NFTs as micro-social networks: The path to crypto adoption

Nonfungible tokens (NFTs), are moving from being a niche interest to mainstream conversation. A new generation of fans is attracted to the variety of NFT art, from cute to scary to frightening. NFTs offer a glimpse into another layer of social interaction beyond the art.

NFTs, when viewed as micro-social networking, could be a model for a new type of social media that is based on creativity and ownership.

NFTs projects are centered around groups.

Each week, hundreds of Telegram and Discord groups support new NFT projects. These groups act as the hub for a project, and allow people to connect and learn more about NFT. Listening to a Twitter Spaces conversation between one of these groups shows a broad range of people who are interested in NFTs. There are many types of members: some are experienced crypto users, others are new to NFTs, and others who have never used crypto. These groups make it easier for first-time users to get started with crypto.

These groups have conversations that reveal a common interest in digital self-expression, and the desire to connect with like-minded people. Art quality, rarity, and ideas that are compatible with emerging energy in the community are common values. These groups are similar to other forms of social collaboration in that they have identified leaders who take an active interest in the growth and maintenance of the community. They set the tone and help organize the community.

Each group is setting out its values, roles and codes of conduct, often echoing the NFT artwork. Ape Island Apes exchange monkey memes, Degen Yetis elicit each other with phrases such as “Haha Yeti”, and CryptoDads tell their dad jokes. There is a common vocabulary that can be shared between groups. CryptoTwitter’s “gm” abbreviation of “good morning,” is used by almost all groups to greet one another.

It’s not uncommon to see comments such as “looks rare” — a playful insult or hat tip to the rarity and importance of NFTs. This kind of banter is vital to an NFT community, and is often replacing the endless stream of Instagram and Facebook.

The Metaverse is where the world enters

The big social media platforms have reached an important point. These ubiquitous platforms are facing growing regulatory concerns regarding digital privacy and user trust. As the world moves into a new phase in digital interaction, some refer to it as the Metaverse, users are looking at ways to express themselves and interact that don’t involve compromising their digital privacy.

Related: Nike wants sneakerheads to the Metaverse.

NFTs may be a way to create new social interactions. This idea might not sound as far-fetched. TikTok has recently launched a creator-led NFT collection. Twitter now accepts NFT verification for profiles. Coinbase will launch an NFT marketplace. These signals indicate a larger audience, which could increase the chance to make NFTs a more important part of our social networks. While social media is still important, the NFT communities are forming new types of social interaction based on NFTs and not likes and follows.

Utility goes beyond monetary value

Because it can increase the “floor price”, which is the average NFT value on secondary markets, communities are all competing for project awareness. The average price is not the only thing progressive communities care about. They also think about ways to increase member value through perks or exclusive access. This type of reward for members is an open opportunity to increase utility beyond the NFT’s monetary value.

Related: NFTs are still not worth the hype

As communities try to take action on their ideas, treasuries are becoming more popular. They are funded by project revenue. Nouns currently has 13,722 Ether, (ETH) in their Treasury at the time of writing — an amazing sum for a decentralized community built on NFTs. CryptoDads makes beer, and CyberKongz builds a banana vending machine which produces more NFTs. It might seem strange to add utility to NFT projects that are dominated by memes and profile photos. These communities are maturing and finding innovative ways to align actions around shared values.

DAOs and the reimagining governance

A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) was created to help groups navigate community decision-making. Nouns is reinventing governance through NFT ownership. It empowers members with a “one token and one vote” approach. Members who have at least 1% token supply can submit proposals for which the community can vote. DAOs have become an integral part of the discussion as the decentralized web becomes the main focus. Combining NFTs and governance structures seems like a natural alignment in values that rewards ownership as well as community participation.

Related: DAOs will become the future of online communities within five years

The NFT culture ethos embeds a new social code that is based on ownership and collaboration. Although the NFT story is still in its infancy, it is evident that there is a social layer driving adoption. NFTs could be the catalyst to bring in a new generation of crypto users.

This article is not intended to provide investment advice. Every trade and investment involves risk. Readers should do their research before making any decision.
These views, thoughts, and opinions are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Cointelegraph.
Nick Casares, PolyientX’s head of product, is Nick Casares. His work focuses on helping early-stage teams find product-market fit. Nick has been a product manager and UX consultant for over ten years. He is also a community builder and coach.

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Eileen Wilson

Eileen Wilson –Technology and Energy My Name is Eileen Wilson with more than 5 years of experience in the Stock market industry, I am energetic about Technology news, started my career as an author then, later climbing my way up towards success into senior positions. I can consider myself as the backbone behind the success and growth of with a dream to expand the reach out of the industry on a global scale. I am also a contributor and an editor of the Technology and Energy category. I experienced a critical analysis of companies and extracted the most noteworthy information for our vibrant investor network.

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