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On Interoperability in NFTs

yet again, we ask... wen?

Time and time again over the past several years, the core NFT value proposition of interoperability has been shilled - but seldom have we seen it in practice.

Interoperability, as related to NFTs, refers to anyone's ability to build for on-chain communities on a token-ownership basis, without the need for legal contracts or formal collaborations. Given that token owners are publicly identifiable, it allows for development by individuals regardless of their association with the original project.

However, there is a noticeable innovation lag in the NFT space concerning interoperability. While we often see interoperability in the form of simple airdrops, and some experiences have managed to offer more sophisticated forms of interoperability, such as Pixels Online for in-game skins or Radiants DAO for auction bidding directly with NFTs on Solana, these use cases remain rare; especially those involving real-world goods and services.

Radiants DAO (left) and Pixels Online (right)

Projects and companies involved in NFTs have generally remained in their own lanes, and continue to do so even in 2024. We are still in the experimental phases of interoperability, as we learn how to activate the hyper-engaged NFT communities of the first cycle.

From 2020-2022, a massive boom in project deployment and community creation was seen in the blockchain space. Most of this took place in the form of NFT projects with 5-10k token supply that attempted to attain a higher level of community participation and organization than popular non-blockchain-native brands. It was all experimental – a proof of concept for a new form of community and brand-building that would be immensely successful, further propelling us into an increasingly socially-organized future.

As we progress into 2024 and beyond, it is expected that we will begin to see large volumes of new, innovative, and experimental interoperability activations that target the NFT-based communities of 2020-2022.

In the future, the functional value of owning a digital collectible from a given collection will be significantly enhanced by third-party experiences, both physical and digital. The beauty of web3 communities is that value creation for members is entirely permissionless.

No API paywalls. No paper-pushing. More building.

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