no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works
This was Clifford Stroll’s famously bad take about the future of the internet in 1995. The mistake he is making here is the same mistake many of you are making when you make judgements about the idea of NFTs. Do not make judgements about the future of the technology based on what you see in front of you today.
Most people come to associate NFTs (called Non-Fungible tokens in its full form) with random jpegs that sell for hundreds, thousands and sometimes even millions of dollars.
For the next few minutes, I want you to forget the idea of digital art entirely. The key breakthrough of the blockchain was the ability to prove digital ownership. NFTs are unique tokens (that’s what non-fungible means), and you can prove you own them digitally. NFTs contain identifying information recorded in smart contracts.
NFTs allow me to own a unique digital asset, and know it can’t be copied, for the first time ever. Yes, you can copy it and paste it, the same way that you can buy a fake Rolex for $30. But just like in the case of the fake Rolex, anyone can check and verify that you don’t have the actual NFT.