3 Things NFTs Teach Us About Digital Learning

by Joshua Stoner

(It’s NOT your typical college experience!)

College isn’t the only way to learn

Traditionally, the education system has been touted as the exclusive way to increase one’s knowledge, however, the internet has permanently changed that. Today, learning happens across a multitude of online platforms and in a variety of different modalities. From group MasterMinds, to independent courses, to longform written content within forums, content is created and curated as far and wide as the internet is itself. This being said, many experts now hold the notion that the modern university system is broken, with colleges churning out students in mass numbers retaining excessive personal debt. These same individuals then enter into the workforce, only to find a job ultimately unrelated to their field of study, or one that pays drastically less in ratio with their high debt. This process leaves people not only disappointed but disillusioned upon reflection of their experience within the current university setup. Universities are essentially permitted, at least largely in the Westernized world, to charge students exorbitant amounts of money for a degree that’s long term value can actually equate to zero future benefit for that student. “Well, that’s just the risk you take, right?” some say. “And, that’s just the way things are…we can’t change them, right?” WRONG. 

Enter Non-fungible Tokens. 

 

NFTs could actually reimagine the ways institutions of higher learning are run

One idea put forth by a successful entrepreneur in his recent interview with NFT365 podcast host Brian Fanzo, is to make these educational institutions NFT-based instead. In his example, if there were 300 available seats in a specific college program (say Spanish), there would instead be 300 *NFTs worth the tuition of the 4 years it takes to complete the program (say, 80,000$). If the education coming out the other side is of high *value and *utility, then the university will trade up on the secondary NFT market (much like stocks trade up in the stock market because the companies attached to them are increasing in value). Since others are also finding value in these ‘educational tokens,’ they will want to invest by purchasing these tokenized college seats off the secondary NFT market. The university will be rewarded for the premium education it delivered because they too will receive income from the royalties inherent in the NFT *smart contracts. If the education is of poor quality, then the university will be punished as the NFTs trade down in the free capitalistic market. This concept may seem far-fetched or far from reality, until you consider that major established brands are already pivoting into Crypto with success. Radioshack recently pivoted into cryptocurrency last year, as a major brand with existing widespread familiarity and trust. Other companies such as Pier One are already launching e-commerce tokens with real utility within the online store ethos. If cryptocurrency and NFTs soon reach mass adoption and spread to other sectors within the market, then the likelihood of other major institutions successfully transitioning into these such operations will be higher. 

Do Your Homework: A Valuable Lesson

Actual investment advice: It’s better to invest in the word WHO rather than the word WHAT

One of the biggest mistakes that amateur NFT investors are making today, is that they are falling hook, line, and sinker for the what (fancy artwork, future promises, shiny incentives) advertised by currently trending NFT projects. These projects often launch and continuously market themselves based on their artwork, their projected financial value, or developing utilities within their smart contract-without scarcely any evidence of why they should be believed to follow through on promises. This often works because the space is so new and several projects have found and maintained major success over the past year! However, the old adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” really does make a difference when it comes to receiving mentorship from successful entrepreneurs and investors within this arena and outside it. In the NFT space, what you think you know of a project can absolutely change in a matter of hours-many have learned this the hard way as certain founders, developers, and promoters pull their profits from a project only to abandon collectors with little warning. However, taking the time to engage daily in a founding team’s Discord and Twitter community directly before investing, can make all the difference in the long term return on one’s investment. If prospective collectors are seeking to become a part of a true community with mutually beneficial aspects, then the human beings behind the NFT projects are the ones that they should be placing their time, attention, and trust in (perhaps in that order?) If individuals, however, are only looking for quick short-term financial gain, with no willingness to do the “homework” needed to find success in this space, then it’s likely that many will exit this space with the same debt-to-income ratio that jaded students exit universities with in today’s age. It’s a painful lesson, but it’s one that people don’t necessarily have to learn the hard way in NFTs. 

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