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January 21, 2022

Suddenly everyone is talking about hexagons.

Twitter announced recently that you can now validate in public that your profile picture is an NFT - many of you have probably seen it already. People immediately see that it's a NFT, but not only that, they also see which collection it belongs to. The hexagon profile picture on Twitter is an example of the usefulness becoming more tangible as features are built on top of the technology. Now you don't have to trace it down through some blockchain to check if the person is the actual owner, it's just immediately there.

People who claim that NFTs have very little value because you can just right-click and save a copy clearly couldn't be more wrong. If you have a fake Bored Ape as your profile picture you will just look silly, as everyone can see immediately that it's not the real thing.

Now you really can bring your reputation with you in the digital world, the proponents of NFTs claim.

But we're not there yet. For now, the two things (most) NFTs like a CryptoPunk or a BAYC show is that you have a lot of money that you are willing to risk or that you got in really early. Over time it will probably move towards people with a lot of money because the people who got in early can't resist selling if the price increases. What I think is much more exciting is when NFTs truly serve as proof of other types of scarcity, not just of having enough money.

Perhaps you have won the world championship of something, or you're the world's fastest 100m sprinter, or you won an Olympic medal and that is minted into an NFT. For a while after you have won, you might be pretty proud of your achievement and you can show that off on Twitter. Twitter could easily recognize that it belongs to a particular collection, and make your NFT profile picture have a golden shine. It might seem silly now, just like some people think the hexagons and NFTs are silly now, but I'm not saying that it's going to happen immediately. If we wait 5-10 years, people have gotten used to this technology being around and will have a very different view of it.

What I'm the most excited about though is NFTs that show that you have a stellar reputation for something. Particularly, where you can't buy your way in but you have to be voted in by the existing members. It's not just proof that you have money and risk appetite, but that you really know something. It might happen for investors, or software engineers, or whatever. Maybe there is a club with a maximum of 100 or 1000 investors, and you can only be voted in. Other investors, as well as startups, will know that they are the real deal because they can only be voted in as members, never buy their way in.