There are a couple of main obstacles regarding the public perception of NFTs that currently hinder worldwide mass adoption. The first and most loudly proclaimed by people who are not onboard with NFTs is the theory of “the right-click save.”
The right-click save theory is the idea that a screenshot of an NFT means “I own it too.” This school of thought can be seen prominently and publicly on Twitter under posts of NFT influencers showing off their new NFTs or under posts showing large sales of blue-chip NFTs.
Additionally, I believe this thought process largely applies to the mass population whenever they first learn about NFTs and acts as a huge barrier to entry. I had a similar belief to this back in August 2020 when I first saw NBA TopShot and thought,
“these are just YouTube highlights or digital trading cards. Why would I want this when I can just have a real cardboard card?”
This single thought led to the biggest regret of my life and made me miss out on being one of the first couple thousand people on a product that helped not only revolutionize the NFT space, but also propel it to where it is today.
That being said, the purpose of this article is to inform a new audience so I will do everything I can to debunk this theory of thought so people can enter the NFT space and not stay away.
At first glance, this argument seems very sound. I can go on Twitter right now and screenshot a Cryptopunk and make it my profile picture and people may think I own one, after all, it is my profile picture!
However, this school of thought is critically flawed if you think back to the blockchain and the fact that each transaction is recorded on it with unique wallet addresses. This means, it is possible to find true ownership for every single NFT minted on a blockchain and stored in a wallet.
Even after explaining this to someone who believes in the “right-click save” teachings, they may be persistent and still say something like,
“but I have it right here, look it’s even my profile picture! I own it too.”
For this, I have a great response.
“Okay, if you own it, try and sell it! Let me see your profits.”
Right-click save is critically flawed again here because it does not save the blockchain transaction, it simply saves a “picture" of the NFT. I will relate “right-click save” to a real-world analogy with a real-world piece of art.
Say I go and take a picture of the Mona Lisa, I print it out at the exact scale on a canvas and hang it in my house. Everyone agrees I do not own the Mona Lisa, I simply own a copy of it that is worthless.
This is exactly what people are doing who screenshot NFTs and say they own it also. The only difference is people think since it is digital, it has no proof of ownership. This mindset leads directly into the next obstacle regarding NFTs.
Another loudly proclaimed obstacle to NFTs is,
“It is digital, who will see it unless I pull out my phone and show them?”
Again, this argument appears to be sound at face value and with using the present-day mindset of thinking about collectibles. Present-day mindset meaning, you have to have an object you can hold or touch to be a collectable with any meaning and people only care to look at an object they can see or touch.
In order to debunk this obstacle to NFTs it is important to point out the ongoing trend of digitalization within our society. I am specifically referring to the rampant growth of social media usage over the last fifteen years.
Nearly half of the people of the world’s population have some sort of social media account, social network platforms have tripled their user bases in the last decade from around 970 million in 2010 to over 4.48 billion in July of 2021.
I am bringing up social media because now more than ever, it is easier to see what other people like own, and are doing digitally. Many social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter have a feature known as a blue check mark that signify a verified account.
This check mark is known as a status symbol and is generally given out to celebrities or accounts with lots of followers.
However, people cannot hold or look at their blue checkmark, it is digital. Additionally, in your own life if you purchase a luxury item it can almost be assured that more people will see that item digitally than in person.
Gary Vaynerchuk posted a video where he discusses this exact point and it is with this point where the above argument against NFTs falls apart. In an ever-digitizing world, it will not be long before your NFT wallet is the new social media platform that everyone is trying to be a part of.
It is new age thinking, thinking about the vast digital footprint everyone is capable of as a result of social media that will open eyes to how many people can really see the NFTs you own and love.
Overall, there will remain people who persist their way of thinking about NFTs is correct. These people fail to look at this space with an open mind and without realizing the revolutionary shift digital ownership will have for the entire world. No longer are people navigating the internet with nothing to show for it, they are owning it.