Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, have recently gained a lot of attention in the world of digital art and collectibles, but the potential use cases for this technology extend far beyond that. In the future, NFTs could be used for a wide range of applications, including:
- Census taking
- Record keeping (birth certificates, deeds, etc.)
- Healthcare records
- Supply chain
- Event tickets
Mintlayer’s MLS-03 token standard allows non-fungible tokens to be minted on the Mintlayer blockchain.
What makes NFTs different from other tokens is that they are unique; unlike currencies which are fungible, each NFT is distinct. These tokens can still be traced back to their origin and transferred, but they are unique from any other token.
Artists and developers immediately seized upon this attribute to use NFTs for digital art and collectibles. It allows users to prove their ownership of a unique asset while also preventing counterfeiting.
Digital art is just the beginning for NFTs. Check out these exciting, and sometimes paradigm shifting, uses for NFTs that are gaining traction.
Global supply chains have been struggling to keep up with demand since 2020, when the pandemic hit major ports and manufacturing hubs. Some industries such as diamonds, food, precious metals, and chemicals have attempted to improve tracking of their products to issue proof of sustainable and ethical manufacturing to customers.
NFTs act as a digital copy of products that can be used to track and verify origin, all the way from raw materials to the end user. These NFTs give the customer a digital certificate of authenticity that cannot be duplicated or tampered with. They also give companies maximum transparency when it comes to proving an ethical and sustainable supply chain.
Industries that already require multiple production stages and checkpoints (like precious gems) could save both time and money by using NFTs to navigate the supply chain. NFTs would help bolster:
- Product authentication
- Supply chain transparency
- Transfer of ownership and dominion
- Aftermarket transactions
Companies could more easily audit inventory and stop losses by identifying checkpoints where components went missing.
Supply chains could also help automate more movement and production with robots and AI. NFTs store and update all product information and data. Computers can more easily track and process a digital twin of an asset than the physical asset itself.
Mintlayer is an attractive option for companies and organizations wanting to supplement their supply chains with NFTs because it is truly decentralized with no organization that could interfere with operation and governance in the future. Mintlayer’s compatibility with Bitcoin makes it appealing because of Bitcoin’s early success over other tokens as a replacement for fiat.
NFTs for Voting and Online Ballots
One of the most exciting potential use cases for NFTs is in the field of voting. NFTs could create secure and verifiable digital ballots, which could conduct online voting in a way that is both simple and transparent.
Using NFTs would ensure that each vote is unique and cannot be replicated or altered, and the use of blockchain technology would ensure that the results of the vote are tamper-proof and verifiable by anyone.
This could make it possible to conduct transparent, secure, and efficient online voting, which could have a significant impact on democracy and political participation. Voters could cast their votes from anywhere in the world, and the need for polling stations and special absentee ballots would be addressed almost completely.
Mintlayer has worked with European authorities to maintain KYC compliance since inception. Access Control Lists and efficient design make Mintlayer ideal for developing the first government sponsored NFT projects.
NFTs for Government Census & Record Keeping
NFTs could create secure and verifiable digital records of populations, which could conduct accurate and efficient censuses. Using NFTs would ensure that each record is unique and the use of blockchain technology would ensure that the records are tamper-proof and verifiable by anyone.
Governments could issue an NFT in addition to each citizen’s birth certificate. Each citizen’s NFT would give them access to government resources, be used to file taxes, prove citizenship, and interface with the government in many unexpected but useful ways.
As an open-source technology that operates without a foundation, any organization is free to integrate their projects with the Mintlayer blockchain. Like Bitcoin, there is no centralized governing body for Mintlayer. We have taken care to eliminate as much attack surface and requirement for third-party access as possible.
One of the most promising use cases for NFTs is replacing traditional healthcare records. By issuing each person a unique NFT for healthcare record keeping, doctors could eliminate redundant work, fight healthcare fraud, and ensure each patient receives the most holistic care possible.
The friction caused by incompatible technologies, burdensome bureaucracy, and incomplete data has plagued the healthcare modern healthcare industry since it began. NFTs present the opportunity to enhance interoperability and ease of exchange, which would minimize delays, enhance the care given, and avoid redundancies.
Patients would have unparalleled control over access to their healthcare records through the ownership of their own unique access key. Records could be shared in near real-time with referred specialists, other providers, insurance companies, and family members. Patients could revoke access just as quickly.
Mintlayer’s UTXO accounting, multisignature aggregation, and possibly a special NFT output type that focuses on privacy will help address existing privacy concerns.
Mintlayer Was Built For This
With these potential use cases, some Bitcoin maximalists have pushed for smart contract development on the Bitcoin blockchain. Last year’s taproot upgrade had the unintentional side effect of allowing people to bypass Bitcoin’s 80 byte limit. People are now uploading images, NFTs, and even the Bitcoin whitepaper on the blockchain.
Satoshi Nakamoto never wanted the Bitcoin blockchain to be contaminated with anything other than the financial transactions he designed it for. He argued that storing too much data on one blockchain would make it cumbersome and slow. Developers settled on an 80 byte limit to minimize block size.
We built Mintlayer to expand on Bitcoin’s potential without interfering with its intended purpose as a secure and basic function as digital gold. With Mintlayer, users can leverage their Bitcoin to create DeFi projects with real-world financial uses, such as NFTs, without congesting the Bitcoin blockchain itself.
Digital art is great, but we have built Mintlayer with the potential for more disruptive and serious use cases.
Of course, these use cases for NFTs are still in the early stages of development, and it’s likely that many more will emerge as the technology evolves.
By creating unique, secure, and verifiable digital records, NFTs have the potential to improve transparency, security, and efficiency in many important areas of our lives.
From digital art and gaming to voting, healthcare, and record keeping, the potential uses for NFTs are limitless. We can expect to see a lot of innovation in this space in the coming years, and Mintlayer’s unique organizational structure, open source status, and technology stack make it ideal for organizational adoption.