With the Internet Age, First came the 'de-materialization' of information.
Powerful, as a tool for communications, the free flow of information has transformed our lives and our planet in ways we are just beginning to understand. Cultural exchange and understanding are ushering in a new world order of understanding that can never be undone.
Political change and conflict are playing out on a global stage where instant images and video can circle the globe in minutes where news and commentary might have taken months before.
The Internet Age has given rise to massive new industries and the largest companies ever to exist. Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Netflix, and on and on are examples of companies based on information technology. The changes to our world are slowly being realized, calculated, and understood.
Along the way, we are witnessing the first-ever rise of Trillion-Dollar Corporations by Market Capitalization for the first time. As of the date of this writing, Apple is at 2.12 Trillion Dollars, Amazon is at 1.584 Trillion Dollars.
As big as these revolutions have been, until 2009, just 12 years ago markets 1000s of times larger than those of computers, mobile phones, and Retail Shopping have yet to "de-materialized" as communications have been.
That time has come.
Digital Information can be infinitely and perfectly copied. Representing things like Art and Money as information presents unique problems.
In the case of Money, there is the "Double Spend" problem. If I give Mary a Dollar, I should not be able to give Bill that "very same Dollar". That would make money useless as a Medium of Exchange (MoE).
In the world of Digital Art, how do we verify that a particular piece is unique and not 1 of 1000 made? With the technology of Non-Fungible Tokens, we can know that and a whole lot more.
What happened in 2009? The invention of Bitcoin. Digital Money, Solved.
In 2017, it was a project on the Ethereum Blockchain called CryptoKitties that brought Global attention, to the promise of Tokens that are absolutely unique and NOT interchangeable with a proven history of ownership, Non-Fungible Tokens.
Using this capability, leading platforms such as OpenSea oversee the Provenance of every item and provide a secondary market percentage capability to original creators.
Provenance (from the French provenir, 'to come from/forth') is the chronology of the ownership, custody or location of a historical object. The term was originally mostly used in relation to works of art but is now used in similar senses in a wide range of fields, including archaeology, paleontology, archives, manuscripts, printed books, the circular economy, and science and computing.
The primary purpose of tracing the provenance of an object or entity is normally to provide contextual and circumstantial evidence for its original production or discovery, by establishing, as far as practicable, its later history, especially the sequences of its formal ownership, custody and places of storage. The practice has a particular value in helping authenticate objects. Comparative techniques, expert opinions and the results of scientific tests may also be used to these ends, but establishing provenance is essentially a matter of documentation. The term dates to the 1780s in English. Provenance is conceptually comparable to the legal term chain of custody.
Now, such provenance can be provided in perpetuity for any digital file, deed, work of Art, Song.
Here is an NFTs I created for a friend and prolific poet from Chicago.
Authorized Non-Fungible Token (NFT) Video of the poem "12 Questions for my Soul Mate" of renowned Chicago poet Hussein Ali Hill.
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