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Welcome to the third piece in our beginner's guide to crypto series, a safe place for you to explore the basics of crypto, blockchain and the metaverse. We recommend that you start with The Beginner's Guide to Crypto & Interior Design which will explain the commonly used terms, followed by Cryptocurrencies, Technology & Interior Design which will give you an overview of cryptocurrencies and trading. Once you're caught up, jump into today's article that shows why NFTs are the next big thing in the world of interiors.
NFTs and the Metaverse
Let's start with some basics - what are NFTs, what is the metaverse and how are they related? It's important to understand this before you can grasp why we, a furniture & interiors brand, are getting excited about this technology and why you, our customers, should be too.
You have probably heard of the metaverse before, especially in relation to gaming or the concept of "virtual reality." The term was first coined by author Neal Stephenson in 1992 and referred to an all-encompassing digital world that exists parallel to the real world. Put simply, the metaverse of today is a shared virtual space that is interactive, immersive and hyper-realistic - essentially a 3D model of the internet. It's a place where you spend your digital life, including your own customised avatar (your digital self) and digital assets, which will likely be recorded on a blockchain. It's this last aspect that we're most interested in.
NFT is short for non-fungible token, where non-fungible basically means that it is unique and can’t be replaced with something else. An NFT is a digital asset that represents a real-life object. It could be digital artwork (an avatar, for example), or it could be a unique piece of music or code. It could also be a 3D sofa or dining table. NFTs are bought and sold online, usually with cryptocurrency, and they are generally encoded with the same blockchain-based software platforms that are used by cryptos.
So to recap - we have unique digital assets that can be purchased online using crypto and have value in the metaverse. A good example of how this all works is the world of digital art. Recently a video by Beeple sold for $6.6 million. Why? We're not sure, but we bet Beeple is cry-laughing all the way to the bank. What this means is that the Beeple buyer owns the original artwork, so it's kind of like owning an original Picasso. While you could download a copy of the Beeple video online, just like you could buy a print copy of a Picasso, only one person can own the original piece. This is where NFTs get their value.
The Value of NFTs
So at this point, you're probably asking why you might want to own an NFT. Fair question, and fairly easy to answer. Why would you want to own a Picasso? Because you can. Because it gives you status or defines your identity within a group. People have always built communities around things they own - look at a book club, where the basic requirement is to buy a book so you can get together as a group (community) to discuss it. If you're an art collector, you are most likely involved with a community of like-minded seekers who not only love to sniff out deals at auctions but also like to discuss the finer details of paintings. It's all about belonging to a clique that attaches value to a certain something. And of course, if you're of the mind to grow your wealth, investing in NFTs that are likely to increase in value will give you the opportunity to sell later on and make yourself a tidy profit.
NFTs and Interior Design
And now we get to the point of this series - what do NFTs mean for interior design? The answer is, a lot. This is why we're involved in the creation of a platform that will use NFTs to help you design your own interiors. But we're skipping ahead...
Let's refer back to the story we mentioned in part one, that of Argentinian digital artist, Andrea Reisinger, who to date has made $500,000 from his line of virtual furniture. As evidenced by his success, furniture brands could create 3D models of real-life furniture items that people can buy in the real world. So when you buy a sofa from us, for example, you could get a 3D version of the same sofa which you can use in the metaverse. It's not mainstream and it's not going to have everyone rushing out for their new digital sofa, but like all new trends and developments, those in the know are fully invested and very excited.
FCI and Blockchain
We plan on being at the forefront of furniture brands using blockchain technology to create NFTs that add value to our customer experience. We also plan to be the first furniture brand in the UK that accepts crypto as payment for our furniture and interior design services. Big things are coming...watch this space.
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