Letter #28: Axie Infinity - Gotta Tokenize Them All
Writer’s Note: When I first entered the space, I was attracted, not only to Bitcoin, but to a number of cryptocurrencies and blockchains with well-worn sales pitches about how they’d supposedly change the world. This is one of several articles reflecting my earlier interests. I have since become “Bitcoin Only”, and my writing focuses on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Humanity’s intense desire to create value and then retain it over generations has often led us to seek out one-of-a-kind objects that fascinate the mind and stimulate our senses. For example, each of the seven wonders of the world is unique and has held significance in many civilizations for hundreds of years, if not longer. However, man-made creations can also reach immense levels of cultural and financial significance, and that fact is most commonly illustrated by fine art. The Mona Lisa, likely the most valuable painting in the world, is estimated to currently have a value of nearly $1 billion U.S. dollars and other paintings from famous painters like Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, and Qi Baishi commonly sell for tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars each.
The immense value of those works of art is certainly driven by their quality and by their history. However, perhaps an even greater driver of their price is their uniqueness. There can only ever be one true Mona Lisa, one real Starry Night, and so on. The painters behind the masterpieces are long gone and any recreation of the originals, no matter how masterful, would simply be a nearly worthless facsimile. Just think about how little you paid the last time you bought a print of a famous piece of art from the gift shop in a museum. Or think about how easy it is to Google an image of the artwork and copy it whenever you want.
Our world has become digital at a rapid pace and that transition is only speeding up as time passes. The vast majority of knowledge and content ever created now resides on the internet. And people spend more time working, playing, and living lives in the digital world than ever before. This same digital world calls for a method of creating and maintaining the same quality and uniqueness of content that for thousands of years has only existed in physical form. A new technology has exploded over the past several years to fill this newly experienced digital need: non-fungible tokens (NFTs).