NFTs can be a social good, not just a casino for rich celebrities

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes that NMT can be used for socially relevant purposes such as charity and funding for public goods, but not at a time when the technology is still seen as a casino that benefits established celebrities greatly.

The author of the Ethereum white paper said it was not good for society that celebrities like Elon Musk add a million dollars to their bank account by selling NFTs. But he believes that with support and coordination, non-disruptive tokens can have a significant impact on other areas of society.

In a blog post titled The Most Important Scarce Resource is Legitimacy, Buterin says that public attention and resources are often allocated to what most people think of as legitimacy – a term he understands from game theory:

A superior adoption model. A result in a given social context is legitimate if the people in that social context generally accept that result and do their part, and if everyone does it because they expect everyone else to do the same.

In short, people act collectively when they feel that everyone else will too, and especially when they benefit personally. The NMT market, worth half a billion dollars in recent months alone, is also affected by the ever-changing forces of public perception.

Which NFTs people find interesting to buy and which ones they don’t is a question of legitimacy, Buterin said.

If everyone agrees that one NFT is interesting and the other worthless, people will strongly prefer the former because it is more valuable to brag about and to be proud of, and because it can be resold for more because everyone feels the same way about it, he added.

The influence and appeal that celebrities like Elon Musk pursue is potentially enormous. Tesla’s CEO has repeatedly received both positive and negative feedback on the movements of the bitcoin (BTC) market and the broader crypto-currency market. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s focus on NMT is commendable, Buterin said, referring to the social media chief’s decision to auction off his first NMT tweet for $2.9 million to charity.

But if the focus remains on these people, NMT’s potential to have a real social impact could be lost, says the co-founder of Ethereum:

But they can also be a missed opportunity: There is no social value in helping Elon Musk make another million dollars by selling his tweet when, for all anyone knows, the money is going only to himself (and to his credit, he ultimately chose not to sell it). If the NFT became just another casino where established celebrities profit lavishly, the result would be far less interesting.

Buterin suggested two possible ways to make NRMs more legitimate as a method of funding goals that somehow contribute to social welfare.

Mr. Buterin stated that a self-governing, decentralized organization could adopt certain NMT with the collective consent of its decentralized, decentralized community if it was guaranteed that a portion of the proceeds would be donated to charity.

Another option would be to work with social media platforms to build NFT ads into users’ profiles to show what they have invested their money in. Combined with the first idea, Buterin writes, this approach could lead users to NFTs that contribute to important social goals.

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