The NFT (short for Nonfungible Token) is a new asset class that’s as abstract as an investment gets.
Unlike real estate or equities where you own property or a share of a company, an NFT only gives you an NFT; it points to nothing outside of itself. You don’t own a thing or even the copyright to a thing. So, on the face of it, NFTs shouldn’t be worth much. But in fact, they can sell for a lot! As in a lot a lot.
Jack Dorsey sold the NFT to his first tweet (“just setting up my twttr,”) for over $2.9 million. Last month, Christie’s sold the NFT to an artwork for more than $69 million.
It Takes Tremendous Energy
Behind the scenes of this tulip craze is a tremendous amount of computing energy. One artist found that the sale of his NFT consumed 8.7 megawatt-hours of energy, equivalent to the energy used to power his entire studio for two years. That NFT has been resold (and presumably resold again) consuming even more energy.
After you’ve bought Ethereum to place your trade, won your NFT, and a complex of computers have processed mountains of code, what do you have? Well, essentially, you have an idea. A story to tell about how you spent your cryptocurrency. Poof!
The Customer Experience Connection
What does this have to do with the Customer Experience? Quite a lot, actually. Like NFTs, many customer experiences burn copious money, time, and energy, and what’s left is an abstraction. The company has a mark on its ledger, and the customer has a memory. Poof!
Recently I endured a Bank of America fiasco in which I had to call them 11 times to find someone who could sort through the fees incurred when my credit card was used fraudulently. It took hours and drained emotional energy in the form of my endless frustration.
Bank of America: Poof!
On Bank of America’s side, they too were spending down time and energy as they passed me from one associate to the next. Perhaps it will be worked out, but what’s left? Nothing to see. Nothing to hear. Basically, all that energy consumption will be reduced to a thought and a memory (a bad one). Poof!
More and more of our customer experiences have less and less to do with tangible things. This in turn begs the question: How will you turn ethereal experiences into assets? Because even abstract thoughts are an asset that gain and lose value.