NFT, DAO and the importance of roadmaps

When CryptoKitties came out, it was hilarious to me. “Wait a second,” I thought. “So you mean this JPEG can have sex with this JPEG and make a new JPEG baby? Could you repeat that please?” When CryptoPunks started in 2017, they seemed silly to many. They were only 128 X 128 pixels. Who cares ? They weren’t really cool until Gary Vee had a brain call with influencers and said, “Crypto Punks are going to be huge, go get a bunch of them.” They came in and cornered the market and raised prices.

Bored Apes was around the same time as Gary launched his project. They got some big influencers together and said, “Let’s go.” And so they all bought those, the prices went up over time. At any given time, these cost 2 Ether (ETH). It was a lot at the time! Now the floor is like 80 ETH. All of these NFTs – CryptoKitties, CryptoPunks, and Bored Apes – have made big money.

Related: Which NFT collection was the most profitable?

When I chatted with Gary in early 2021 as he was thinking about NFTs, we discussed launching on Wax, which is a blockchain specifically for NFTs. It’s like WalMart but for NFTs. NFTs are much cheaper on Wax than on Ethereum. Gary would go on to do a great job of raising $90 million on his own by putting it on ETH. I just don’t like those gas fees on ETH so much – it’s a big drain.

I started to see the implications of what could be with NFTs. Many people think of NFTs as just images; they are just JPEGs, no different from a screenshot. There’s so much more to NFTs than that, because they can really unlock experiences for you. NFTs represent the next level of digital rights management. Essentially, your NFT can be video, images, text, audio, links, AR, VR, 360 video, and they can be a combination of all of these. They can unlock certain locations based on geo-proximity etc.

An NFT can also evolve over time. You can have a little NFT baby, maybe a little baby egg, which then turns into a baby dinosaur. It then transforms into a toddler dinosaur, an adult dinosaur, and it can mate with other dinosaurs and have a baby dinosaur. The cycle begins again. The stronger and more powerful the dinosaur, or a certain line of dinosaurs, the more valuable it is. Believe it or not, there are many real applications for this.

There are also more utilities for NFTs. If you have this NFT in your wallet and can prove it belongs to you, you might be able to go backstage at a concert. There are many loyalty rewards that can be made with these NFTs. If a group comes to your city, they can drop something in your wallet, giving you an extra experience.

Related: We haven’t even begun to exploit the potential of NFTs

An NFT is basically a programmable smart contract that can do anything you can imagine. It’s not just a JPEG – it’s proof of ownership that an item belongs to you. The surface has yet to be scratched when it comes to NFTs.

When you have an NFT, you are now part of the community of people who have those particular NFTs. You can go to the blockchain and see everyone who is in that community with you – your fellow NFT holders. You could then deposit something on top of that. These communities are best organized as DAOs.

CAD

A DAO is a decentralized autonomous organization, which has no employees, no boss, no head office (physical location), no place where you can call and speak to someone to complain. Sorry Karen, it’s a DAO.

The code manages a DAO. Let’s say there are three members of the DAO. We each have the right to vote and participate in the DAO because we own this NFT. We can participate in the governance of this particular organization. Not all DAOs need an NFT. Similarly, not all DAOs require a cryptographic token. Anyway, if you have X amount of tokens, you can have a certain level of voting power. Alternatively, if you have a certain NFT or number of NFTs, you can also have a level of voting power. It’s a foolproof method of voting for governing an organization like anything the world has seen before.

Related: DAO is a major concept for 2022 and will disrupt many industries

These types of organizations will not have just three people in them. They will have thousands. If you have a particular NFT within such an organization, you hold more voting rights, which will be correlated to your NFT holdings (either a specific NFT level or the number of NFTs you hold). DAOs will work entirely differently from traditional organizational hierarchies, which, from the bottom up, have an employee, manager, director, vice president, president, CEO, and possibly president. In a DAO, none of this exists.

A DAO is an organization governed by a code instead of leaders. It’s a paradigm shift considering that algorithms and smart contracts are replacing these traditional business structures. They are self-executing in many ways; if that happens, then this.

Smart contracts must be automated and apply certain rules. For example, smart contracts can be useful if you’re a freelancer trying to complete work for a client. What if, when the job is done, the smart contract generates, runs, and you get paid immediately. How great is that compared to having to wait 30 days for January in accounting to finally get to you thirty days later?

Currently, the largest platform for NFTs and DAOs is Ethereum. It was, after all, the very first smart contract platform that was built. You can run code based on what you write in the contract; if this, then that. It eliminates many problems encountered in the digital domain, in particular. It eliminates the need for trust and intermediaries. Most businesses are going to want some sort of smart contracts to run within their business.

There will be no fraud in a DAO because it is on the blockchain and programmed in code. We know who has which NFTs or tokens, and which vote it corresponds to. It is undeniable, it is without confidence. This is the way of the future for voting in organizations.

A driverless car is like a DAO. He is autonomous, he moves around town on his own. You can tell him to go to a certain place. It will follow instructions and monitor the route to ensure your safety, all managed by code. As long as you are clear in your code, it will perform what you offered. The DAO brings a community component to NFT projects. You can collaborate and contribute to the project.

If you are considering creating a DAO, make sure you have the proper legal governance framework in place. AndreessenHorowitz possesses a DAO legal framework that you can learn from. Be sure to check this.

Related: Decentralization, DAO and current Web3 concerns

Roadmaps

Roadmaps are important. Utilities for your NFTs are important. If you just create an NFT series and the art looks cool, few people will care. A roadmap shows people that you have the necessary long-term plan for your project. Roadmaps show that you care about a project, that you have long-term goals for the project, and ultimately it’s not a cash grab. Many of these NFT projects are quick money grabs. People see others making millions of dollars on NFTs and they want a piece of it and then they walk away. It’s not good for the community.

A roadmap indicates quarter by quarter where you will carry out the project. In Q1 we do this. In Q2, we do. And guess what? You won’t believe what we’re doing in 2023. Having ideas of where you’re headed will show your community that you mean business, and it’s not a scam. Sometimes very legitimate looking projects have attracted large audiences, sold out and delivered nothing. They just took the money and ran away. It’s a carpet jumper, and they’re awful. Major NFT projects in 2022 will have roadmaps.

In the future, projects will not only have a roadmap, they will also have a utility beyond the work of art. We are already starting to see NFTs with better capabilities than the first generations. For example, the concept of how NFTs fit into the metaverse has caught on. They’re going to be more than a profile picture, which a lot of NFT projects have been.

Related: Increased Adoption of Metaverse NFTs Will Fuel the Next NFT Growth Cycle

Note for investors

If you are an investor, only invest in NFT projects where the team is known and doxxed. You can access individual team member profiles on social media and see that they are public and active, including executives and key developers. But also the marketing team, etc. A lot of current NFT projects are hiding behind avatars and fake names, and I think that’s about to change.

Whether you’re starting an NFT or investing, you don’t need to know all the NFTs – take a deep breath. Many might not be relevant to you and your business model. Still, there’s this element of loyalty and ownership that could engage many audiences, and you don’t want to miss out on what could be a valuable opportunity.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Travis Wright is a leading marketing technologist, author, keynote speaker, blockchain advisor, technology journalist, and growth hacker. He is the former global digital and social strategist at Symantec for the Norton brand. Wright is the author of Digital Sense: The no-nonsense approach to effectively combining social business strategy, marketing technology, and customer experience. Along with Joel Comm, Wright co-hosts two of Apple’s 100 top-ranked business and technology podcasts, The Bad Crypto Podcast and The owl show. Wright sits on Wax’s advisory board.