At the Binance Blockchain Week in Dubai last week, William Quigley predicted that NFTs will be adopted into our daily lives on a mass scale. The Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX) co-founder and CEO hailed the new Web3 era as a release from the shackles of central control.
At Binance Blockchain Week, William Quigley chose his words carefully as he declared NFTs a rising force on its way to mass adoption. Indeed, his words resonated and he’s well-positioned to make predictions on emerging technologies.
He was one of the first investors in Paypal, one of the largest backers of Mastercoin (technical forerunner to Ethereum) and long before he started WAX, he had been building thriving marketplaces for buying, selling and trading video game items.
Though his vision has always been at odds with video games companies, he’s carved his own legacy with WAX blockchain – a purpose-built blockchain for buying, selling, and trading NFTs. Now on WAX, a new era of blockchain games is emerging and over 12 million people are trading their digital assets.
At the Dubai conference, Quigley spoke with absolute confidence in NFTs and blockchain technology. Moreover, his confidence was backed by reason, logic, and numbers. Over 23 million daily transactions on WAX blockchain suggest that the industry continues to creep towards mass adoption.
On the WAX blockchain, Quigley’s vision has become a reality. Indeed, people have true ownership over their NFTs as they buy, sell and trade in a thriving digital marketplace, which prides itself on being carbon neutral.
Furthermore, he has also given birth to the concept of vIRL (Virtual In Real Life), a way you can tokenize real, consumer products via NFTs.
Yet, while major companies distance themselves from the blockchain and NFTs, William Quigley continues to be bullish about their power in this Web3 era. According to Quigley, the far-reaching potential of NFTs is limitless.
“Anything that you can program, or creatively conceive of, can be an NFT, therefore every industry on earth will ultimately embed NFTs in their business,” he said.
“Virtually every industry will have NFTs, these mini-computers that people are sending back and forth, that don’t have malware, and that’s the future, and mini technologies, augmented reality and AI, will be part of that.“
This notion of NFTs being mini-computers is central to his theory – that they will be prevalent in our lives, much like computer software is.
People often associate NFTs with digital art, snippets of videos or perhaps a personalized avatar. However, the reality is, NFT technology can be programmed with any function or utility you can conceive.
Indeed, the utility of NFTs is only just starting to scratch the surface. For example, we’re now seeing NFTs being used as membership cards in real life (IRL), as well as being a ticket to live events, community meet-ups, in-person classes and so much more.
Quigley promised that these use cases will only grow more influential in our daily lives, due to one simple fact – NFTs function instantly can be verified immediately, and are completely transparent.
“There are companies that employ thousands of people around the world and all they do is process fees – NFTs do that for free,” he said.
“There are companies that audit what you do, millions around the world are employed to verify the authenticity of documents and NFTs do that without humans. They do it instantly and don’t require payment.“
In Quigley’s mind, we’re encouraged to think about NFTs as computers with an underlying code that can’t be modified. As the programmers of these computers, we have the ability to create any conceivable utility for an NFT, therefore, the technology is limited only by our imagination.
Hence, this phenomenon we call NFTs, which is part of the emerging Web3 culture, is empowering creators around the world. In Web3 we are not bound by the restrictions imposed by the Web2 tech giants, who have been ruling our internet.
Quigley has been very vocal in his criticism of what he calls the “layer 2” business model, where millions or billions of people are funneled into ‘walled gardens’ – an environment that controls the user’s experience and access to content – operated by the likes of Facebook (Meta), Amazon and Google.
“Most people who start businesses now, start them going through those layers. As a result, you’re bound by those operators, those dark overlords, who decide what you can do,” he said.
“We haven’t really been aware of it, but our ability to innovate has been restricted because we can only innovate as far as those companies allow us to.”
“What I like about the true Web3 is that you ask no permission to launch any business model. You want to do P2E (play-to-earn), you do a P2E. So, with Web3 we’re going to see an explosion of business models and that’s the biggest promise I think.“
So, in this new era of innovation and permissionless blockchain technology, it remains to be seen how the giants of Web2 will adapt to Web3.
As Quigley so eloquently put it, it’s hard to see how the “feudal overlords” can thrive in a space that empowers people to grow their own business model without restriction.