Jeff Gluck of CXIP Talks NFT’s, the Metaverse, and What It All Means for Digital Ownership
We’ve seen some interesting terms suddenly become mainstream in the last few years. While “social distance” and “lockdown” are sadly among them, two far more interesting terms were extremely niche in 2018 and are now in news headlines daily: “NFTs” and “metaverse” are becoming embedded in the social consciousness and are here to stay.
These will likely be two elements that help drive our culture and will be so prevalent that when looking back ten years from now, we will have a hard time picturing the world before their widespread use.
The Intersection between NFTs and Metaverse
But the real question is, how will NFTs and metaverses affect our lives? How will we interact with each other, what will they replace, and how will they cause us to see the world differently? At the center of it all is the concept of ownership. NFTs allow the digital property to become more valuable because they can prove its uniqueness.
However, the concept of an NFT is currently only experiencing the most obvious use cases, but there are many other potential uses. Especially as mainstream society begins to spend time in the metaverse, digital ownership will become even more important, as digital theft isn’t restricted by distance, and a lock on your digital house doesn’t mean as much as it does in the physical world.
We spoke to CXIP’s Jeff Gluck about the current state of NFTs, why they are much more than simply digital receipts, and how the future will need to address the changing concept of ownership.
Who are you, and how did you get into the world of NFT’s?
For the past 15 years, I’ve been an intellectual property lawyer focused on protecting and enforcing creators’ rights. My practice area has revolved around infringement litigation and representing creators when big corporations use their work without permission. When the NFT space began to take shape, I noticed a lot of confusion around IP issues and became fascinated with this new frontier and helping creators entering this space.
There seems to be a lot of criticism against NFTs as not really creating any value but rather being overpriced digital receipts. So what problem do NFTs solve?
To understand the power of NFTs, it requires a fundamental understanding of the blockchain and how it can be transformative in virtually every segment of commerce. NFTs and the underlying smart contract tech empower users to transact and interact with each other in a free, open, and decentralized way. As a result, institutional intermediaries become irrelevant and old-fashioned.
So far, we have seen NFTs mainly finding success when used to represent art ownership. Do you see that as the best use case for NFTs? What other usage of NFTs, if any, do you see on the horizon?
Art NFTs are the first use-case, and this is barely the first inning. Eventually, everything will be represented as an NFT. Real Estate, for example, will be bought and sold via NFT technology.
NFT Marketplaces Boom and Facebook’s Metaverse
What makes CXIP different from the seemingly hundreds of other NFT platforms popping up every day?
Many NFT marketplaces are popping up every day. CXIP is not a marketplace. We don’t sell NFTs. Instead, we provide creators with no-code self-service NFT minting in a marketplace-agnostic environment and provide them with their own creator-owned smart contracts. We are a tool, an infrastructure layer, used for minting (creating) NFTs across the ecosystem, which is compatible with any marketplace.
There has been a massive increase in interest in digital ownership since Facebook’s shift over to a Metaverse future with Meta. What roles do you see NFTs playing in the metaverse?
NFTs will become the primary asset class in these new worlds as metaverses expand. They hold value not just because of the art or the communities being built around them but also because they will fill virtual worlds and become desired just like physical assets. Every digital asset and property in a metaverse is represented as an NFT. Facebook will only be successful if they build a truly open and decentralized platform.
Do you feel, at this stage, that people truly understand what they are buying when they purchase NFTs?
I do. For the most part, participants in the space at this stage understand the concept of NFTs and the importance of the underlying technology.
If NFTs truly are the “future,” what is the biggest externality (whether positive or negative) that we will see as a result?
A rebalance of power in favor of the people and galvanize communities around various initiatives. For example, we recently saw a DAO come together to purchase the Constitution, and another DAO recently formed with the intent of acquiring an NBA team. These are individual people coming together and forming communities to accomplish things that have never been possible before Web3.
As more and more blockchain-based platforms are launching and gathering speed, it seems that 2022 may be the year the industry gains mainstream adoption. NFTs have an easy-to-understand concept, along with analogs of certain use cases (for example, an NFT can be similar to a trading card or other collectible), making them a natural candidate to lead this adoption. And with Facebook’s Metaverse and other metaverses to follow, addressing digital ownership will become a common conversation next year.