The Journey and Future of Blockchain Mass Adoption
Blockchain is revolutionary because it provides an efficient way for the community to agree on, or in other words, to reach consensus on the state of its ledger. As a consequence, the path to the mass adoption of blockchain is a continuous process of mapping things or systems that are, in general, costly for us to reach consensus in the world onto blockchain to create new values. VeChain, together with our partners, stakeholders and community has been steadily and diligently pushing for this consensus in order to bring to reality the benefits of blockchain.
Recently, the world has seen an unprecedented surge in public awareness of blockchain technology, thanks to the rise in cryptocurrency markets worldwide. The fruits of our vision and labor as well as many industry pioneers had finally reached a certain portion of the mainstream.
Cryptocurrencies aside, another technological innovation has taken the world by storm. The rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) caught even the most dedicated and enthusiastic blockchain followers by surprise, with its adoption making mainstream media headlines, such as digital artwork auctions for as much as $70 Million USD, and more recently, NFTs being included in the Oscars 2021 gift bag. Artists, celebrities, producers and more are adopting NFTs in droves.
NFTs are clearly trending for arts, culture and collectibles, but they can be so much more. NFTs have the potential to positively impact and touch on every aspect of our daily lives, and unlock unprecedented and sustainable value for businesses, enterprises. This is where the Enterprise NFT (eNFT) Ecosystem comes into play.
Non-Fungible Tokens: Towards Mass Adoption
Essentially, the non-fungible token (NFT) is a class of digital assets created on blockchain to represent ownership in the world which is something we may struggle to all agree on. The technology makes sure that each NFT has its own uniqueness such that it is non-exchangeable with others. It is made to allow the community to reach consensus on the issuer, owner and transfer history of an NFT (some kind of mapped ownership) by utilizing blockchain.
In fact, the object of ownership can vary from physical assets to digital assets. It can also be intangible rights or privileges in the real world. From that perspective, NFTs could possibly touch on every aspect of our daily lives.
There are two major impacts from NFT in terms of creating new values for mass adoption. First of all, NFTs have become a class of highly tradable assets thanks to decentralized marketplaces. It means that the underlying assets or rights associated with NFTs are, to some extent, more accessible (by potential buyers) and more liquid (due to convenience for trading).
Secondly, the NFT technology may fundamentally change the way we design products and engage users. For instance, artists may in future opt for releasing their artworks in the electronic form of NFT since it allows them to specify profit sharing rules (e.g., enforced by marketplaces) which ensures that they could benefit from the future trading of their artworks. Enterprises, on the other hand, may design products as a bundle of physical goods and NFTs or NFT enabled digital products to encourage more engagement from their users (by creating new values for them via, for instance, NFT trading) so as to boost sales.
Bundling goods with NFTs is only one potential usage of eNFT usage out of hundreds if not thousands of other use cases. From our discussions with our enterprise partners, we’ve explored (and some, already in use) use cases such as anti-counterfeiting and advanced traceability. Others, such as a fashion brand, are exploring the usage of eNFTs as an user engagement and identification tool for their social platform users. Luxury brands may have eNFTs linked to leather goods and bags that prove as the ultimate authentication tool for anti-counterfeiting. An eNFT Ecosystem would be possible to link all of them together, facilitating decentralized interaction and trading in a single marketplace. The use case for eNFTs is endless, and the adoption and proposals for it are no longer academic, but is happening in physical and virtual meeting rooms at this very moment.
Bringing eNFT Ecosystem To Life: What’s Needed
Now that we’ve established that NFTs are going to stay relevant moving forward and would be a major force to transform industries beyond art, media and collectibles, it is far from enough. We need to organize and collectively plan our journey towards mass adoption.
To do that, we need to identify what are the key factors that would really make mass adoption happen or in other words, make the whole value chain of NFT sustainable. The following are the three major factors we have identified:
- The object linked to an NFT has to be of sufficient value such that the value generated from the value chain is well above the cost occurred (e.g., the cost of using blockchain and marketplaces), no matter whether it is a physical collectible or a piece of digital music or some kind of VIP service.
- The ownership represented by an NFT has to be enforceable. The NFT technology itself only does the job of mapping ownership onto some digital assets (NFTs) created on blockchain. By the open nature of blockchain, anyone who can afford the cost of using blockchain will be able to create NFTs for claiming certain ownership. Only when the claimed ownership can be enforced, does an NFT become more than a fancy commercial published on blockchain.
- NFT trading has to be fully facilitated. As a lot of value of NFT is generated from trading, we need to make sure that the underlying blockchain provides sufficient security, scalability, affordability and accessibility to the community. Moreover, services such as marketplaces, stablecoins and DeFi will be required in an eNFT ecosystem to facilitate effective and efficient NFT trading.
eNFT Will Lead The Charge For NFT Mass Adoption
Based on the above analysis, we have reached a conclusion that enterprises are going to be the main driving force that pushes for the mass adoption of NFT and the best way is to work closely with them to co-develop a vibrant eNFT (Enterprise NFT) Ecosystem on VeChainThor blockchain. Several reasons are outlined below:
- Enterprises are more likely to bring quality NFTs into the ecosystem. As we have discussed above, the quality of NFTs plays a vital role for ecosystem sustainability. Comparing individuals that create NFT just for fun or as a moment, enterprises will have a clearer purpose when designing and developing NFTs. Moreover, to obtain the best from NFTs, they are fully motivated to develop/improve facilities (e.g., the NFT wallet, app or website) to improve user experiences. All of these would, to some extent, ensure the quality of NFTs.
- Enterprises are natural ownership enforcers. It is because they have the liabilities to deliver products as they have promised to customers and are, therefore, fully motivated to make sure that the ownership associated with any NFT issued as the whole or part of a product is enforced. Any unfulfillment of the enforcement would incur real damage to company reputation, cause the loss of customers and eventually result in less profit.
- Enterprises bring new users to the ecosystem. Once eNFTs are issued on blockchain, and become tradable on marketplaces, it would be natural for the eNFT owners and those who pay close attention to the eNFTs to join the ecosystem.
VeChainThor Is The Best Choice For eNFT Development
Ever since 2015, VeChain has set and been pursuing its goal of enabling enterprises to mass adopt blockchain technologies to create real values. We have been tirelessly working with hundreds of enterprises, no matter whether it is an SME or Fortune 500, from which we have built a strong reputation among enterprises through numerous successful use cases and, more importantly, developed infrastructures that support the scale-up of the process for enterprises to build decentralized applications.
When we look at the infrastructures, we have the VeChainThor public blockchain running at the core. It is widely considered the best public blockchain platform built for enterprises by the following facts:
- VeChainThor’s the Proof of Authority (PoA) consensus which has proven to be one of the most practical solutions for building an enterprise-grade public blockchain. More specifically, PoA ensures the high throughput by allowing nodes to best utilize the network bandwidth for transmitting transactions most of the time. It also guarantees sufficient decentralization of the network via demanding that there be sufficient qualified nodes directly participating in its consensus process.
- The next generation of PoA, PoA 2.0 has been poised to further give VeChainThor an edge on other public blockchain platforms in the race of mass adoption. Without going into technical details, PoA 2.0 introduces the block-committee mechanism that not only improves network security but further lifts the theoretical upper bound of the maximum throughput of VeChainThor. Moreover, it provides block finality, an absolute guarantee on the safety of the public ledger.
- A unique and well-designed dual token economic model is built in the protocol to safeguard the long-term sustainability of VeChainThor and its ecosystem. The model identifies and tackles the bottleneck of a single-token blockchain system where a single digital token would never be able to serve both as the medium of values and as the storage of values. This leads to:
- Transactions are fast, cheap and secure on VeChainThor. Most major public blockchains that chose to use a single-token system would eventually impede themselves on their way to mass adoption, while VeChainThor steadily marches towards the goal of mass adoption.
- VeChainThor protocol natively supports fee delegation that allows transactions to be paid by a third-party account. Such a mechanism allows enterprises to “hide” blockchain from their users and therefore, significantly improves the usability of their decentralized applications running on VeChainThor. Fee delegation has been built in many successful use cases and is one of main reasons enterprises chose VeChainThor.
Besides the VeChainThor public blockchain, the infrastructures also include the VeChain ToolChain™, a BaaS platform that is tailor-made for enterprises to build an application on VeChainThor with great efficiency in terms of cost and time. By using VeChain ToolChain™, enterprises are able to focus on their business development rather than being distracted by technical challenges.
Moreover, VeChain ToolChain™ has already laid a solid foundation for enabling eNFT applications. Specifically, it contains a module that implements the VIP-181, an NFT standard proposed by the dev team and provides enterprise-level APIs for various NFT-related functions. Simply by calling relevant NFT APIs, enterprises will be able to manage the whole lifecycle of an NFT without directly handling smart contacts and transactions.
This NFT module becomes even more powerful when combined with its advanced IoT solutions. It enables enterprises to easily attach an NFT to a chip-embedded physical item that can be registered on and verified by VeChainThor blockchain. Adopting NFTs has never been easier with VeChain ToolChain™.
Building The VeChain eNFT Ecosystem Together: An Invitation To The Blockchain dApp and DeFi Community
The development of the eNFT ecosystem will be divided into two major parts. The first part is about onboarding enterprises to bring quality NFT assets and associated active users to the VeChain eNFT ecosystem. The second part will be focused on bringing necessary infrastructure into the ecosystem to facilitate NFT trading.
To onboard enterprises, we will focus on building a better toolkit for enterprises to efficiently tackle NFT-related technical difficulties when developing applications of NFT. The main purpose is to allow them to focus on the product design (resulting in better NFT quality) and own ecosystem building (resulting in a larger active user base). More specifically, as we continue to discuss with enterprises about their specific requirements and use cases, we will be looking at enhancing the current NFT standards to make them fit the needs of enterprises. The new standards will be published as VIPs(VeChain Improvement Proposals) and implemented as open-source software for developers. The new functions will also be added to VeChain and provided to enterprises as new APIs.
We already know that trading is essential for the sustainability of the eNFT ecosystem. To fully facilitate NFT trading, we will need facilities such as marketplaces, stablecoins and DeFi within the ecosystem. VeChain will be working hard on three things:
- Migrating PoA2.0 to the mainnet for better network security and scalability;
- Developing/improving dApp dev tools for further reducing burdens on developers;
- Bringing stablecoins to the ecosystem.
To truly make it happen, we would love to invite our cohesive community being part of this VeChain eNFT ecosystem as well. Your work will help make the eNFT ecosystem a reality.
We will push out new supporting programs soon to help facilitate this new vision for a comprehensive NFT, eNFT, dApp and DeFi ecosystem. More info and news on how to get involved will be released soon. With your participation, enthusiasm and dedication, we will together be a part of the eNFT revolution coming soon.