Even though the crypto market is still in a bear market, last week’s NFT NYC was still a good time. Major Ethereum NFT projects like the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Doodles, and World of Women brought in celebrities and big-name performers, while other NFT communities held their own private events for holders.
Even though there isn’t much NFT activity around Bitcoin, Alex Adelman, CEO and co-founder of the Bitcoin rewards app Lolli, told Decrypt that he loves the community and celebrations around NFT artwork and collectibles.
At an NFT NYC satellite event last week, he said, “I think NFTs are good for this space.” He called them the “perfect intersection of culture and technology.”
Adelman said that he thinks of himself as “part of the degen communities” that have grown up around NFTs. He also said that the NFT NYC event in October of last year was the first time he saw how artists could use the technology.
He said, “That’s probably one of the best things about NFTs: they help real artists build their careers.” “It teaches people about cryptography and how to own their own keys and assets. So I think it’s good for the space as a whole and good for people learning about crypto on the whole.”
An NFT is a blockchain token that shows who owns a digital item, like a piece of art or a video game item. As the market became more well-known, people traded $25 billion worth of goods on it in 2021.
Lolli gives users Bitcoin rewards for shopping at more than 1,000 partner stores, and Adelman, who has “laser eyes” on Twitter, is seen by many as a Bitcoin maximalist. He would rather be called a “Bitcoin optimist,” though. He’s not against more people using crypto, even though he wants Bitcoin to lead the way in the end.
Many people who say they are maximalists would disagree with this point. Nic Carter, a well-known Bitcoin person, got flack from maxis on Twitter yesterday when he said that his company, Castle Island Ventures, had invested in a Web3 development tool for other blockchains. (Adelman defended Carter.)
From what he said above, it’s clear that Adelman doesn’t laugh at the rise of art and culture through NFTs. In fact, he thinks it was a chance that the Bitcoin community should have taken advantage of and could still do so with layer-2 solutions that work on top of the Bitcoin blockchain.
He said, “Kudos to Ethereum and the community for catching the current mood and bringing in real artists.” “I’m a little sad. I think a lot of that should have been covered by Bitcoin. They had 13 years to do it, but they lost a lot of that time.
Before the term “non-fungible token” (NFT) was made up, the first attempts to put art and other media assets on the blockchain were built on Bitcoin-based platforms like Counterparty. For example, rare Pepe NFTs have been “wrapped” and connected to Ethereum to make trading and collecting them easier.
Also, as was said, there is some NFT activity on top of Bitcoin. Stacks, which its creators call a “layer-1.5” platform, is a smart contract platform that is secured by Bitcoin. This means that it bundles up transactions from its own blockchain and sends them to Bitcoin to keep them safe.
Last fall, NFTs started to become popular on Stacks, but the amount of activity is a drop in the bucket compared to how much the NFT market is dominated by Ethereum. Adelman said that he hasn’t “seen a project that he loves on Stacks yet,” but he likes the NFT art scene on Tezos, which is a competing layer-1 platform that has attracted big names like Ubisoft and The Gap as partners.
Adelman thinks that Bitcoin is still “in its early days” even though it has been around for 13 years. He is excited about the possibility of other layer-2 platforms that build on Bitcoin’s blockchain to make NFTs and apps possible. He pointed to the work of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and Block’s TBD division, such as the recently teased “Web5”, which is a “extra decentralized web” built on Bitcoin.
“I think we’re still in the first day,” he said. “The Bitcoin community is starting to realize that.” “It’s like, How can you dislike artists? How can you be mean to people who are making things? You can’t just do nothing with Bitcoin. You have to try new things.”