In early 2021, only a niche group of crypto enthusiasts knew what non-fungible tokens (NFTs) were. One of them is Olayimika Oyebanji, a lawyer now an expert on the NFT world.
His journey began in 2020 on a personal quest to satisfy his curiosity for emerging technologies.
Today, he is not just an investor, but has built a reputation in the blockchain world as the official blockchain author for SolPunks, the first NFT collection on the Solana blockchain.
Oyebanji in this interview with Legit.ng gracefully explains the world of NFTs and what the future holds.
What is NFT for the layman? And how does it work ?
NFT isn’t very well understood by many because it’s an emerging technology but I have a feeling most people understand the correlation between it and money.
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The layman, in this case, would be someone who has most likely heard that NFT is an innovative way to make money through a process of listing jpegs as NFT.
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If that doesn’t go well, I’m sure a lot of people must have read about the poor Indonesian boy who recently made $1 million selling his own photos as NFTs on OpenSea.
It is nothing short of a surprise that the NFT revolution that started in the first quarter of 2021 is known as an NFT craze. The reason is quite simple: NFT in 2021 was similar to the California Gold Rush of 1848.
There is no magic behind NFT except that it is a digital asset that is stored as a unit of data on the blockchain. It’s far from Aladdin’s magic lamp.
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In other words, an NFT is a digital asset that can be created, bought, sold and transferred from one person to another seamlessly. The key point about this is that as a unit of data, its ownership is secure and verifiable.
What is the acceptability rate in Nigeria, and how can it be explored?
NFT is largely an untapped market in Nigeria despite the fact that we have a thriving creative industry. If we were to limit our participation in the global NFT economy to the proliferation of cryptographic works of art, we would do very well as a nation because it is a known fact that we are a nation abundantly endowed with talented citizens.
Do you think we would do well if a lot of passion was injected into the creation of Afrobeat NFTs? To date, the NFT industry is valued at just over $40 billion with higher estimates expected to emerge by the end of 2022.
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How much do you think us if the same passion is injected into the creation of Afrobeat’s NFT? To date, the NFT industry is valued at just over $40 billion with higher estimates expected to emerge by the end of 2022.
It’s time we realized the reality of NFT as a new avenue for wealth creation. Each of us has a chance to participate in the process as a creator or an investor. In fact, their fortune can be made in this space. If you are looking for a side hustle or a full time business, you can create your own NFTs and list them on the various NFT marketplaces. But if you don’t want to take the long way, you can buy and flip NFTs for quick profits.
Are NFTs just for digital artists?
Although the NFT industry is heavily dominated by digital art, if you will, crypto art is a market for music, web domains, access tickets, game items, real estate, etc
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Surely you have heard of a poor man who earns millions of dollars selling selfies. Could you kindly explain how it works?
Just as there are many struggling independent artists in the NFT industry, there are those whose exceptional art has made their fortunes. The reality is that money is made every day.
Can you give a breakdown of the Solana NFT ecosystem and how it works? Who is the founder?
The Solana blockchain was founded in March 2020 by Anatoly Yakovenko. It has recently gained a glowing reputation for its ability to serve the NFT industry better than Ethereum. The impact of Solana’s NFT markets on Solana’s blockchain is infinitely greater than that of any trend in its current ecosystem.
In other words, NFTs on Solana continued to shine the spotlight on SOL, its crypto, as well as its low gas fees, which accounted for the influx of small-scale NFT traders and institutional investors who found the benefits conferred by its POS Algorithm irresistible.
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How is Solana different from other NFT ecosystems? Where do you see Solana’s adoption in five years?
The Solana blockchain has a competitive advantage over Ethereum and this is reflected in its blistering speed and low gas fees.
When you take these two factors into consideration, you will simply understand why the Ethereum blockchain is losing a large NFT market share to Solana despite the fact that OpenSea, which is the largest NFT marketplace, operates there.
How can an investor avoid falling into fraudulent projects?
The dark corner of the blockchain world is where you find crypto scams or rug draws. You have to be very thoughtful before investing in less open crypto or NFT projects.
When there is asymmetry of information, the risk of being shot is generally high. This is why the golden rule is DYOR (Do Your Own Research).
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Your views on the crypto industry in Nigeria and what would you suggest CBN can be done?
Nigeria is not the only country in the world with an anti-crypto policy. The banning of crypto services by Nigerian banks itself is an indication of the limit of government regulatory power when it comes to crypto.
It is utterly impossible to ban crypto whose market is not regulated by any central authority and as it continues to spread across the globe, chances are that every government will want to maintain healthy adoption of the crypto.