Time to move on from the Bored Ape Yacht Club. They are bad for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). They give ammunition to critics and distract from the technology, which is where the real value lies.
To those on the outside looking in, NFTs are nothing more than overpriced monkey JPEGs. Or any option from the animated animal profile picture found on the firing line.
NFTs, of course, are much more than that.
But because of Bored Apes and the countless imitations they’ve spawned, NFTs are getting a bad rap. “Bubble”, “money laundering” and “scams” are terminology associated by critics with the new “Beanie Babies craze”.
It’s a despicable distraction.
Related: Bored Ape Yacht Club Is a Big Hit, But Is Wall Street Ready for NFTs?
Yes, boring apes are still priced at over $100,000 (a fifth of what they were worth at the market’s peak). But, they are tied to the tumult of cryptocurrency volatility and market sentiment, which has fallen along with the crypto market crash.
You also have Ape-backed borrowers about to liquidate and 143 apes already stolen, including Seth Green’s Bored Ape, who was forced to pay to get it back. And of course, there are also the fans who bashed Eminem and Snoop Dogg when they acted like their apes at the last VMA Awards.
Bored monkeys are the face of the NFT hype cycle. They might be the closest thing to the aforementioned Beanie Babies in the NFT space because of their status. But there’s a big mistake in painting an entire industry with the same brush: the hype isn’t the technology.
If you look beyond what’s on the market, you’ll find unique ideas with real value.
Here’s one: carrying medical data. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have suggested that NFT ownership powered by smart contracts could provide citizens with control over who accesses their personal health records. Citizens already give their information to medical apps, but smart contracts could allow them to sell their data as NFTs if they want to.
Hospitals and private institutions routinely sell patient data through so-called data brokers to companies like Pfizer—it’s a multibillion-dollar industry. This may seem harmless, but you never agreed to it. Maybe you wouldn’t if you knew how much your data is worth.
Related: A cure for the ills of copyright? NFTs promise to boost creative economies
Selling or securing your data as an NFT could become a real option, as long as the right hack prevention measures are in place. Adding encryption to NFT can keep content private while allowing it to remain in public storage.
Another service that NFTs can perform: streamlining royalty payments. Artist resale royalty rights are not codified into US law, only proposed. The EIP-2981 royalty standard made this a coding choice on Ethereum, leading the way for Polygon and other chains.
With enhanced security and the versatility of NFTs, private documents can be released into users’ wallets. These can be legal documents issued by law firms or property deeds. Hypothetically, we could see a work contract on the blockchain, which connects to decentralized financial payment protocols to provide salaries based on tasks performed.
Despite the endless cries of “wen utility” that have echoed through the NFT communities, the utility was always there: a token is verified on the blockchain that promises interoperability through a coded, self-executing agreement. It’s the gateway to chain gaming experiences and digital and physical real estate or any content that unlocks your digital identity.
Related: Get ready for the feds to start charging NFT traders
It is still growing. On the NFTGo trading platform, 10x more Ethereum wallets have an NFT compared to August 2020. Doodles just raised $54 million to bolster its IP. The creators are building. And many skilled underground artists are making more now than ever before.
NFT art has turned the traditional art industry upside down. Not only because of the numbers that captured the headlines, but also because of the promise of provenance. Even if profile pictures stole the show, technology came first and will thrive without their Bored Ape counterparts.
It might also be better to leave the term “NFTs” in the past, as a genre defined only by a limited boom-and-bust cycle, and move forward with “digital collectible,” a term that some have begun to use.
Some sort of split is inevitable, and healthy, to free builders from the burden of overinflated expectations, market crashes and celebrity cash grabs.
If you still don’t see the value, you may still have Bored Ape glasses. take them off There is a whole set of use cases for NFT technology on the rise.
OC Ripley is the lead content creator for Curio DAO, an NFT community on the Ethereum blockchain. He is also the editorial director of Tech & Authors and has been active in blockchain since 2017.
The author, who disclosed his identity to Cointelegraph, used a pseudonym for this article. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.