NFTs — the Power of Transparent Data #1
- Another gently roasted quarterly report or open-source data in real-time?
As we approach Thanksgiving this year, Chief Financial Officers will have time to consider a new set of culinary tools. Whilst cooking the books presents organisations with legal jeopardy, there is an entire industry that applies the best gentle roasting techniques. It’s a game of basting the books with a beautifully spun sauce blending a delicate balance of herbs and spices to provide a sweet, distracting scent to shareholders, while ensuring the turkey, that might have been close to its sell-by date, is roasted just to the point of perfection to ensure no-one gets food poisoning. That recipe is about to change.
Institutions have walled gardens. These walled gardens provide both control and privacy, limiting access to the hallowed few to inspect and review the inner sanctum. Claims of market manipulation, however, are on the increase, with an almost blasé attitude evolving by so many to accepting fines as just another occupational hazard. Imagine what would happen if the inner sanctum were open for all to see. How many closeted skeletons would run for the exits looking for a dramatic shift in career? Perhaps the world of NFTs shows us a powerful future, primed with the transparency that market participants want and need.
In the last article, we saw how NFTs showcased the ability for buyers and investors alike to authenticate the secure ownership of their digital files in an open and transparent way. The underlying authentication was based on permanently locking data to an open source blockchain that anyone with an internet connection could view. This enables anyone to see the chain of ownership, the transactions in between, all supported by the underlying smart contracts that programme the transactions. By the natural extension of individual ownership, we can extend this analysis to entire marketplaces, providing insights for those that choose to analyse this data in more depth.
The NFT marketplace is at a very early stage of rapid growth. Initially at least there has been a heavy concentration of NFTs on one major marketplace platform — OpenSea. OpenSea accounts for around 90% of the current NFT marketplace and, like almost all NFT marketplaces, their transactions are based on public blockchains, mostly on Ethereum. This provides real-time access to market data in a fully transparent way.
The transparent access to real-time data, means global reporting can be carried out quickly and effectively. For example, Dappradar.com showcases how this data looks when considering broad market trends, analysing the major NFT marketplaces.
To provide even more granular detail, there is an opensource, decentralised web-based app Dune.xyz that brings together global data analysts to question all market-based, using open-source data and making available their findings . One such analyst, @rchen8 , shows the daily volumes of data on Open Sea that updates in near real-time.
Combined, this means market participants — primarily artists and investors — can make meaningful, data-driven decisions based on real-time data.
This same access to open source data shows the explosive growth of NFTs . nonfungible.com produces a regular quarterly report to highlight ongoing core trends.
The NFT marketplace continues to show unabated growth. Sales and trades have continued to grow, culminating in $5.92bn trades for Q3 2021 — an increase of 267 times compared to Q3 of 2020 ($22.1m).
While the market is showing explosive growth, it is the transparency of NFTs that has the potential to set the playbook for other industries. For once, data is democratised, giving us all the power to make effective and transparent decisions. Just think of how wide the application of this power could be.
NFTs whos us that the genie is out of the open-source bottle and as the market continues on its explosive growth trajectory, the legacy of NFTs will mean that CFOs eating their turkeys at Thanksgiving this year will have a different sauce to deal with — one that is clean, clear and transparently tasty, reflective of the way blockchain-based data will disrupt their worlds irrevocably.
In the next article we will explore how to use this open-source data to make effective buying decisions on individual NFT pieces by examining the 4 archetypes of the NFT marketplace — the flipper, the trader, the collector and the investor.
About the author
Tim Lea (@timothylea2 on twitter) is author of the book Down the RabbitHole, a book on the blockchain in plain English, an international keynote speaker on the strategic application of the blockchain, and an investor in NTFs and the cryptocurrency space. He is the Chief Cryptocurrency Officer of a new Social Impact project Walking Between Worlds (@WBWNFTS on twitter) whose mission is to energise global Indigenous communities to amplify First Nations powerful voices through NFTs