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Funky Tokens

Ownership
  • There was some NFT (non-fungible token) buzz a few weeks back.
  • An NFT can simply be thought of as a certificate of ownership.
  • Like the registration papers of a car that legally identifies the car and the owner.
  • The driver is the person behind the wheel, the owner can be someone else, somewhere else.
  • Similarly, NFT (a digital certificate of ownership) can be used to assign ownership of a piece of art.
  • Or patron-ship, in the sense the artist may retain some rights (eg copyright) but give away the single claim of being the art's patron.
  • Normally, ownership is established via sales or auction records, on a semi-formal basis, or the art piece is the token itself (if you have it in hand, you own it).
  • The key here is not tokenisation but whether the NFT has a market.
  • This requires a widely accepted platform, a plurality of market players and validation protocols (is that really a Van Gogh?)

Responsibility
  • We can extend the concept of token of ownership to token of responsibility.
  • Say, there is a pothole in your favourite road.
  • Who is responsible for patching the pothole? Ditto, the pavement, streetlights, drainage, trees etc.
  • A municipal officer can be assigned a token of responsibility for the road.
  • The token stores who came before (or after) the officer. when he or she started on the job, plus in a sub-ledger (aka sidechain), transactions, such as reports, photos, upgrades, repairs, budgets etc.
  • The municipal officer 'owns' the maintenance of the road.