NFT sales have almost returned to pre-July 2021 levels after a breathtaking (albeit short) period of speculation. As seen in the article, ‘Blue Chip’ NFTs appear to have held their value to some extent however it appears the demand for other NFTs has come off significantly. My long-held view is that NFTs definitely have utility however the speculative ‘smash-and-grab’ nature of this market over the last 12mths has been worrying at best.
I remember when Blockchain was the technological hope for a more egalitarian society that could open opportunities for people (emerging artists and emerging economies in particular) however over the years we have seen quite the opposite, especially in the two sectors of the Blockchain space that have caught the most amount of attention – cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
With cryptocurrencies we have seen ICOs and IEOs that have delivered enormous amounts of wealth to a small group of people (the whales, insiders, and others) and we have seen NFTs deliver huge payoffs for high profile artists but negligible benefits trickling down to emerging artists.
I am not opposed to the operation of a free market – far from it. I do, however, firmly believe that the fact that (once again) the benefits of technology are largely controlled and only profits small groups of people and/or enterprises is deeply concerning.
My concerns also extend to the emergence of the Metaverse … the fact that Facebook and other tech giants are aggressively in this space demonstrates (yet again) the problems of centralization and how societal benefits of technological advancement end up being gobbled up by those who need these benefits the least.
Far from being discouraged by the way that frontier technologies are hijacked by a small number of powerful people and/or companies – I find this to be a personal challenge. The beauty of technology (certainly in its early stages) is the way it can provide smaller players an unfair advantage over bigger and more established companies. This is the whole principle of disruption – taking an existing system or solution that is not working and introducing a newer, fairer, and equitable option.
Vleppo, by comparison to major tech rivals, is a small company. Our technology and solution, however, provides individuals and SMEs with the sort of digital infrastructure that surpasses that of existing centralized offerings. For me, our strength is that while Vleppo can sell services that are sorely needed by businesses we have structured our solution to be as decentralized as possible to preserve and protect the rights and interests of individuals and SMEs.
Given it would be so easy to just be like everyone else and have a fully centralized system, why did Vleppo take the much more difficult decentralized path?
Largely because centralization is extremely inefficient and costly.
It made complete sense back in prehistoric times to pool resources and create tribes to survive however as populations have grown, centralized structures have become increasingly more powerful as the resource pool available to them has grown as has the wastage and inefficiencies.
Furthermore, centralization is way too easy to corrupt and abuse whether it is a corporation, tech giant or government. Humans are driven by self-interest – it is a fact of life and while it is an uncomfortable truth it is not something anyone could convincingly argue against.
If self-interest is allowed to run unchecked in a centralized system, then it is inevitable that a small group of people with resources can easily exploit those that don’t. We’ve seen this happen throughout history and I don’t know if it is because technology makes it easier to find examples of this, but it seems more prevalent today than I remember it a couple of decades ago.
In the end – I would encourage people to not focus on the noise of markets going up and down, the shrill squeals of the media about the latest crisis or the empty rhetoric of ‘leaders’ who are talking their book (be it in business or government). These are symptoms of the core issue, not the core issue itself.
The core issue itself is centralization. It doesn’t work and in today’s technological age, centralization is nowhere near as necessary as we think. There are options (not just Vleppo) and alternatives out there.
- Peter Coco, CEO & Founder of Vleppo