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Chainlink Labs’ Lauren Halstead On The Future of NFTs

At ETHDenver 2022, Chainlink Labs’ Lauren Halstead joined a group of panelists representing top blockchain projects to talk about the future of NFTs and answer the prevailing question:

“Why would someone want to buy a JPEG?”

Having worked with a bouquet of dynamic NFT projects powered by Chainlink, Halstead offered a much more comprehensive approach to on-chain digital art. 

“NFTs are way more than JPEGs,” she said. “They are communities. They are your friends.”

Chainlink decentralized oracle networks (DONs) connect NFTs to real-world data like sports stats and can update dynamic NFTs (dNFTs) for athletes like Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball in real time. 

Chainlink VRF (Verifiable Random Function) also connects NFT holders with opportunities to win real-world rewards like signed memorabilia from their favorite athlete’s personal collection. For Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, Chainlink-powered dNFTs are a way to give back to die-hard fans.

Halstead is excited about the opportunity to push the dNFT space forward with fantasy sports. 

“It’s really just bringing value to communities,” she explained. 

Ultimately, she sees NFTs as fundamental units for building communities around virtually any common interest. 

“It’s that opportunity to be a part of a group of people that you agree with, who see the world the same way.”

The Chainlink Network, which secures tens of billions of dollars in smart contracts, is also supporting projects like NFTBank that are connecting NFTs to the rapidly growing DeFi space. Halstead said she believes that being able to use NFTs as collateral for DeFi lending is the future.

She also envisions NFT communities like Bored Apes building global brands as big as Gucci. She spoke to the power of NFT communities that quickly become much greater than the sum of their parts.  

“I was down at Art Basel at the Pudgy Penguins party about a week before everything blew up and it’s just so interesting to see that the community around it is outweighing the people who started it,” she said. “This is the new coordination. It doesn’t matter who started [an NFT project]; it’s the fact that it’s going to keep going that’s amazing.”

Follow Lauren Halstead on Twitter.

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