the path to crypto adoption

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are evolving from a niche curiosity to a mainstream interest. The variety of NFT art is attracting a new audience of enthusiasts. Beyond art, NFTs are offering a glimpse into a new level of social interaction.

Framed as micro-social networks, NFTs could pave the way for a new form of social media based on creativity, ownership and collaboration.

Groups are the epicenters of NFT projects

Each week, dozens of Discord and Telegram groups are created in support of new NFT projects. These groups represent the epicenter of a project and help people communicate and learn more about the industry. A quick listen to a conversation on Twitter Spaces with one of the groups reveals a wide range of people interested in NFTs. Some members are veteran crypto users, NFTs are new to many, and some have never used crypto. For novice crypto users, these groups create a more welcoming initial experience that reduces the stress and complications associated with first steps in this industry.

Conversations in these groups reveal a common interest in digital self-expression and a desire to interact with a community of like-minded people. Community values ​​are often formed that focus on artistic quality, rarity and ideas that align with the emerging energy in the community. As with other forms of social collaboration, these groups tend to have identifiable leaders who want to grow and improve the community. These members lead by example, help the community organize and ensure that community rules are enforced.

Each group is creating their own roles, values ​​and codes of conduct, often in a way that resembles the characteristics or ideas in the art of the NFTs in question. Ape Island gorillas share monkey memes, Degen Yeti use expressions like “Haha, Yeti,” and CryptoDads share their best dad jokes. Between groups, there is a shared vocabulary for those taking part in conversations in the industry. Most groups greet each other with “gm,” an abbreviation for “good morning” popularized by Crypto Twitter.

Also, it’s common to see comments like “looks rare,” a compliment or a joke about the rarity of an NFT. This kind of communication is the lifeblood of an NFT community, and for many enthusiasts it is replacing the endless flow of Facebook and Instagram.

The world enters the metaverse

The big social media platforms have reached a tipping point. Regulatory concerns related to digital privacy and waning user confidence are raising questions about the future of these ubiquitous platforms. As the world enters a new era of digital interaction, a place some call metaverse, users are considering forms of expression and interaction that don’t force them to give up on digital privacy.

Related: Just buy it: Nike wants to bring sneaker enthusiasts to the metaverse

NFTs could be a step towards new social interactions, a less far-fetched concept than it seems. Recently, TikTok announced a collection of NFTs involving some of its best-known creators. Twitter is introducing NFT verification for profiles, and Coinbase is launching a marketplace for NFT. These signals point to a mainstream audience that could expand the opportunity to make NFTs an important part of our social relationships. Big social media will continue to play a role, but emerging ideas in NFT communities highlight a new type of social interaction based on NFT instead of follow and like.

Utility beyond monetary value

Communities are all competing for project awareness as it can lead to an increase in the “floor price,” the minimum price of an NFT in secondary markets. In addition to price, more advanced communities are thinking about how to add value for members through perks and exclusive access. This kind of member rewards are a great opportunity to add new utility beyond the monetary value of the NFT.

The use of treasuries, funded from project revenues, is spreading as communities aim to make their ideas come true. At the time of writing, Nouns owns 13,722 Ether (ETH) in its treasury, an incredible sum for a decentralized community focused on NFTs. CryptoDads is brewing beer and CyberKongz is building a banana vending machine that creates, you guessed it, new NFTs. Adding utilities to NFT projects dominated by profile pictures and memes might seem like a contradiction. However, as these communities mature, they are finding creative ways to align actions with common values.


The DAOs and the new governance

As groups orient themselves in community decision-making, the need for governance has led to the idea of ​​a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). The Nouns community is revisiting governance through NFT ownership by empowering members with a “one token, one vote.” Members with at least 1% of the token offer can submit proposals for the community to vote on. With the decentralized web at the center of attention, DAOs are becoming an important part of the conversation. Combining NFTs with governance structures appears to be a natural alignment of values ​​that rewards community ownership and participation.

Related: In five years, DAOs will be the future of online communities

A new social code, based on ownership and collaboration, is incorporated into the ethos of the NFT culture. While the NFT narrative is still young, it is clear that a social level is driving adoption. NFTs could prove to be the catalyst needed to welcome a new wave of crypto users.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trade involves risk, readers are expected to conduct their own research when making a decision.

The ideas and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.

Nick Casares is the product manager of PolyientX. His work focuses on helping teams in their early stages identify the ideal market position for their product. Over the past decade, Nick has worked as a product manager, UX consultant, start-up coach and community builder.

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