are we everybody will make it? Probably not – and some Web3 advocates don’t even want people to use the term “NFTs” anymore.
At Tuesday’s session on “The Future of NFTs” at SALT New York, speakers presented images that ranged from tired, frank, and optimistic about the effects of the Ethereum merger on NFTs and what the future of NFTs might look like.
The panel included TIME President Keith Grossman, Emily Yang (also known as Ppleasr) of Placerdao, Nadia Tolkonikova of Pussy Riot and UnicornDAO, John Caldwell of Wave Financial and UnicornDAO, and author and NFT trader Andrew Wang.
When it comes to the impact of the merger – as the Ethereum network moves to Proof of Stake – Caldwell doubts it will have a significant impact on the NFT market.
While Caldwell said that “anything on Ethereum” would be considered “ESG-compliant” in a post-merger world, he noted that ESG is essentially a cross-company conversation. In his opinion, it is the “artists and creators” who really care about the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies.
“I don’t know if financial institutions are really interested, except for this ESG rating, which they kind of have to do,” he said of Ethereum and NFTs moving to Proof of Stake.
“But, you know, financial institutions have been doing pretty well from environmentally awful things forever,” Caldwell noted. “I don’t think this is an exception.”
“I hate that it might make me look bad, but the fun I had with the NFT and the people I met made the environmental costs a bit of an afterthought,” Wang said of trading Ethereum NFTs.
“A lot of people hated me for messing with NFTs,” Tolkonikova added. She hopes the merger will make people hate her “a little less”.
But what about the effect of the crypto bear market on NFTs?
Caldwell said that in this bear market, people may “give up” on NFTs altogether.
“If you remember 18 and 19 people have given up cryptocurrency completely, and will give up NFTs again.
Wang shared a similar view – essentially that the NFT boom of 2021 and early 2022 is over.
“I don’t know if you would call this an extended bear market, [but] Wang said it’s definitely at the point where I no longer believe in WAGMI, unfortunately.
But this crypto winter isn’t all bleak.
“Obviously the prices have come down from all-time highs. But there are still people in the audience here on the NFTs panel. Loves [in] “A real bear market, just terrible, no one will care,” Caldwell said.
While NFT trading volume may be staggeringly low now compared to what it was just a few months ago, Caldwell believes NFTs will make a comeback.
“You won’t even know you’re using NFTs, but they will come back,” he said of the next ascent cycle.
“Hopefully by this time next year, people won’t use the term anymore,” Ppleaser said of the NFTs.
Grossman made a similar prediction about where NFT technology might lie in the future.
“Slowly but surely, we’re going to move from the spec state — where people talk about technology — to the experience state, where people are talking about, ‘Oh, I went to Starbucks and got XYZ.’ “