NFT - Tokenization of eBooks and other digital assets.
The number of use cases for blockchain and crypto are limitless and increasing every day. In 1999 any company that added dot-com to their name saw it’s valuation doubled. Most of those “internet” companies dissipated soon after but today virtually any company is an “internet” company. I think we’ll see a similar trajectory with blockchain technology. Many of the companies that had and ICO or having one this year will not survive, but most of the companies 10 years from now will be “blockchain” companies.
Blockchain and Crypto tokens are ideally suited to track and share digital content like books, music, videos and images. Can these digital assets be considered NFTs? One can say that songs and books are fungible but the need to keep track of each instance of these assets make these tokens look and feel like NFTs. Another great use case for a blockchain could be an ebooks swapping or lending platform. Each copy of a book will be a token, smart contract with immutable content (book itself). These tokens would be easy to track, impossible to double spend or double use, and it would not be possible to created illegal copies. These tokens probably should not be fractionable but this is a detail that could be worked out later.
New type of wallet, aka blockchain enabled ebook reader will need to be developed. Every time such token is transferred to a new wallet, the book content could be then viewed by the receiving wallet (ebook reader) and won’t be available in the sender’s wallet. These transfers could be done with payments, either or both buyer and the seller could be charged something.
Fee structure could be flexible, supporting different business models. Ether or both parties to the transaction could be charged a fee. Buyer could be charged a fee to receive a book and seller a fee based on the length of the period he/she were holding it. Customers that are holding a book could also be charged a daily rental fee and if there is no money to pay that fee the ebook token could be revoked. a part of the fees could be paid to the book’s owner, publisher and the network’s operator. The fees could be based on a holding period, demand for a book, etc. Fees could also diminish overtime so it would be more expensive to borrow a new “hot” book than a timeless classic.
The borrowing price could also be determined based on a supply/demand. A market place for books can be established where price to borrow a book is determined in real time or in periodic auctions. This could be a new distributed business model, where people buy books, generate tokens that hold the copy and make these books available to be borrowed.
Alternatively an advertising model could work very well. An ad can be embedded into the book or video similar to how Youtube operates.
Such model should work well not just for books but for any reusable, digital resource, like games, software, videos, etc.
If you think about it, is really a digital rights management system. Blockchain technology is ideally suited to support such system. I can see such system evolving beyond digital assets borrowing into a fully fledged blockchain based social media alternative. Fully decentralized, immutable and censorship free, this could be a welcome option, we all know how decisive and abusive social media has become.