How NFTs Are Revolutionizing Digital Property Rights
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How NFTs Are Revolutionizing Digital Property Rights

July 15, 2021      Ashna Goel

The crypto market victoriously coursed into the limelight in 2021, cracking headlines with new ATHs every other day, while NFTs were trending massively in the digital space. The concept of Non- Fungible Tokens (NFTs) has transformed the view of digital property rights altogether, bringing in a flood of opportunities for artists, musicians, gamers, collectors, investors, etc. So much so, in the first quarter of 2021 alone, over $2 billion were spent on non-fungible tokens, a massive gain of 2100% from Q4 of 2020.  

NFT caught center attention as digital assets in games like CryptoKitty where certain crypto kitties were trading for millions of dollars. Amidst the growing hype around NFTs, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold the world’s first tweet as an NFT and soon the bidding reached $2.5 million. While NFTs have been playing their part in the online gaming sector with games like CryptoKitties already having gained traction in past years, the 2021 hype brought about some of the leading artists like the music group Kings of Leon that recently dropped their album via NFT. 

Along with massive opportunities for artists, players, consumers, etc. from all around the world to seize, NFTs represent a truly underrated revolution when it comes to digital property ownership and rights. 

Why Digital Property Rights?

As the digital world transformed into literally consuming the traditional lifestyle for better efficiency, communication, and access, space itself has drastically built on to be in dire need of protection. Not just from cyber attacks, that’s a different matter altogether, but everything built on the digital landscape by individuals now asks for a legitimate ownership account to maintain the sanctity of the channel altogether. Users nowadays invest endless time and efforts to build their online presence for different means and purposes including running their businesses. 

Everything, from a website domain to a social media account takes mounts of investment and work to succeed and hence are protected by their unique addresses. But the question remains- in a space that is digitally operated, what indefinite mark of ownership is offered to online creators like artists, designers, musicians, etc. when everything online can be simply copied, pasted, and saved into an infinite chain of distribution. That’s precisely where NFTs are changing the game. 

NFTs- Digital Authenticity to Physical Assets

Especially when it comes to digital artworks and music that have multiple ways of being copied and downloaded, digital ownership gets tricky. However, NFTs have revolutionized the way users view authenticity, ownership, and originality in the digital landscape. An owner of a luxury watch may flaunt the physical asset, but doesn’t hold the underlying mark of authenticity of the asset. Similarly, a user may have a screenshot of the artwork but doesn’t have the unique token of ownership for the same. 

In early March of this year,  an NFT by digital artist Beeple was sold at a Christie’s auction for $90 million. On a more extensive note on ownership, NFTs are proving to offer verified and trustable authenticity on physical assets such as an artist, Kiener Seymour, who provides the buyers of his artwork with a digital version of the painting encoded into an NFT.

A Mess in the Gaming Scape

Gaming is considered one of the most simulated environments for gamers to participate and feel a sense of growth and achievement. Players these days spend a considerable amount of time in making ranks, earning in-game rewards, etc., and usually end up spending quite some money on in-app purchases such as weapons, armors, upgrades, skins, etc. However, in traditional games, any sense of freedom or digital ownership in the game is merely a mirage as the game developers are the actual owners and the ones controlling your entire experience.  

One of the biggest examples of this illusion is currently exposed with Tencent, one of the largest video game publishers around the world is suing DD373.com for $6.2 million in damages for allowing players of Dungeon Fighter Online to trade their in-game items and coins on DD373.com’s site. As per Tencent’s terms of users, it is clearly stated that any virtual item that the players gain in the game has no value in the real world and the items are to remain Tencent’s property forever including the virtual coins that the players buy from their platform in order to buy other in-game items. 

Virtual Items, Real Money

Basically, the money spent by players on in-game currency to buy virtual items has no value in the real world, and they never truly owned their virtual assets in the game. This is a pretty restrictive approach in the traditional games and leaves the gamers entirely on to the mercy of game publishers, rendering their years of efforts and achievements valueless in the real world. However, blockchain-based games are growing indefinitely and players are starting to see the light of digital property rights in the games. 

And NFTs already offer the added advantage to the players in the means of digital property rights. Created out of unique and cryptographically protected code, NFTs operate on the uncheatable and immutable validity of the blockchain, offering open permissionless protocols and community consensus beyond the platforms. Regardless of the “platform”, the virtual in-game asset will exist and can offer value to the player independent of the game publisher or the host. 

One of the leading examples of Blockchain-based NFT games is F1 Delta Time, where every item existing in the game can be owned by the players as NFTs and can be traded on a third-party marketplace, resulting in players making a tremendous amount of money through the game.

Wrapping Up

NFTs are an incredible creation of blockchain technology with searing potential transforming industries like art, music, real estate, etc. While the copyright issue is still a developing piece of this digital puzzle, digital property rights are definitely witnessing a revolution coming with the adoption of NFTs. Powered by blockchain, the gaming sector is just beginning to see the extent of its potential. With interoperability now on the cards, metaverse can now rule the game, where virtual worlds can interact and take in-game items trade to another level as more games offer tokenized items. 

Bottom line is that the gaming sector is moving towards decentralization where in-game economic models- incentives and rewards can be accounted for by community consensus instead of centralized fallbacks. With NFTs, the flow of money can be balanced with a strong impact against the traditional and restrictive outlook on online gaming. 

READ  NFT of First Tweet Sold for $2.9 Million, Jack Dorsey Proceed for Charity
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Ashna Goel
Ashna Goel

Ashna is a graduate from Amity University specializing in Journalism and Mass communications. She is currently working as a content writer for Agio support solutions Pvt. Ltd. She aims to provide quality content and strategy in the field of cryptocurrency and work with digital marketing platforms to deliver brand-specific strategies.