The Enriched Crypto User Table: the rise of NFTs as Decentralized Identities
crypto user table - connect with wallet - NFT utility - new crypto database
Hello, I am Nicolas Bustamante. I’m an entrepreneur and I write about long-term company building.
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Imagine a world in which we all log in with our crypto wallets. Websites then retrieve on-chain data to personalize our browsing experience. NFTs represent our subscriptions, access rights, and credentials, while fungible tokens depict our financial assets. Companies no longer store users' data in a private database but rely on the blockchain, the worldwide digital public ledger. Let me tell you how and show you that it's already happening.
Today web services store users' data in a private and hardly interoperable database. The more services, the more databases, and adding information in one database doesn't enrich the others. Websites add cookies to identify users, track their preferences, and personalize their experiences. Overall, it's inconvenient for the website owner to maintain the database and for the end-user whose privacy is at risk and who has little control.
Enter crypto websites where connecting with a wallet is quietly replacing email, password, and big tech social login. This next generation of products leverage the blockchain as a unique user table. When crypto users connect to their service, they retrieve all the relevant information from the blockchain. Because the blockchain user's table is bigger and stores more information than most proprietary databases, they are incentivized to build on top of it.
Crypto login will eventually take over the internet because of the convenience for the end-user and the ability to control their data with tokens. NFTs are a new primitive for the internet. Speculation is, of course, one of the main drivers behind today's NFT craze. Buyers acquire NFTs hoping that a greater fool will purchase them at a higher price. It's a zero-sum game in which a loss for somebody is someone else win. But NFTs' value and utility will go way beyond today's speculative asset class. I believe that more non-monetary NFTs will be minted than monetary NFTs.
NFTs are digital property rights stored on a digital public ledger. They can represent anything from real-estate titles to subscriptions. Some crypto services already issue NFTs as proof of payment, while others issue NFTs as proof of attendance or credentials. In short, NFTs will allow our physical and digital ownership to be stored on the blockchain. For instance, I may attach to one of my crypto addresses some free NFTs such as "French Language," "University of UC Berkeley," "San Francisco Resident," "Twitter: @nicbstme," "Bankless Subscription," "UI Theme: Dark," "Cafe Reverie Member" "Stromae Fan" to manage my on-chain identity.
There is now a worldwide digital registry of ownership that anyone can query and add data on. It stores fungible and nonfungible assets and crypto user behavioral data - buying, selling, minting, and transferring. I bet that there will be more on-chain data than off-chain data. I suspect the advent of software to read and write user data on the blockchain—a sort of simple user interface to connect and interact with the universal crypto user table.
Those services will provide wallet profiling and on-chain data recommendations for crypto services to manage their operations. It will be possible to query the public ledger to filter active users, users who use a particular service such as Opensea or Uniswap, or members of online communities such as Bored Ape Yacht Club. We will then be able to perform key actions such as airdropping tokens, taking a snapshot, sending discounts to specific addresses, granting access rights based on token ownership, or creating custom product recommendations and marketing workflows based on the user's on-chain reputation.
All internet services will be built on the enriched crypto user table. Ecommerce platforms such as Shopify will allow users to connect with their wallets to access shops and get discounts. Artists will release their songs in priority to people holding their NFTs. Communities will give you access to events and perks based on your on-chain ownership. Websites will sell subscriptions via NFT and grant access rights based on blockchain data. The possibilities are endless, and it's happening today.
Crypto users will break free from big tech login and the burden of remembering passwords. They will also have the ability to manage different crypto profiles and control their identities with NFTs. They will use privacy layers to verify their ownership without revealing it publicly. Adding to that, participating in the crypto network is a positive-sum game in which you build your crypto reputation overtime to earn more access rights.
The advent of crypto users and services is a paradigm shift in building web applications. Having a common user table will unlock tremendous wealth because any new crypto users onboarded by one service add value to all crypto services. Exciting times!
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