My dad was a pretty low-tech guy, but he was dragged into the digital age by yours truly, and a few others. I set him and my mom up with email, got him using Microsoft Word to write his soapboxes and song lyrics, and a cousin of dad’s parked @CharlieDaniels for him on Twitter until I told him he needed to start tweeting, and he got where he was tweeting daily, several times a day. And as I’ve often said, if he had learned to stop holding back and start saying what he really thought, he might go places *Insert rimshot and cymbal crash here*
But while he was slow to embrace technology, he usually did, eventually. He got the first iPad but when I tried to tell him he could download books on it, he was happy with carrying around 3 or 4 hardback books in his computer bag along with his laptop, Bible and a million other things. In the last few years of his life, he was reading books on his iPad, including his Bible, and was using his iPad to write his soapboxes, song lyrics and his last three books and no longer carrying a laptop computer.
All that being said, I had a meeting with a company yesterday which focused heavily on new technology and how we might be able to use it to keep dad’s legacy alive.
One of the first things they mentioned was NFTs that they were working on with an agency of the government and the estate of one of their clients.
I had heard of them, but the overall concept is pretty confusing. The one thing that I did remember hearing was that an NFT of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet on Twitter sold for almost three MILLION dollars. It doesn’t matter that the tweet has been out there for over 12 years and anyone can see it at any time, but someone bought it.
The whole concept seems like a recent news story where an Italian artist sold a piece of art that only existed in his MIND for $18,000.
I want to get in on that racket. I'm sure my art would be far superior and more valuable.
A piece of digital art sold at Sotheby’s for $69,000,000.
Yes, you read that correctly. Someone spent that much money on something that only exists in the digital world.
As the meeting progressed, I was blown away by the technology, but what popped into my mind was how in the world would I explain NFTs to dad, even though he’s no longer here and has to need to know anything about them.
But here’s how I would do it.
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. Fungible isn’t a word we use very often, at least not in Tennessee, so let’s swap “non-fungible” for “non-replaceable,” because that helps to understand the basics.
So, by being “non-replaceable” it means it’s rare, and you can’t get another one. In the digital world we live in, that’s a hard concept to grasp, because we are used to being able to send pictures, word processing files, videos, PDFs, or some other digital file with ease, and each time it creates a copy so there are more than one, and chances are you could recover a file either through email, text messages or asking a someone to send you the copy you sent to them.
NFTs are like the movie “Highlander.”
“There can be only one” or however many are agreed to be made available.
So, the obvious question is “How do you know there is only one?” By another confusing concept, Blockchain.
Blockchain is the same technology that verifies cryptocurrency transactions. Instead of giving someone your debit card which transfers money from your bank account to their bank account with the banks verifying the transaction, Blockchain uses many computers across the internet to verify crypto transactions publicly, and the same goes for NFTs. Blockchain will verify that there is only the number of a particular NFT that should be available.
The examples I was shown were essentially 3D rendered images that can be viewed on a phone app from any angle, but eventually, different displays will be available. You might have a three-dimensional frame or hologram projector at some point to display your NFT.
This is overly simplified, I’m sure, so before some expert in this tech feels the need to pop in and tell me I left out a lot, I’m sure I have, but this is the basic premise.
The meeting also focused on virtual reality and “augmented reality” possibilities for entertainment content. Very exciting stuff.
What would this mean for CDB fans?
That’s still to be determined. But, here’s some things that could happen. One day you might be able to buy a 3D NFT of dad’s stage fiddle, or one very wealthy fan might be able to buy an exclusive NFT of dad’s practice fiddle that he used to call “the worlds ugliest fiddle.” Or we might be able to offer NFT videos.
The NBA has been selling clips of NBA games as NFTs for a couple of years and they have made millions from them… yes, I know you can see them on YouTube, but as some people want to collect rare antiques or baseball cards, some people see the value in something extremely rare like NFTs.
I might have had to explain that to dad a few times, but I think he would have gotten it, eventually. I think he would probably have a difficult time understanding the appeal, but that’s the new ever-changing high-tech world we live in.
To better help illustrate what an NFT can be, here is a challenge coin NFT that is coinciding with the U.S. Space Force's launch of the GPS III SV05 satellite from a rocket that will be honoring astronaut, Neil Armstrong. This was shown in the meeting I was in this week, but I wasn't sure I was able to discuss specifics. Yesterday they released a video of the NFT challenge coin on an app called VueXR which is kind of like the YouTube of augmented reality apps. For example, you can put a 3D Computer-generated sea turtle on your kitchen table and then walk around it viewing it from all angles on your phone.
As difficult a concept as NFTs are to grasp, they are the wave of the future as more and more companies embrace the technology, as well as virtual reality and augmented reality, so we are looking to the future and new ways to keep dad’s legacy alive for future generations.
But you have my word, if or when we get to the point of CDB NFTs being a reality, we won’t forget our hard-working loyal fans who have always supported us and won’t just cater to those who can afford a three-million-dollar tweet.
We love our fans, and we thank you for almost fifty years of support.
Let’s all make the day count!
Pray for our troops, our police the peace of Jerusalem and our nation.
God Bless America!
— Charlie Daniels, Jr.
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