Fungible coins like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum are just the start - but digital objects are the future of what can become of blockchains, explained Craig Sellars, co-founder of Tether, at the d10e blockchain event in Tel Aviv.
If you have a tether token, you can redeem it for dollars, said Sellars, as an example of an additional feature making a token unique. Or, a token could cause viral buying and encourage interaction, said Sellars.
Such assets can also look for information outside the blockchain. Collectible items are also unique digital objects that are unique, and held in a wallet. Tokens can also become collectible, like valuable coins.
“It’s no longer speculation that changes the value, it makes information change the value,” said Sellars.
There are experiential assets, not simple value assets. Sellars believes there will be trillions of unique digital objects, allowing for collections or experiences, and interacting with the outside world.
Non-fungible tokens already exist, mostly in the form of crypto collectibles. There are ERC-271 tokens that are non-fungible, with specialized features. But so far, the use cases for those tokens, and their popularity, is limited. Even the most well-known app, CryptoKitties, has lost its initial appeal. Sellars, however, still believes that some forms of collectible tokens could be used similar to memorial coins.
During the d10e show, Sellars stated that Tethers were unique for representing real dollars - and that similar assets could be represented with tokens. So far, only a handful of projects tokenize assets, such as Digix DAO, which recently launched a gold-backed token. But projects are aiming to tokenize anything, from data and coordinates, to traditional financial instruments.
However, Tethers still raise skepticism, as the organization has so far abstained from providing an audited report of its bank accounts. In the past months, there have also been difficulties in withdrawing Tethers and changing back into dollars is not so straightforward.