In times past, every culture has a way of preserving data and information. With the computer coming around, some people learnt how to carry out operations on the computer and store the output. Information are stored in the computer in bytes and its expanded forms of mega, giga and terabytes. However, over time, there has been an increase in computing needs which has led to the demand for more storage space. The inbuilt memories of computers became very limited in storage hence, the need to store information elsewhere.
With the internet, people have learnt how to store information in storage spaces across the cloud. The blockchain has proven useful in this regard as its immutability makes it possible to keep information as long as one wants without fear of loss or intrusion. This is especially so for digital properties such as coins, works of art and Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs).
Art is so honest a concept as not to be loved by many and too old to be forgotten in a haste. If the paintings and other works of art that were done by renowned artists were not preserved in the museum, we might never come to know about these artists or their crafts. And, of course, there would have been no models for future artists and art lovers. Therefore, the role the museum plays in society can never be overemphasized. Even if one spends some conscious hours analyzing the concept of the museum and its effects on our modern-day society, one might end up spending donkey years analyzing the concept of museum without exhausting all of its benefits to society.
NFTs, as the name goes, are tokens which are non-fungible. What this means is that, unlike fungible tokens or assets, they cannot be exchanged directly. While one can exchange a $100 bill with two $50 bills, an NFT cannot be exchanged in this way. This is especially so because their worth depends greatly on the perception of the person buying it and the value placed on them at the given time. Being on the blockchain is another icing on the NFT cake. By nature, the blockchain does not permit alterations and mutations. This characteristic is important in maintaining the originality of works of art. Apart from the monetary implications, NFTs are a way of preserving events, culture and historical facts. It becomes necessary therefore, to preserve these tokens.
Just like the analogous and physical world has established museums to preserve valued works of art, the blockchain has a natural way of preserving the original signatures from events, history and works of art such as drawings, paintings and music. Whether the storage location is physical or digital, so long as they serve the purpose of storage and preservation, it makes sense to conceptualize them together. Therefore, it will not be out of place to refer to these depository of Non-Fungible Tokens as ‘NFT museums’.
What is a Museum?
According to the International Council Of Museums (ICOM), “a museum is a non-profit permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment, for study, education, and enjoyment”.
How Does a Museum Serve Humanity?
From the above definition, it’s obvious that a museum is not a place for the collection of old or outdated pieces of antiquity as some people may mistake it to be. A museum serves a different purpose to different people.
- To a poet, it could be a place where he goes and ponders on classical and medieval verses.
- To an educationist, it could be the best place to carry out academic research.
- To a historian, a museum could be the best place to study the past, the present, and decide the future.
- To an artist, it could be the best place to unearth the models set by illustrious artists who may have kissed the earth goodbye but their crafts still breathe.
Why NFT Museum?
The conventional museums are yet to accept the digital assets depository (NFT museums). But of course, that will not save them from the inevitable. NFT museums will always have an edge over physical museums because of the inbuilt following inbuilt characteristics of the former.
- Indestructibility: Physical locations may be liable to different levels of damage such as theft, flood, fire, earthquake etc but with the blockchain and online storage, the chances are lower thus ensuring better preservation.
- Immutability: By nature, data and information on the blockchain cannot be altered. This ensures that these original works of art does not suffer from unsolicited changes and adjustments.
- Originality: NFTs are, by nature, rare and original works of art bearing unique signatures. This means that they cannot be forged hence, their authenticity is guaranteed.
A museum holds artifacts and specimens in trust for society. It serves as a platform for the preservation of natural, cultural, sculptural and scientific heritage. It prevents the destruction of artistic works as well as provides models for future artists and art lovers. Museums help intensify our sense of well-being and help us feel proud of our heritage. One way or the other a museum affects our emotional and psychological well-being.