According to Quaison Carter, the co-founder and CMO of the location-based NFT platform Lostworlds, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are still not widely used due to what he called “user friction.” Carter, however, insists that the value of NFTs will persist for “as long as there are communities willing to use them.”
The Role Played by PFP Communities
Concerning the process of onboarding users, the Lostworlds co-founder suggested making this simpler and making sure the user does not spend time trying to understand how they can become NFT holders.
When asked about the challenges associated with location-based NFTs such as location spoofing, Carter lamented how such practices harm the whole industry. He also briefly explained how his company is attempting to tackle the problem and thus help to maintain the “integrity of location-based interactions.” Also, in his written responses sent to Bitcoin.com News, Carter touched on why his firm chose Avalanche and the benefits of using that platform.
Bitcoin.com News (BCN): The so-called “expensive JPEGs” are said to have generated awareness about NFTs and have helped them reach or appeal to a larger audience base. What gives NFTs their value and do you foresee them holding on to this in the long run?
Quaison Carter (QC): The killer application for NFTs is really culture and community. NFTs are simply a verifiable digital asset that we project value and identity onto to give it meaning. In the long run, I believe there will be a few PFP [profile picture] communities that become entities of significance, like a religion, or a cult. The NFT is their symbol of choice. So as long as there are communities willing to use NFTs to represent their culture or identity they will persist.
BCN: We have seen big brands like Nike achieve some success with NFTs but that has not translated into the kind of mass adoption that some hope to see. In your opinion, what is preventing or stopping the wider adoption of NFTs and what do you think should be done to accelerate mainstream use?
QC: User friction has been a significant barrier to the widespread adoption of NFTs. While developing Lostworlds.io, we quickly recognized the challenges in onboarding users into the NFT ecosystem. Explaining the concept of NFTs is already complex, and asking users to create a wallet and fund it with cryptocurrency can be overwhelming and off-putting. So we focused on creating solutions that abstract away almost all the complexities of Web3. For example, our platform offers email-based wallet creation and enables users to purchase digital collectibles using Apple or Google Pay, and it can be done in less than 30 seconds. The user shouldn’t have to think.
BCN: Your firm, which is described as a location-based NFT startup, is said to enable users to earn yield from collecting the NFTs of real-world places they visit. What are these location-based NFTs and what are their real-world applications?
QC: Location-based NFTs, also known as Geo-NFTs, incorporate geographical locations as a source of scarcity and value. NFTs have always found their greatest potential in fostering culture and community, which are the very elements that make any location significant. By allowing brands and individuals to place NFTs within the physical world, we create an innovative method for encapsulating culture and community within digital collectibles. Furthermore, our LOST token is influenced by this approach, becoming scarcer as more Geo-NFTs are minted and integrated into the real world.
BCN: It has been said that users can easily fake their location to mint the so-called location-based NFTs. Is there a way of stopping or preventing this so-called location spoofing?
QC: Location spoofing presents a significant challenge in our industry, as demonstrated by the extensive efforts of games like Pokémon Go to address this issue. Although we do not claim to have completely resolved the problem, we have diligently developed a robust anti-spoofing mechanism to maintain the integrity of location-based interactions and ensure a fair and secure experience for our users.
BCN: Why did you choose to build on Avalanche?
QC: We started on Avalanche because we felt they were focused on the future. Their innovations with subnets allowed us to not have to worry about scaling or cross-chain issues. We are currently also on Polygon and Ethereum.
BCN: Can you illustrate how the hybrid experiences that are said to bridge the divide between the real world and the virtual metaverse can make it more fun and engaging for gamers, shoppers, and other users?
QC: A hybrid experience is a digital experience that enhances your physical experience. For example, at NFT NYC 2023, we collaborated with DeGods and Stepn to organize a series of scavenger hunts throughout New York City. Participants embarked on a landmark tour, exploring major NYC sites and collecting a Geo-NFT for each location. Collecting all the landmark NFTs provided an opportunity to win a special DeGods-Stepn sneaker collaboration, further incentivising the minting process. This engaging experience can be likened to Pokémon Go for NFTs, seamlessly blending the digital and physical worlds.
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