Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are digital assets that can be bought and sold, typically representing a piece of digital content.
For example, an artist can publish a digital image as an NFT, and put it up for sale to the highest bidder.
When they do this, the history of who owns the image can be tracked on the blockchain as a way of showing the art piece's provenance. And even though anyone in the world can typically see the image, there is only one person who provably owns it, just as if the piece were a painting hanging in a museum.
The easiest way to really understand NFTs, though, is to actually look at some examples.
Below we list examples of popular NFT concepts, as well as popular NFT platforms, all of which served as the inspiration for the DeSo NFTs product.
Importantly, because DeSo is an inherently social platform, we anticipate the use cases for NFTs will extend far beyond just digital content, and we discuss this in detail in the next section.
Examples of popular NFT concepts:
Popular NFT marketplaces:
When someone buys a piece of art or a collectible item, they do so in part because it brings them personal joy, but in part because they want to show it off.
A major superpower DeSo has is that every feature that's added to it has an inherent social component built-in, and NFTs are no exception.
In the case of DeSo NFTs, we have an opportunity to show off a user's NFT collection on their profile, and to allow users to engage around their NFTs via comments, likes, diamonds, and more.
Suddenly, the act of buying an NFT shifts from a purely personal and/or economic motive to an inherently social one.
In addition, because DeSo has a native concept of identity in the form of a user's profile, the reputation of the issuer is tied into the NFT in a much more meaningful way, especially for celebrities and superstars with pre-existing brands.
This not only increases the value of DeSo NFTs, but we think it will also lead to all kinds of interesting dynamics that mix collecting, flexing, and social. Here's a list of features supported on-chain by DeSo NFTs:
Mint an NFT
Update an NFT
Burn an NFT
Bid on NFT (Auction)
Accept NFT Bid (Auction)
Transfer an NFT
Accept NFT Transfer
Exclusive NFT Content
NFT Creator Royalties
NFT Coinholder Royalties
NFT Royalty Splits
Below are just some examples of the possibilities on how to use DeSo Social NFTs...
- Collectible ticket stubs. If you were to sell tickets to a concert in the form of DeSo NFTs, then every attendee would automatically get a virtual ticket stub on their profile commemorating the event that their friends would get to see (not to mention the extra promo you'll get from your coin-holders!). Could you imagine if @3LAU sold his tickets as DeSo NFTs? This mechanic could also be used to sell tickets to exclusive events like the premiere of a movie or an exclusive gala.
- Physical memorabilia: The digital collector's room. Imagine selling a physical piece of memorabilia, like a prop from a movie set, with an NFT attached, issued by the original seller, that the buyer gets to flex on their profile. This turns a user's profile into an inventory of their collector's room, where you can see all of the cool things they own, both in the digital and physical world, with NFTs serving as certificates of authenticity issued and signed directly by the original seller. Could you imagine if someone like @GeorgeTakei from Star Trek cleaned out his closet one day using DeSo NFTs?
- Exclusive experiences. Selling experiences as NFTs makes unique sense on DeSo. For example, creators with large followings can offer to have dinner or to host a Q&A with a handful of their biggest fans by minting and selling a "one of 10" NFT. With DeSo, because NFTs are inherently social, the creator can engage their followers by asking them to comment explaining why they want to join before they place a bid. The creator then has full control over determining the winners, and those winners not only get to meet the creator, but they also get to sport the fact that they did on theirprofiles forever. Maybe @wolfofwallst could give Warren Buffet's charity lunch some competition!
- Exclusive unlockable digital content. DeSo NFTs have an "unlockable" portion that only the winner of the NFT gets to see. This creates interesting use-cases around selling hyper-exclusive digital goods. For example, an artist can drop an album a week early as an unlockable 1/10,000 NFT such that only her true fans who win the NFT are able to listen to it ahead of time. This would result in extra cash flow for the artist while still allowing them to capture the same streaming revenues a week later. Could you imagine getting early access to @thechainsmokers' next album, and getting an NFT along with it?
- Exclusive chat groups. Creators can offer exclusive chat groups using DeSo NFTs to gateaccess. For example, a creator can sell a 1/100 NFT such that any current owner of the NFT is able to participate in an exclusive Telegram group, weekly Zoom call, etc... We already saw this happening with creators like @craig, but it also makes sense for sports insiders like @adamschefter.
- Interactive content. For content creators, DeSo NFTs can be used as a way to solicit feedback from fans, or to guide the direction of content. For example, the creator of a podcast can sell an NFT where the winner gets to decide what their next episode is going to be about. The creator can solicit comments from users before they place their bids, and they have ultimate control over whom they choose as the winner. Alternatively, music artists can offer to put an NFT winner's name in a song or include them in a music video, and the winner would have the NFT on their profile to commemorate the experience. The creator of a movie or short film could sell producer credits in the final cut as NFTs. Could you imagine if the winner of a DeSo NFT could decide the topic for @shaanvp's next show, or win a shoutout at the end of a @jakepaul or @loganpaul fight? How about a Clubhouse AMA with @alexisohanian, where the winners of a "one of 10" NFT get to come on-stage first? Or maybe we can finally get @BennyBlanco to bring us that DeSo Boys single we've all been waiting for, as a gloriously sought-after NFT.
- Counterfeit-proof Rolexes, Chanel handbags, etc... Major brands have a big problem withcounterfeiting: A real Rolex is worth much more than a knockoff, but knockoffs can often beso good that it's difficult to tell them apart. Now, imagine a solution based on DeSo NFTs whereby a luxury brand creates an official DeSo profile and offers an NFT associated with every single sale of their products. Now, a user not only gets digital, unforgeable proof that they own a real item, but they also simultaneously get to show off their purchase on their profile that all of their friends can see. Then, if they ever resell their Rolex, they can transfer the NFT along with it, allowing it to serve as a certificate of authenticity issued and digitally-signed directly by the brand, and that tracks the provenance of the item for its entire lifetime.
- Digital trading cards. Any sufficiently well-known creator can create digital trading cards of themselves simply by issuing a "one of N" NFT. All they need to do is create a unique piece of artwork, like a cryptopunk drawing of themselves, and their biggest fans can sport it on their profiles. Notably, each DeSo NFT has a serial number, so each one will be special, even within the same issue. @ab, could you be the first DeSo NFT trading card!
- Fine art. Major artists have shown that NFTs are going to be a big part of the future of fine art. They not only allow anyone to enjoy the artist's work, but they also do a much better job of tracking the ownership of a piece, which means the provenance can't be forged. The fact that DeSo also incorporates the artist's identity, via their profile, into the minting of an NFT should, we hope, further increase the value and utility of NFTs issued by artists. Artists on DeSo have already been innovating extremely fast, and we're so excited to take things to the next level with DeSo NFTs. Maybe we can even get @beeple to finally claim his profile!
- The future of Charity. Charities can create profiles on DeSo, just like ordinary people. When they do this, anyone can elect to send them DeSo as part of the sale of their NFT. For example, someone could auction off a dinner with themselves, but specify that all the proceeds will go to The Red Cross. They would then be able to digitally prove that the funds went to that charity. Alternatively, a charity can participate in the fun directly by issuing NFTs of their own. For example, a charity could issue NFTs where each one represents a particular acre of trees that will be planted. This allows the owner to show off their contribution to any cause they care deeply about, which could significantly increase the amount people are willing to give. It's a bit surprising that social media and charity aren't more closely linked today — but we believe DeSo can finally change that, and make giving easier and more fun than ever before.
- Owning a piece of history. On DeSo, any post that a user makes can also be mintedas an NFT and sold. The user who "owns" the resulting NFT can be seen as owning a piece ofhistory. For example, if a sitting US president theoretically joined DeSo in the future andused it to make a monumental announcement, like the end of US COVID lockdowns, someone could own that very special post, and all proceeds could be donated to a charity of the president's choice.
The above list is just the beginning; it's just what we've come up with so far. We can't wait to see what else the community can produce with DeSo NFTs.
In the past, NFTs and social media have been separate: You mint an NFT on some platform and then post about it on social media. Now they come together, as they were always meant to be, increasing engagement, reach, value, and monetization for creators.
Creator Coins are a major DeSo superpower that we are taking to the next level with NFTs.
On DeSo, a percentage of the sale of each NFT can be sent back to a creator's coin-holders as cashflow (including on secondary sales).
With this key feature, DeSo NFTs "close the loop" between a creator's activities on DeSo and the value of their coin.
Suddenly, creator coins are no longer objects of pure speculation; rather, they are directly linked to a creator's activity on the platform.
This means that, for the first time, followers can participate in a creator's growth rather than watching from the sidelines as they rise to stardom.
This has never been possible before, and it changes the relationship between a creator and their fans, from one in which fans pay for their work, to one in which they invest in the creator, and grow together.
Moreover, tying cashflows to creator coins makes it so that any creator who wants to market a new piece of content has a whole army of coin-holders that are invested in their success, and will help them spread the word.
Distribution is no longer solely the creator's job, and they don't need to sign their life away to a corporation in order to get it. Your fans are your investors and your distributors at the same time because they're economically aligned with you in a way that wasn't possible before DeSo.
Finally, and perhaps most interestingly, these cashflows do not ultimately inhere to the creator themselves; rather, in the same way a Picasso painting continues to fetch a high price after its original primary sale, a creator's NFTs on DeSo can continue to trade and produce cashflows for creator coins long after the creator is gone.
Thus, in some sense, tying cashflows to creator coins makes owning them analogous to owning a percentage of every sale of every piece of work the creator has or will ever produce on DeSo.
Could you imagine if Picasso had a creator coin linked to all of his works?
Very simply, the steps to minting and selling a DeSo NFT are as follows:
- Create a post, which consists of a snippet of text and an embedded image or video. AllNFTs on DeSo start as posts, and you can turn any pre-existing post into an NFT.
- Hit "Mint NFT" and select from the options:
- You can mint either a "one of a kind" or "one of N" NFT. In the latter case, there will be multiple winners of the same piece of content.
- The creator can set a creator royalty and a coin-holder royalty. This is a percentage of the sale that will go to the creator and to the creator's coin-holders as cashflow. This cashflow hits on every secondary sale of the NFT as well. The DeSo platform does not take a fee.
- Optionally, the creator can set a piece of unlockable content that only the winner of the NFT will get access to. This feature enables hyper-exclusive experiences to be built on DeSo NFTs, like one-of-a-kind songs that only the winner can listen to.
- Once an NFT is minted, users can bid on the NFT. They must have enough in their wallet to cover the bid, but nothing is withdrawn from their wallet until the auction is closed by the creator. This allows users to bid on as many things as they like.
- Whenever the creator is ready, they can close the auction by selecting a winner, or winners in the case of a "one of N" NFT. Importantly, the creator has full control over who gets to own their work; they don't have to give it to the highest bidder.
- Once the auction is over, the winner(s) get to show off the NFT on their profile. It shows up in their NFTs tab, and it can be pinned to their main page.
We didn't want to over-complicate things, and we believe this simple set of features enables all of the interesting use-cases described previously.
Finally, as a means of concentrating liquidity around certain NFTs, we have designed a system that allows node operators to schedule "showcases." Showcases work as follows:
- A node operator selects a collection of NFTs that they want to showcase.
- The node operator schedules these NFTs to "drop" at a certain time.
- At the scheduled time, the new NFTs are showcased on the Home page in their own tab.
Using this system, a node operator can curate a collection of NFTs every week, or even more frequently, and engage the community around them.
This, in some sense, allows node operators to serve as the curators of their own digital galleries, with each drop introducing a new exhibition.