such as IDs and proof of residency.
Without documentation, individuals do not have access to financial services. NFTs fill this need by giving people control over their own documentation. Combined with DeFi platforms, networks through which individuals provide financial services to each other, NFTs could allow anyone with a smart device and internet to control their own finances.
One DeFi platform that’s trying to make financial services more accessible is Konstellation Network, an ecosystem of several products that aim to offer all the benefits of traditional fintech and more. Konstellation Network is a blockchain protocol that’s creating a global infrastructure for the future of decentralized capital markets. Here’s a look at their products:
- DarcMatter is an investment platform that gives investors access to tokenized (NFT) versions of alternative investments, which can include items like art, antiques, commodities, and derivatives.
- VegaX is a digital asset management firm that gives investors access to crypto index strategies, allowing them to diversify by investing in groups of several cryptocurrencies at once.
- Taebit is a DeFi platform focused on bringing cryptocurrencies to the Korean market through ease of access and usability, including a DEX for liquidity within the Korean market as well
- Photon Gateways are cross-chain bridges created to make the transfer of assets between several blockchains seamless to open more investment opportunities.
A recent NFT-based addition to the Konstellation ecosystem is Squid Squad OG, a game in which NFT holders compete in high-risk, high-reward Rock Paper Scissors.
To be eligible to play, players must purchase lottery tickets — the proceeds of which go to a communal prize pool. Squid Squad OGs then face off, the losers being eliminated. Every time 32 players are eliminated, the games will be put to a vote on whether to continue the games or to discontinue.
The form to join the Squid Squad OG whitelist is here.
Since beginning with generative art, NFT technology has come a long way. Today, NFTs have the potential to bolster freedoms worldwide and make financial services accessible to all. Through NFTs and DeFi protocols, the Konstellation Network enables users to create and stake stablecoins for easy payments and passive income; invest in both traditional and alternative markets, and transfer assets between blockchains.