NFTs for N00bs

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This is a podcast episode titled, NFTs for N00bs. The summary for this episode is: <p>What the heck are NFTs?! What does one do&nbsp;<em>with</em>&nbsp;an NFT? Are they worth all the hype? If you've ever found yourself asking these questions, this episode is for you, n00bie! Today, <a href="https://twitter.com/patrickkmiller_" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Patrick</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/KeithSimon_/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Keith</a> dive into the world of NFTs and the blockchain to help you better understand this new digital frontier. Patrick breaks it all down in Layman's terms (for which Keith is thankful!), leading the two to have a well-rounded, ethical conversation about how we as Christians should approach the digital world.</p><p><br></p><p><strong>Ok, truth time... Did you like this episode?</strong> Tell us by leaving a rating or review! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 If you did, you won't want to miss what's next (so subscribe now!). And help a friend by sharing this with them. Thank you! πŸ™</p><p><br></p><p><strong>Plus, the conversation is just beginning! </strong>Follow us on <a href="https://twitter.com/truthovertribe_" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ChooseTruthOverTribe" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/accounts/login/?next=/truthovertribe_/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Instagram</a> to join in on the dialogue! <strong>Want to learn more about Truth Over Tribe?</strong> Visit our <a href="https://info.choosetruthovertribe.com/subscribe?utm_campaign=TOT%20Campaign%203B&amp;utm_source=Show%20Notes%20" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">website</a> and subscribe to our weekly <a href="https://choosetruthovertribe.com/?utm_campaign=TOT%20Campaign%203B&amp;utm_source=Show%20Notes%20-%20website" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">newsletter</a>.</p><p><br></p><p><strong>Resources:</strong></p><p><a href="https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2022/january-web-only/cryptocurrency-blockchain-tech-gifs-digital-nfts-scam.html?utm_source=twitter&amp;utm_medium=post&amp;utm_campaign=article" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">The Case for Not Treating NFTs as a Scam</a></p><p><a href="http://info.choosetruthovertribe.com/blog_subscription" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Subscribe To Our Blog</a></p><p><a href="http://info.choosetruthovertribe.com/how-tribal-are-you" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">How Tribal Are You?</a></p>
Bill Gates talks with David Letterman about the new invention, the internet
02:30 MIN
A separatism that exists within Christianity
01:58 MIN
What is digital art?
00:33 MIN
How digital artists get paid for their digital art
01:05 MIN
Creating NFTs and how to prove it's the original
03:51 MIN
The beauty of NFTs: They're programmable discreet digital property
01:40 MIN
POAS: Proof of attendance protocols
00:57 MIN
Blockchain: The public ledger of transactions
00:38 MIN
How you verify a persons credentials in the blockchain
01:33 MIN
NFTs from a Christian perspective
03:19 MIN

Patrick Miller: Are you tired of tribalism?

Speaker 3: I think a lot of what the left supports is satanic.

Speaker 4: The only time religious freedom is invoked is in the name of bigotry and discrimination.

Patrick Miller: Are you exhausted by the culture war?

Speaker 5: If they don't like it here, they can leave.

Speaker 6: You could put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.

Keith Simon: Are you suspicious of those who say Jesus endorses their political party?

Speaker 7: Is it possible to be a good Christian and also be a member of the Republican party? And the answer is absolutely not.

Speaker 8: From certainly a biblical standpoint. Christians could not vote democratic.

Patrick Miller: We trust the lamb, not the donkey or the elephant.

Keith Simon: This is the podcast that's too liberal for conservatives and too conservative for liberals.

Patrick Miller: I'm Patrick Miller.

Keith Simon: And I'm Keith Simon and we choose truth over tribe, do you?

Patrick Miller: Hey, Keith, what do you think most people think of when they hear NFT?

Keith Simon: Well, I was telling people the other day that you probably missed the football games on Sunday because you thought the NFL was really NFTs. You thought, I already know all about that. And so you just read a book or something like that, refresh your Latin, but I don't know. NFL and NFT, those are different things, you know that, right?

Patrick Miller: Yeah. And I think you know that too.

Keith Simon: Yeah, I do. But barely. I mean, it's shocking how little I understand about NFTs. I was with some guys this morning and they didn't know what it stood for. So I got that on them.

Patrick Miller: You're a step ahead. What does it stand for?

Keith Simon: Non fungible token. And I think I could even tell you what fungible is. I think.

Patrick Miller: Go, I'm excited for this. What's does fungible mean?

Keith Simon: Are you ready? Well, okay. So I can give an example, a dollar bill is fungible because you can have another dollar bill that has the same value. In fact, there are millions or billions of dollar bills.

Patrick Miller: So they're interchangeable?

Keith Simon: And a non fungible token is something that is discreet or unique. There's only of them. You can't have another one.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So a piece of art is non fungible. There's only one piece of that piece of art out there.

Keith Simon: Correct. So that's what I know, didn't take long.

Patrick Miller: Okay. So I think what most people hear about NFTs. I think one thing that pops up is this is some bizarre scam. Because for some reason you're me that I could pay money for this JPEG that I could copy and paste for free. So why in the world would I pay money for something that I can have for free?

Keith Simon: And when you say JPEG, you mean a digital image?

Patrick Miller: Are we that?

Keith Simon: I think we are.

Patrick Miller: People don't what JPEGs are?

Keith Simon: Based on the conversations that I've had recently trying to know, but this, I'm not sure that most people know what a JPEG is.

Patrick Miller: Okay. So JPEG is the file extension on a photo. So let's say I had a photo of Keith. It could be Keith dot JPEG, or if you're familiar with word, you've got... If you wrote a book called Keith, it'll be Keith. docx.

Keith Simon: I can't wait to read that book. I bet it's so interesting.

Patrick Miller: So JPEG is just a file extension. It's a type of file. It's a photo. Okay. But that's what I think people think of is, hey, why would I buy a photo that I could just copy and paste? Or it feels like this weird collector item thing. You've probably heard about the NBA NFTs, where you can buy a clip from a game. And now that clip which by the way, you could find on YouTube and watch for free. But you own that clip that is now your clip of whoever you like watching, I don't watch the NBA, so I'm not going to try to play it.

Keith Simon: And what would you do with it?

Patrick Miller: So again, what's the value of this, right?

Keith Simon: Right. Yeah. So you're going to tell us?

Patrick Miller: Well, we'll talk to them about it. I think people also think of there's this phrase out there called crypto Degens and actually, this is really funny. So maybe people have noticed this on Twitter. Normally your Twitter profile picture is a circle, but have you noticed people with hexagons?

Keith Simon: I have.

Patrick Miller: Or maybe they're octagons actually, now that I think about it.

Keith Simon: I don't know.

Patrick Miller: I think they're octagons.

Keith Simon: Okay. So what's the point?

Patrick Miller: If you see someone with an octagon profile picture that is an NFT.

Keith Simon: Have you made yours an octagon?

Patrick Miller: I do own two NFTs. So I'm not a big NFT investor, but neither of them are images that I would like to use as my profile picture. I want me to be my profile picture.

Keith Simon: What are your NFTs?

Patrick Miller: So this is interesting. So there are Christians who are in this space and I'll talk more about this later. But one was actually a gift from an NFT artist named Patrick Bezalel who lives in Singapore and does resin artwork that has really gotten into NFTs. And he's built a cool Christian community around his NFTR it's called metaverse. Now he spells it differently than that. And all of them are these little sheep. And it's based on Isaiah 53. It's like all these little sheep that are all living inside the metaverse. But it's a cool little community that's built around it on discord where people are going in and there's prayer requests. They're talking about their lives together. So that's one that I have. I've got another one that's say based around my name. I own Patrickmiller. eth

Keith Simon: Wow. Okay. So my guess is we're already losing people because we're already diving into the deep end. There's so much you're saying that I don't understand like Degens. I don't know what that is. And ETH, I don't know what that is. And so we're going to have to go back the beginning and start through this. But maybe to set that up. When I have been talking to guys, trying to figure out what they know about NFTs, what I get is this look that says, why does this matter? Who cares? This is dumb. This is something that a few weirdos are making a big deal out of. And probably they have some ulterior motive, but this doesn't apply to the rest of us.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. I mean, I think people, well, they might not know the number. They realize this is a$ 7 billion market right now, NFT. It's not a giant market, but it's not a small market either. And I think a lot of people look, this is fueled by speculation. It's destined for collapse, like the. com bubble in the late 90s. So this is all just silliness. And I think that's, people's response to most new technologies is to laugh at it like, really, this is going to change the world. This is going to... Sure, buddy, you know what you're talking about? You're not insane.

Keith Simon: Yeah. We have to be careful because when people talk about new ideas, that tendency is to scoff at them. And we can go back in not so distant history and find people at scoffing at things that we take for granted today. Things like the internet or email. And we don't want to be the person who is scoffing at what is in a few years, or maybe a decade going to be a normal part of life. We're going to miss out if we are so cynical and so skeptical that we won't open our eyes to maybe something new.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. And let me just say this, if you think this is an episode that's telling you to go invest in NFTs one, if you're taking your investment advice from a pastor, I mean, God bless you. I don't know what to say. That's not what this is about. I do not recommend that anybody listening to this goes out and buys an NFT after listening to this. That's not the point of this. We want to think Christianly about this new and developing technology. And we want do that because failure to do that in the past has had a lot of costs. And we'll circle back to that in a second. But I want to start with a little bit of fun this morning. Here's what I want to do, I want to go back and find some clips and some news articles that came out in the mid 90s when the internet was first becoming a thing. So we're talking 1995, 1994. I want people to see how people reacted to the internet back then.

Keith Simon: Yeah. So the first one is Bill Gates on the late show with David Letterman.

David Letterman: But I think about this. And what about this internet thing? Do you know anything about that?

Bill Gates: Sure.

David Letterman: What the hell is that exactly?

Bill Gates: Well, it's become a place where people are publishing information. So everybody can have their own homepage, companies are there, the latest information. It's wild what's going on. You can send electronic mail to people. It is the big new thing.

David Letterman: Yeah. But it's easy to criticize something you don't fully understand, which is my position here.

Bill Gates: Go ahead.

David Letterman: But I can remember a couple of months ago there was a big breakthrough announcement that on the internet or on some computer deal, they were going to broadcast a baseball game. You could listen to a baseball game on your computer. And I just thought to myself, does radio ring a bell? You know what I mean?

Bill Gates: There's a difference.

David Letterman: There is a difference.

Bill Gates: It's not a huge difference.

David Letterman: What is the difference?

Bill Gates: But you can listen to the baseball game whenever you want to.

David Letterman: All right. I see. So it's stored in one of your memory deals and then you can-

Bill Gates: Exactly.

David Letterman: ...come a year later.

Bill Gates: That's the way I'm hearing you talked about earlier.

David Letterman: Yeah. Do tape recorders ring a bell? Yeah. I just don't know, what can you just knowing me, the little you know me now? What am I missing here? What do I need?

Bill Gates: Well, if you want to learn about the latest cigars or auto racing statistics-

David Letterman: Well, I've got that covered. I subscribe to two British magazines that are devoted entirely to Motorsports. And I call the Quaker state speed line about two times a half hour. So now would the computer give me more than I'm getting that way?

Bill Gates: You could find other people who have the same unusual interests you do.

David Letterman: You mean the troubled loner chat room on the internet?

Bill Gates: Absolutely.

Keith Simon: What I love about that is that Bill Gates can't even quite describe the internet. Because there was more things he could have said about listening to that baseball game even back in'94,'95, when that is recorded.

Patrick Miller: Yeah, you could have said, hey, what if you're not within radio reception of that game? You're a New York Yankees fan. You want to listen to the Yankees game, but you live in California. What do you do?

Keith Simon: But he can't even quite explain it because it's also new and people are trying to get their head around it. And so do you want to be that person? Do you want to be the David Letterman mocking NFTs when they become the future?

Patrick Miller: Okay. I want to do another clip that I really like. So this is the Today's Show crew, Katie Couric.

Keith Simon: Bryant Gumble.

Patrick Miller: Uh- huh( affirmative). And they're about to begin a segment on the internet.

Keith Simon: What year is this?

Patrick Miller: It's 1994. So I think this is maybe the first segment that was ever done on the today show about the internet. And so it's beforehand and these acres are trying to figure out what the heck they're about to talk about.

Keith Simon: When you listen to it, you have to imagine the dumbfounded look on their faces as they have this common conversation. I mean, they are completely confused.

Patrick Miller: So Keith and I are going to refrain from laughing over the top of this, but I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Bryant Gumble: G- 6 pass. I wasn't prepared to translate that as opposed to in that little tease.

Katie Couric: That's right.

Bryant Gumble: That little mark with the A, and then the ring around it.

Katie Couric: At.

Bryant Gumble: See, that's what I said. Kay said she thought it was about.

Katie Couric: Yeah.

Bryant Gumble: But I've never heard it-

Katie Couric: Around.

Bryant Gumble: ...I've never heard it crosstalk said. I'd always seen the mark, but never heard it said. And then it sounded stupid when I said it violence @ NBC.

Elizabeth: It wouldn't be around or about.

Katie Couric: crosstalk big fight up in the lunchroom.

Bryant Gumble: There it is. Violence @ NBCGEcom, I mean.

Elizabeth: Well, Allison should know, what is internet?

Bryant Gumble: What is internet anyway?

Katie Couric: Internet is that massive computer network, the one that's becoming really big now.

Bryant Gumble: What do you mean net's big? How does one... What do you write to it like mail?

Katie Couric: No, a lot of people use it and communicate. I guess they can communicate with NBC writers and producers. Allison, can you explain what internet is?

Bryant Gumble: No, she can't say anything in 10 seconds or less.

Katie Couric: Allison will be in the studio shortly.

Elizabeth: What does it mean?

Allison: It's a giant computer network made up of... Started from-

Bryant Gumble: I thought you were going to tell us what this was.

Elizabeth: It's like a computer billboard.

Allison: ...it's a computer billboard, but it's nationwide. And it's several universities and everything all joined together and it's crosstalk.

Bryant Gumble: And others can access it.

Allison: And it's getting bigger and bigger all the time

Bryant Gumble: Just great.

Katie Couric: It came in really handy during the quake, a lot of people, that's how they were communicating out to tell family and loved ones they were okay because all the phone lines were down.

Bryant Gumble: I was telling Katie and other-

Elizabeth: But you don't need a phone line to operate Internet?

Katie Couric: No. No.

Patrick Miller: Okay. So that's a great clip and it's worth going to watch, because they're all trying to draw the at sign with their hands as they're talking about it and they don't call it the internet, they're all like what's internet.

Keith Simon: Well, and they don't know the at versus about, they don't know what it is. They don't know what it might be used for.

Patrick Miller: Do you have to have the phone lines to make it work? It's pretty funny. Now, again, in retrospect, it's easy to look back on that and laugh, but I think as representative of where most people were in 1994, no one quite understood what the internet was, unless they were an early tech adopter.

Keith Simon: I mean, we're talking just that's 25, less than 30 years ago that people had no idea what this was. And yet today we can't imagine living without it. Everybody knows what it is. To not know what it is, is to be completely out of the loop. And can't function in today's society. So life changes quickly, especially in the area of technology and what seems silly one day becomes very normal the next.

Patrick Miller: Okay, Keith let's do one more. So there was a Newsweek editorial in 1995. The headline was the internet bah. Okay. And the article is hilarious is to read because it's making fun of the future predictions of the internet and almost everything he makes fun of, we will recognize as a regular part of a reality. So Keith, you want to give this a read.

Keith Simon: After two decades online, I'm perplexed, it's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the internet. I've met great people and even caught a hacker or two, but today I'm uneasy about them most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper. No CD rom can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works. Consider today's online world, the usenet, a worldwide bulletin board allows anyone to post messages across the nation. Your word gets out leapfrogging editors and publishers. Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly. The result, every voice is heard. The cacophony more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harassment and anonymous threats. When most everyone shouts few listen. How about electronic publishing? Try reading a book on a disc. At best, it's an unpleasant chore. The myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can't tot that laptop to the beach. Yet Nicholas Negroponte director of MIT media lab predicts that we'll soon buy books in newspapers straight over the internet. Sure. Pretty remarkable.

Patrick Miller: I love that, who wrote this?

Keith Simon: Maybe we shouldn't say his name.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. I'm not going to say the poor guy's name. I'm sure he's embarrassed by now. But people would do this today, right?

Keith Simon: Yes. About NFTs. About a lot of things.

Patrick Miller: Absolutely.

Keith Simon: And we of course don't know if NFTs are going to play out like the internet and email and digital books and all this multimedia classrooms. So there are things that come along that pan out and things that don't pan out and you don't know it ahead of time, but what you have to do is think everything through, try to understand it and best you can see where it's going.

Patrick Miller: Yeah, that's exactly right. You can't prove that a new technology is going to work simply by pointing to the fact that people got old technologies wrong. We don't know what's going to work in the future. What I can say is this, if you have your pulse and the leading thinkers technology and the internet, this is what they're talking about. This is not some side project that a few weirdos are buying into. This is, it seems to be the future. And so again, it's really easy to be like this guy laughing it off, shrecking it off. I don't know if that's the right response.

Keith Simon: And frankly, Christians sometimes are the people who are the most skeptical of things like this. I think maybe that's because there's a separatism that exists within Christianity. There's a natural cynicism that we have toward the world. And when Christians get cynical about technological advancements, we tend to put ourselves in a position that is behind the rest of culture. We tend to be followers instead of leaders. We tend to be reacting instead of being proactive. And that has done a lot of damage to the faith.

Patrick Miller: No, I think that's exactly right. If you roll back the timeline to the mid 2000s, when social media is first beginning to develop. So Facebook starts around 2005, 2006, and obviously we can name all the other things that have started since then, Twitter and Instagram. I mean, this is not that long ago. And Christians again, they had this exact same response. Sure, people are going to share their lives online. Sure, people are going to write about what's happening in their lives. They're going to share for... Yeah. Whatever. That's not going to happen. And because of this separatism, Christians really disengaged with social media and meanwhile, social media's blowing up. You don't have Christians in the room where it happens, so they're not many working at Facebook or Amazon or these other places that are developing these things. So they're not shaping the ethics and the way that those companies are thinking about what they're doing. And beyond that, Christians aren't being cognizant of how they're using these platforms and how these platforms are changing them. I mean, this really shocked me. There was an MIT report that came out and it showed that 19 of the top 20 Christian Facebook pages in the US, and by the way, these are by and large, larger than every other Facebook page that comes off of that top 20 list. I mean, these are pages that you might be on. These are pages that your friends are almost most definitely on, 19 out of the top 20 are run by foreign Troll farms.

Keith Simon: So these are Facebook pages that Christians are following in drills, listening to, influencing them. There's nothing really Christian about them. They are just Troll farms using a facade, a Christian front to influence and manipulate Christians. Christians are going for it. They're buying it.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. Let me explain what's happening on these Troll farms. 95% of the things they post are bland, Christianese sounding things. And what they're actually often doing is they're finding the most popular Christian post out in the Facebook world and they're copying and pasting them onto their home page. But they say, hey, if it worked there, it's going to work here. But there's a very nefarious 5%. They're drawing people into conspiracy theories. They're trying to shape people's political aspirations and interests. And so you're on a page and it's all this wonderful stuff about praying for people. And Jesus is Lord and Bible verse images and wow. And then all of a sudden it goes queuing on, on you. But because you've already trusted this page and you've seen so many good things you think, well, gosh, I mean, if this page is saying this, then you maybe there's some real merit to this idea that people are sex trafficking children under central park.

Keith Simon: So it makes sense that they build trust with you through putting that what you said is bland or just good solid content out there, but then use that trust against you to manipulate you.

Patrick Miller: Yeah, to destabilize you.

Keith Simon: But I want to go back if it's okay with you to something you said just a minute or two ago, and that is that Christians were not involved in thinking these issues through. They weren't working on Amazon or Google or Facebook. They weren't thinking through how should Christians ethically use these tools. And I think that goes back to the sacred secular split that we have in our faith, that a lot of people think in terms of their only of Bible reading, church attendance, maybe talking to somebody about Jesus, but they're not thinking about their education. They're not thinking about culture, business, the world, technology from a Christian perspective. And so when Amazon or Google or whoever these companies are, when they go hire those people, they're not hiring people who are also committed, devoted wise, sincere Jesus, loving Christians, because those people have written off their education, have written off technology and business as something less important, something that's not in the kingdom of God, something that God doesn't care about. So the church's sacred, secular split problem comes back to haunt us at moments like this.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. I mean, when you look at the Facebook leaks that are showing that face book is essentially causing massive levels of depression, anxiety, and even suicidal ideation among teenage girls. And they knew that they were doing it and they knew that their product was the thing that was causing this.

Keith Simon: What if a Christian had been in that room that had been brought into the room? Because they are really good in their feel. They're really good at their job, but then they had a voice at that table and could have steered it a completely for direction.

Patrick Miller: Or what if a Christian had been the whistleblower and have been able to say, you know why I did this, because I follow Jesus. And because he doesn't want our communities to function this way. And so we're hitting two angles on this problem. One is the development problem, which is don't you want to have ethically sound Christians in the room where these new technologies are being developed. The other one is the user problem, which is shouldn't Christians on the front end, rather than just receiving these technologies and then after the fact, trying to figure out our way forward, wouldn't it have been better for Christians to understand how Facebook works so that they wouldn't get sucked into these troll farms? Well, yes, that would've been way better. And yet here we are. And so that's why we need to talk about technologies as they're developing.

Keith Simon: Yeah. I think of Ephesians 4: 14 here is that it talks about Christians are easily blown here and there by every wind of teaching and the cunning and craftiness of people and their deceitful scheming. If you don't have faith as rooted in truth, if you aren't thinking through the culture and how the Bible responds to culture, then you're just going to be tossed to and fro, here and there by whatever the cultural wind is. So what if we, when it came to NFTs or what if it came to cryptocurrency or the blockchain or all these other topics that we will at some point get into on our podcast over the next several months? What if Christians thought it through biblically and had developed some Christian ethics toward these? What if we were in the conversation from the beginning instead of writing them off and then coming to it all late.

Patrick Miller: So let me give the roadmap for the rest of this episode. I'm going to explain to Keith what NFTs are.

Keith Simon: Good Luck. Because I still don't know what I'm talking about.

Patrick Miller: By the end of this, you'll know a little bit more about out what you're talking. Actually you'll just know how ignorant you are about what you're talking about.

Keith Simon: Do I get to ask questions as we go through?

Patrick Miller: You get to ask questions.

Keith Simon: All right.

Patrick Miller: So we'll have fun. I'll explain a lot about NFTs. And by the way, I just want to give credit where credits do. A lot of this episode is based on work that I did with a friend of mine named Steven McCaskill. We published a piece in Christianity today. We'll link to it in the show notes, if you want to read it, but you're getting the long form version here. So I hope you enjoy it. So we'll explain what NFTs are and then we're going to do a little non fungible theology.

Keith Simon: Just so you know, Patrick's wearing a sport coat today. When I walked into the office and saw him in a sport coat, I thought, he's ready for the NFT episode. Here we go.

Patrick Miller: I'm so ready. This is my favorite kind of episode where Keith has to be the editor.

Keith Simon: I play the role very well.

Patrick Miller: Good, Good. Okay. So let's talk about what are our NFTs. Okay. So my friend, Steven, who I just mentioned a moment ago, he went to the Louv on his honeymoon, which is a cool place to go for your honeymoon crosstalk on that. And he's at the Louv with his wife and they see all of these people huddling around something. You can't quite see what it is, but because it's a giant crowd, he begins to assume this has to be the Mona Lisa. I mean, what other painting is going to draw a crowd like this? And so he gets a little bit closer and it is, it is the Mona Lisa, it's a smaller painting that he imagined it to be.

Keith Simon: Was it as impressive as you know?

Patrick Miller: Well, yeah, I think on one level he was a little bit impressed and unimpressed.

Keith Simon: Sure.

Patrick Miller: But it is a masterpiece. But him and I were talking and he was making the point that there are so many replicas of the Mona Lisa around the world. In fact, I just looked this up for$ 200, you can get a oil painting version of the Mona Lisa, which to your eyes and my eyes, we would not be able to tell that it was a fake. You could hang it up in your house and you've got the Mona Lisa in your house.

Keith Simon: I think most people come to my house would know that's not really the Mona Lisa, there's a point beyond that.

Patrick Miller: Well, why would they know it wasn't the Mona Lisa?

Keith Simon: Because they know me. They know there's only one Mona Lisa. They know me. They know I don't own it. And they know I don't have the money to buy the original Mona Lisa. They know the original Mona Lisa isn't for sale. I mean, there's 1000 reasons.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So that's exactly right. It's because they're intelligent people.

Keith Simon: They live and they breathe.

Patrick Miller: They understand that there's real original Mona Lisa, there's no way it's hanging up inside of your house.

Keith Simon: No.

Patrick Miller: And now how do we know that the Mona Lisa at the Louv, is the real one? Well, it's because we have art professionals whose entire job is to authenticate art. This is the real thing. That's a fake, that's a forgery.

Keith Simon: There's a chain of ownership that goes back to show it and to prove it. And there would probably written documents to record that. So yeah, it makes that sense.

Patrick Miller: Okay. So let's start there and we'll set that aside for a second. Now, I want you to imagine for a second, that Leonardo da Vinci lived today and naturally, because he was a forward thinking person, always at the edge, the cusp of everything, he's decided he's going to become a digital artist. And so one of the questions then would be, if he's making the Mona Lisa of digital art, how would you be able to say, this is the real digital Mona Lisa?

Keith Simon: What's a digital art?

Patrick Miller: I love that question. In other words, a piece of art which exists digitally. It's not just a photo of something that I made, although, that photo would be a form of digital art. There are all kinds of digital artists who are creating things that there's no physical version of it out there. It is just a piece of digital art that, that digital artist has created. Now, again, these can have lots of variations. Every song you listen to is digital art, unless you're going to the concert, how did you listen to it? It's digital art. Everything you look at on your computer, if it's an image, if it's something that someone created in Photoshop, again, that's digital art.

Keith Simon: So let's go back to your question. We have da Vinci, he lives today and he creates a piece of digital art. Or you could say Taylor Swift or whoever your favorite singer is, they create a piece of digital art. How can we verify that this really is from da Vinci?

Patrick Miller: Yeah. How can you know it's a real thing and let me add another layer. How could da Vinci make a living? I mean, if he's making all this digital art and it's just free to copy and paste it, how does he get any money out of it? I mean, if you want to have da Vinci's great artist out there, you have to pay them somehow.

Keith Simon: Okay. So if da Vinci makes digital art and I can just copy and paste that, then he doesn't make any money. So this would be a little bit like say if a musician, created music, and then it was stolen on Napster or shared on Napster back in the day. Is it that kind of thing? They were never paid for it or?

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So now we're beginning to center in. So in the current internet, how do we solve this problem? Okay. There's two ways we solve it. The first way, and this is the more common way with eBooks or music is that we use complex encryption systems. Now I'm not going to get into the details of that. Here's what matters, when you buy a song on apple music, that song's yours. But have you ever noticed you can't play that on Amazon music, you can't play it on Spotify. It's because you bought it from apple. You bought it from a third party. Now, obviously Apple's going to take its cut. And it's a very significant cut of the royalties that come from you purchasing that song, the label that produced that song with the artist, they're going to take a cut. And of course the artist is going to get pennies on the dollar for the work that they've created. So that's one way. And because that complex encryption system, only you with your apple account can access that song. You can't say to your wife," Hey, I bought this song." She say," Well, I need your account to be able to access that song. If I want to be able to enjoy it." The same thing goes for eBooks. You buy lots of eBooks. If you want to tell your friend," Hey, I bought this ebook. I want you to have it." Amazon has a loaning thing that you're able to do.

Keith Simon: It's very, very big pin in the butt so much so that I don't even worth it. It's not even worth it.

Patrick Miller: No, it's like, I'll give you 12 bucks to just solve my pain. I just...

Keith Simon: Yeah.

Patrick Miller: So that's one way to do it, to say, Keith owns this because it's associated with his account, but it will only work on our platform. So if you buy Kindle book, you're only reading it on Kindle. You can never go to Nook. You can never go to any other part, it's right here on this thing.

Keith Simon: Because in the two examples that you just gave, I hope I'm tracking the song that I own, but I have to play through apple music. And the book that I read on my Kindle, I don't really own them, do I? What I own is access to them through the digital platform. But if I got rid of my Kindle and wanted to buy another device, I wouldn't be able to take all those books with me. They're only accessible to me through that platform. So yeah, that's starting to make sense.

Patrick Miller: Unless, you buy into the platform, you're watching the platform. So a great example this is, people might remember this back in the iPod days. So we're talking early 2000s when apple opens up its music store and people are buying music there, Microsoft created a competitor to that. It was called the Zune. So it was its own little MP3 device. And it had its own marketplace place where you could buy music. And at the time it was questioning, who's going to win apple or Microsoft. Microsoft was the big dog at the time. So surely it's going to be Microsoft. And lots of people bought all kinds of music in the Zune marketplace. You know where the Zune is now?

Keith Simon: Never heard of it.

Patrick Miller: Doesn't exist.

Keith Simon: Yeah.

Patrick Miller: Right. So all that music you bought, unless you want to carry around a device that was made in 2002, it doesn't matter anymore. Because you don't have access to it because you don't have a Zune. And so you see how this locks you into platforms. And again, there's a question of whether it's great for the artists who aren't making as much on it because they can't sell direct to consumers. They have to go through this third party to be able to sell to them. One other thought here on how you do this. Let's say you're a photographer or something like that. And you want to defend your images, because those are even more challenging. You just Google search it, copy, paste. The only way you can do that is by hiring an attorney whose job is to defend your intellectual property. Now, if you're an artist, my guess is you don't have a lot of disposable income to hire an expensive team of attorneys to go and find, first of all, all the people out there who are using your image that you took and then to actually send them a cease desist letter and then maybe have to take them to court to say, this is my property, you need to pay me for it.

Keith Simon: All right. So let's play this sentence and see if I get it. I'm a photographer. And I take a picture and it's used in the New York times. So people could go to the New York times page and copy that image. And then it circulates on the internet. Anybody can use it, but I don't get credit for it nor royalties for it.

Patrick Miller: Exactly.

Keith Simon: And NFTs are going to solve that problem.

Patrick Miller: Well, NFTs create a different solution to the problem. So all the problems that we're laying at right now. And so that's what we'll exploit next. So again, let's go back to the definition of NFT, a non fungible token. We already explained what that meant, but let's just do a quick repeat here. A non fungible token is something that is unique. It's something that's discreet. In other words, I can trade my dollar for your dollar. That would be a fungible token, but I can't trade my Mona Lisa for the real Mona Lisa, they are not fungible. They're not interchangeable. Okay. And so the idea is how do you make content on the internet discreet?

Keith Simon: Unique?

Patrick Miller: How do you make it unique?

Keith Simon: So that you can't copy and paste it? You can't circulate it. You can't-

Patrick Miller: Well, I wouldn't say such, you can't copy and paste it. You still could copy and paste it. It's more about again, if you go back to the Mona Lisa example, how do you communicate the fact that this one is the off authentic one? This one is the real one. You can have your replica of the Mona Lisa, but everybody knows your Mona Lisa isn't the real Mona Lisa, how do I make it clear that this is the real one? And how do I make it clear that I'm the owner of this real one?

Keith Simon: ...okay. So can we do an example of something that someone would create that they would want to be able to prove that they have the original, why that matters?

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So it's probably worth saying we are very, very early in this technology. It's going to continue to develop and it's going to continue to change. And we'll talk about some of those future implications. But the things that we're looking at right now are very, very basic. One of my favorite ones and maybe some people will recognize this are crypto punks. So crypto punks they're-

Keith Simon: This is a person?

Patrick Miller: ...no, no, no. So it was an NFT project created by a NFT creator. And what he did is he made all of these little pixelated punks. So I think it's 24 bit by 24 bits. So that's 24 dots by 24 dots of these little punks. And whenever you minted one, it would create a unique punk for you. Now you needed to decide what it was going to be. It was all algorithmics. So some of these punks they're like skinheads, others of them have like Mohawks, some of them were smoking a cigarette, some are wearing glasses, but each one is unique and there's a limit to the amount of them. I believe 10,000 were created.

Keith Simon: Okay. Hang on. A crypto punk is an image of a person doing something. And there's an artist who created them. You could buy one, but you didn't choose what you got. It just the algorithm spit one out to you. And there was a limited number of these made. And so I would have a picture, a crypto punk, a picture of someone doing something. And I'd want to show that that's mine and it's unique because there's a limited number of these. And so perhaps if this artist becomes a big deal, this will be worth money.

Patrick Miller: And that's exactly what happened. So this project became an incredibly valuable project. Everybody wanted a crypto punk. Now let's just side up for a second and say, this is true of all things that things have value because we give them value. Why do you pay more for a Louis Vuitton bag than you do for a Walmart bag? Well, you might say the quality's better and I'm sure that's actually true, but it's also because you want the logo. And so things have value because we give them value.

Keith Simon: And so these crypto punks, because who made them or what the images look like somehow they came to have value

Patrick Miller: In the community, yeah. It was like having a blue check mark. If you had a crypto punk, it was a way of saying, hey, I'm an early adopter. I get how this thing works. I'm a part of the community. A great example of this. There was a guy who had a crypto punk that looked like Walter White from Breaking Bad. So I know you don't watch TV.

Keith Simon: For real.

Patrick Miller: But it was this bald little crypto punk with a little goatee just like Walter White in the show. And it became famous because it was like, this guy got Walter White. And someone offered him$ 11 million to buy his crypto punk. This guy's not worth$ 11 million. He refused to sell it. And he said he wouldn't sell it because it would be like selling himself one. He had a sense of personal value on it. Sentimental value. I love this piece of art, I wouldn't sell a Mona Lisa if you gave me a billion dollars right now. This is a piece of art that I love. But also because he had used this as his profile picture and he associated himself with it. He says, I'm not going to sell it now. I bet you it's worth even more now, by the way, now that he made that statement. But this is how it works. That's how value gets assigned to things.

Keith Simon: Okay. So the algorithm spit out an image, a crypto punk to this guy. That one, because it looked like Walter White becomes really valuable and he has the opportunity to sell it or not sell it. But this would be just anything you buy that it might turn out that the piece of real estate you bought has great value 10 years from now. It might not. This crypto punk could have been worth nothing or it could have been worth$ 11 million or more. That's a luck of the draw, just like anything else is, but he had it. He didn't want to sell it and he can prove that it's his.

Patrick Miller: Exactly. That's the key point. It's not just, I could go right now and find that crypto punk for you and I could copy and paste it and I could even get onto Twitter and change-

Keith Simon: Could I use it for my image or does he have copyright trademark?

Patrick Miller: ...I could go onto Twitter. I could change that into my image. Now here's the deal, rights are sold with this. So if he wanted to come after me, of course he could. But as NFTs continue to develop and more and more people are living in this space, people will know. You'll be able to see that's the real deal. That's not the real deal because it's verified. He is the owner of this thing. Patrick is not the owner of this thing. He's using it illegally. He's using it wrongly as his property, but he's not the owner. And I can prove it because it's been verified in the blockchain.

Keith Simon: Okay. Because you're not the owner of it. No one's going to pay you$ 11 million for it because they know that you don't have all the rights and legal protections that come with the real thing. But you get to use it however you want. So let's say I bought a piece of land. Now that land becomes valuable because of its location. I'm the only one that can use that land to sell it, to build a house or to put a convenience store, whatever I want in that land. But this digital thing seems different because although you don't have the real genuine one, you can copy and paste the image and use it in your life and get whatever benefit from it. If not the$ 11 million.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. And so this actually goes to the point of being early in the technology. So let's go back to the Twitter example. Now that Twitter allows you to connect your NFT wallet to Twitter. I can't use that as my profile picture anymore. I could put it as my profile picture, but it would be a circle and everybody would know just looking at the shape, he just copy and pasted some other dude's NFT, which isn't cool. Now, if it was an octagon and it had the crypto punk thing, then you would know, that is the owner of that piece of property. And as things like the metaverse and the internet develops and more and more NFTs, just become a normal part of life. People are going to know, are those real Air Jordans or are those just some knockoff made in Taiwan, that's where we're headed. So right now it's hard to look at because what's the difference. Well, as we move more and more towards a world where people are having digital property, it's going to matter and people will know.

Keith Simon: Yeah. So as the systems around it develop, as the ethics develop, then it will be more valuable to have the original, do people wear knockoff Jordans?

Patrick Miller: Yes.

Keith Simon: Of course, of course they do. They do that all the time. And yet we all know that there's a difference between having the real Jordans and the knockoff Jordans. And so that's going to happen then with these NFTs that we're going to develop whole systems that value having the original and not just a knockoff.

Patrick Miller: And here's why this matters, economies require scarcity. If something isn't scarce, it doesn't have value.

Keith Simon: True.

Patrick Miller: The reason why property like real estate has value is because if I own this piece of land, this is the only version of that piece of land, which exists.

Keith Simon: You're the only one that can use it.

Patrick Miller: I'm the only one that can use it. The problem with the internet right now is that nothing is scarce. Everything is available with the exception of these encryption programs I talked about, which have all kinds of problems associated with them. They're not good for artists. They're not good for consumers. You can't transfer them around. All of the problems that I already laid out. There's no way to do that. And so what this is doing is it's changing the economics of the internet. Right now the internet is built on economics that require advertising. Everything that we look at on the internet is based on banner ads. It's based on advertisers paying to get your attention from whatever platform you're on. And by the way, if you look at the problems that are happening around Facebook, Instagram, Google, and the ways that it's destabilizing our democracy, the ways that it's impacting and harming people, this is all because it's an ad built model, because that's the only way that we know how to make money on the internet. If you can't sell discreet things, all you have is advertising.

Keith Simon: It's damaging the democracy like you just said, because these social media platforms sell advertising. In order for that advertising to have value, they need to keep you engaged with it. And they appeal to anger and controversy and all kinds of things, negative things to keep you engaged. But if what you had were something that you could personally own and buy and sell, just like we do in the economy. If you could do that on the internet, then it wouldn't be so dependent upon ad revenue. And therefore we wouldn't have to appeal to the lowest common denominator of human nature in order to generate ad sales.

Patrick Miller: I don't know if this analogy's going to work, but I'm going to do it on the fly and see if it makes sense. Imagine that you wanted to share something with the world. You had a message or you had a piece of art or a song. And the only way you can do it is by sharing it in one specific place, because that's where everybody is. Now, of course, that might be Facebook, Instagram, whatever else. But let's imagine that in the real world, the only place that you can expect that everybody's going to go and be at in this real world analogy is a strip club because people like watching naked women dance. And so for you to share your thing online, you've got to go to the strip club so that people will see your thing. So there's stripping happening all you, but" Hey, I've got a great message. I want to share with you." That's what the internet is right now.

Keith Simon: The internet is a strip club.

Patrick Miller: Well, right now it's what you just said. How does Facebook keep you on their platform? It might be stripping. It might be sexual content. More likely it's anger, it's outrage, it's emotion. And so they're throwing the strip club. They're creating all the negative emotions. And then they're selling spot on the floor to advertise and say," Hey, well, this stripping is happening, guess what, we're going to have eyes, so why don't you sell your thing here?" Because you, as a content creator, there's no way for you to sell directly to the person who you want to sell your goods to.

Keith Simon: Okay. I think honestly I'm shocked, but I think that actually makes sense to me. And so this has not developed yet. You're talking about this is a few years down the road.

Patrick Miller: Yes.

Keith Simon: But it's where we're headed. And that's why we need to understand NFTs, understand where they're headed, understand why they might have value and develop ethics around it. This doesn't exist yet, but it's in the not too distant future.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. That's exactly right. And even press this further. I think that when we think about this biblically and we think about biblical economics, we should ask the question, is the current model just? In other words, we have a model right now where content creators, what's the value that they accrue for creating their content. Well, maybe get a few hards, maybe get a few likes. You get attention. Attention is the commodity that you get as a creator. What does Twitter get from you as a content creator? Well they get free content from you. What does Facebook get? They get free content from you. And they make all the money. In other words, all of the actual financial value accrues to these massive big tech platforms that have all kinds of problems. And the value does not accrue to the creators, and people who-

Keith Simon: But what do I have? What am I putting on Facebook or Twitter that has value that I want for it. If I write an article and publish that through a newspaper or a blog or something, then I might post about that on Twitter. But the tweet doesn't have value. The tweet is trying to draw people's attention to the blog.

Patrick Miller: ...well, first of all, I think that's absurd. If the tweet had no value, no one would be on Twitter.

Keith Simon: Okay, it has the value as a doorway to my-

Patrick Miller: Yeah, has a value to a doorway, to a thing that you're selling.

Keith Simon: ...yes. Well, are you selling it? I guess you are because you have subscription to the blog, you're on Substack or because you want their attention so that you can sell an ad on it.

Patrick Miller: So let's shift the analogy and look at things like Spotify, YouTube, Apple music. Now these are places where content creators are putting up music or videos for consumption by people. People want to listen to their music. And what do the creators get in return for putting their music up there? Well, for the most part, people aren't buying much music anymore. What they're doing is they're buying subs services and you are making literal fractions of pennies on the dollar for every stream that you get on Spotify, on Apple and everything else. There are millions and millions of artists streaming on Spotify. And yet only about 7, 000 to 8, 000 people are able to make a living off of Spotify.

Keith Simon: But doesn't it just mean that they're musicians not good and nobody wants to listen to it?

Patrick Miller: No, no, no. I actually strongly disagree with that. It's because of the model. For Spotify to exist, it has to make money. I'm not even wronging Spotify in the picture, but for it to make money, it has to take the vast majority of the earnings that these creators are creating. They're creating the content, but they're taking home the earnings. Here's the deal. You only need 1000 people who are willing pay you 10 bucks a month to get your music, your thing to make a pretty decent living. That'd be$ 100,000 a year.

Keith Simon: I'd take that.

Patrick Miller: Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Keith Simon: So hang on a second. Let me see if I get it. So I'm an artist and I create music and I post it on YouTube. Now people can't buy my song off of YouTube. So what they do is they go to YouTube and they watch, they consume the content. YouTube sells banner advertisements and the more people that come listen to my song, the more people I draw to YouTube to listen to me, the more money that I will make from YouTube's advertising sales, YouTube will be incentivized to pay me more because I'm drawing more eyes there. And yet at the same time, it's only a fraction of what YouTube is making it. So you're an advertiser. You pay YouTube money. YouTube gives me a little bit of money, more if I draw more eyes, but still just a little bit of money because I don't have any way to sell my song directly to the consumer. What about albums or CDs, I guess, but those are physical, right?

Patrick Miller: You just hit the problem, which is how do I, as a music creator, who knows that the fraction of people who buy physical things anymore.

Keith Simon: Yeah. Nobody does that.

Patrick Miller: How do I sell it to you? I have to go through one of these encryption platforms. Otherwise, my music is just free for the taking. Someone can just grab it and listen to it and do whatever they want to it.

Keith Simon: Unless I'm an artist. And I say, well, I don't want to put my music out there in digital space because I can't make any money off of it, I guess. Well then I just don't exist. Because nobody's buying a CD anymore.

Patrick Miller: Yes.

Keith Simon: And I guess this is why it makes sense that it used to be. If I understand it right, it used to be the artists, musical artists would have concerts to promote their albums, their CDs. And that's where they really made their money. They didn't make a lot of money at a concert. They made a lot of money when they sold their CDs, their merch, all that stuff. But now I think it's absolutely reversed. Now, they put their music out there in the digital space for streaming services and they get a few pennies off that. But what they're really doing is in a sense, advertising their concerts, their music advertise their concerts because now they make all their money on tour. Is that right?

Patrick Miller: No, that's exactly right. And by the way, what do you do when it's COVID world? And it's harder to tour than ever. It's harder to get people in a room than ever.

Keith Simon: Now we guess going on tour is pretty hard. I mean, it might look fun, but it's pretty hard. And it would suck to say, I'm making all this music and I'm letting Spotify or apple music or all these title, whatever it is, use my music just to promote my concert, but I don't really make money unless somebody comes to my concert. So then I got to have a ton of concerts, I'm away from my family. It just sucks.

Patrick Miller: I'm about to cut into the next part of the podcast. But I think it makes sense to share here with the beauty of NFTs is that we're talking about it as discreet digital property. And yet it's more than that. It is programmable discreet digital property.

Keith Simon: Just when I thought I was understanding.

Patrick Miller: Well, here's what I mean. Let me give an example. I'm an artist and I just dropped my latest album as an NFT. So Keith, you love my music. You buy my NFT album. You now have access to all of my music. You can listen to it. You can enjoy it. You own my music. Now let's say a year from now or six months from now, you're done with that album. You don't want to listen to it anymore. What do you do with it? Well, right now it just sits in your digital library. You forget about you don't do anything. But you might think, you know what, there's other fans out here. I want to sell it to them.

Keith Simon: Like a secondary market.

Patrick Miller: Like a secondary market. So you go and you sell it to me, you say," Patrick, this is a great album. You should buy it." And so maybe I buy it from a little bit cheaper than I would've bought it, buying it new. Now here's where things get really cool because this property is programmable. You, when you, the artist who drops that NFT, you can program it so that every time someone else sells your album, you make money off of it still. So now you, the consumer get the advantage of, hey, I can get back a little bit of money by selling this on a secondhand market. And the actual artist, that's great for them because right now, if you sold a CD, the artist doesn't make any more money. But now a portion of those proceeds is going to go back to the artist, which again, incentivizes a economy that has never existed where to trading and selling artwork isn't just good for the consumer, but it's also good for the artists. And you know who gets cut out largely in this is going to be middle men. Or if there are middle men, they're probably taking market cuts, like two, 3% of the value, as opposed to 80, 90, 95% of the value, which is what it is right now.

Keith Simon: The middle men being the Spotify or streaming services.

Patrick Miller: There is going to have to be a platform or something out there.

Keith Simon: But those are the ones that are getting cut out that are making so much money now and it'll be reduced what they make. Okay. But here's the deal. I think I just had an aha moment and I don't think it's even one you intended. When we've been talking about NFTs being unique or discreet, I've been thinking of an artist creating a song and there's only one copy of it out there. But I think what you're saying is that a musical artist could create lots of albums. They're NFTs, but there's 10 million NFTs-

Patrick Miller: That's in the album.

Keith Simon: ...of Taylor Swift's newest album and they sell those albums. It's unique in the sense that I own this version of it. And they can track that version, show that I have ownership. I can resell it, but there's a bunch of those out there. I think I've always heard you say it's unique and thought there's only one and couldn't figure out why anyone would create one album.

Patrick Miller: Because we started with uniqueness because it's the easiest entry into this. It's easy to think what you thought discreetness is what matters. So unique is there's only one of these things out there. Discrete is there might be many of them, but I have one of them. There might be a million copies of this book, but I have one copy of those million copies of book. And they're still not fungible by the way. Like my copy of Harry Potter, unless we both brought it brand new, then maybe we could trade it with each other. But the copy that I have in my house that I've read multiple times is now-

Keith Simon: The physical copy.

Patrick Miller: ...the physical copy, is ready. And again, but this is actually where NFTs get really cool because let's say you're an artist and you say, hey, the first 1000 people to buy my album, they get a special version. It's like a first printing of it. And you know how people are with art. Everybody likes being the first person to discover someone.

Keith Simon: Maybe it has show notes or liners in it or an extra song or something.

Patrick Miller: And in fact, you could add an extra value to it. So for example, again, because these are programmable. They could say," Hey, if you're one of the first 100 people or 1000 people to buy my NFT album, you will, as a part of your NFT, get a permanent coupon for 50% off of all of our shows from this point forward." Well now that if you bought one of those albums, instead of one of the later albums, that album actually has more value. Yeah, because now you can get in or they could say," Hey, first 100 people. If you have this NFT, you get a lifetime backstage pass."

Keith Simon: And if you turn on and sell that NFT that's with the special pass or the coupon for 50%-

Patrick Miller: You're going to make a lot more on it.

Keith Simon: ...you can sell that value. The value stays, the coupon-

Patrick Miller: Yes. It stays with backstage.

Keith Simon: ...the backstage access stays with your songs you bought and you can sell that along with it.

Patrick Miller: Again, I'm going to keep adding layers that make this really cool. So there's something called POASs proof of attendance protocols. Okay. You could build one of these interior team. Let me explain what that is. Let's say I have that NFT of the album and I use it to buy my 50% off ticket. When I go there, I can mark that I'm attended because they've using geo tracking. We know where you are. It could make that NFT more valuable because now you're not just a fan who buys the music, you're a fan who's attended it. And so the artist might say," Hey, if this NFT is proven to attend X amount of concerts, here's the benefits that come along with you being my super fan." Maybe it is a backstage pass. Maybe it's something else. Now the point here is I realize all this is going to sound a little bit like novel to you, goofy stuff, but this is actually how you create value. And again, if every single time that NFT, let's say it's the super NFT, it's got a 50% off coupon and now it's got backstage passes because it's gone to so many concerts, when that person sells it, not only do they make money, but the artist makes money.

Keith Simon: Yeah. I think that's interesting that the artist makes money on the secondary market because right now, if you bought your Taylor Swift concert ticket for 100% and you sold it for$ 500, the person who's actually creating the experience, the concert made 100 bucks off of your purchase. You made$ 400 off of it, because you sold this whole thing for$ 500. But now the artist is profiting off the secondary market. And I've always thought that's incredibly unfair to the artist, the whole secondary market thing. Whether it's an artist or whether it's a product or whatever.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. When people buy books on eBay, I'm like just buy the book and support the author.

Keith Simon: Yeah. I've always thought it's a ripoff for them, but now they can make money off the secondary market. So it seems to honor content creators, honor people who are producing things that other people want, honor people who are creating value instead of honoring the StubHub guy, instead of honoring the middle man, the Spotify, who's just bringing people together in a marketplace. It's not saying that what they're doing is wrong or anything, it's just saying that they're the ones who've been walking away with all the money and shouldn't the content creator be the one who's walking away with the most money.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. It's a fundamental values question. Do you want the person who makes something to accrue the most value or do you want a secondary platform which has a value, I'm not trying to make fun of Spotify, without Spotify, I don't know how you're going to get your music. So this isn't me dogging on it. It's just the nature of the beast right now. The point is there's a future beast, which is coming and it has all kinds of opportunities, all kinds of new things that could happen. Last little illustration, just because we're going down this path, this super artist, NFT 50% off, you gone to all the concerts, you got the backstage pass. They could even say," Hey, if you've qualified for these things, this NF will now give you access to a special community." So it could be an online community of Taylor Swift super fans who all have this super rare NFT that shows that they're the real deal. And you can only get into this elite special community if you have the NFT.

Keith Simon: And so the artist is incentivized to create-

Patrick Miller: Community.

Keith Simon: ...well, incentivized to create bonuses that come with participation because that dries up the value of the NFT. And they're going to reap part of the profit off of that. Otherwise they wouldn't be super incentivized to do it if they weren't going to make any money off the resale of it. But now they are. So it all starting to make sense, which is scary. Must be that sport coat you're wearing.

Patrick Miller: What I think is so cool about this is that it's taking us back to the basics of what so many people love about art. We love art, not just because the art is great. We love art because of the community that can form around art. We love art because of the conversations you can have around art. We love art because we like to see creators making new things. And we want to incentivize those creators, whether it's financially or otherwise to continue to create. I mean, that's why we do it. And these platforms, Spotify, Amazon, wherever it's at, they don't incentivize that. That's not how they're designed.

Keith Simon: Is this true also for say films and books and all other things. We're not just talking paintings or music. It's any content that is created. So we're using art in probably the broadest way you could imagine.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. And again, these things are going to develop over time. The use cases of NFTs are incredibly expansive. So here's what I want to do. I want to spend just a little bit longer talking about the present and the future of NFTs. Because I think giving these examples really, really helps. We have totally side stepped how NFTs work. We haven't talked about the blockchain. We haven't talked about the technology behind it. I'm not going to do that because we've already gone pretty long here.

Keith Simon: Well, let's come back to that in the future episode. I mean I think all that stuff is interesting. And I was talking to guys the last few weeks and asking them questions about how much they understand NFTS. And one of the things that I've just been really surprised by is that they're as ignorant as I am. They want to know about it, but they don't want to seem to want to know about it. So I think everybody has questions about blockchain and all this stuff. So let's come back in future episodes and talk about it.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. And maybe we'll just put this here again. My buddy Steven McCaskill, this was his long form description of NFTs, which just have blockchain in it. And I think it's going to make more sense now that we've had this conversation, but it'll help our listeners I think get your mind around it. So he said an NFT is proof of ownership that is verifiable on a public ledger of transactions. They make it possible to spot when something is real and when something is a forgery, like a knockoff Mona Lisa. This public ledger called the blockchain.

Keith Simon: Okay. I was thinking that's probably what it was, but I wasn't sure, that the blockchain is the public ledger that shows that I have proof of ownership.

Patrick Miller: It shows a history of transactions over time. And it shows that you have ownership in that history of transactions. He continues, he says this public ledger called the blockchain is the best that we've developed to prove whether or not something online is authentic. Based on the source of the publisher or the timestamp it was published

Keith Simon: Is the blockchain cryptocurrency or is it a different thing?

Patrick Miller: Cryptocurrency is built on blockchain.

Keith Simon: It uses the blockchain, but the blockchain is a ledger of ownership that shows someone owns something digitally that can be used for art, for music, for books, for cryptocurrency, for anything.

Patrick Miller: Exactly.

Keith Simon: But they're not the same thing, but it's a... What would you call it? It's a system.

Patrick Miller: It's a database.

Keith Simon: It's a database that lots of different things can use in the future to show ownership.

Patrick Miller: Exactly. It's a decentralized database. Now we're getting into the specific details.

Keith Simon: Yeah. Let's don't do that. Because my head hurts.

Patrick Miller: Let's not go there. Okay. So Keith let's have a little more fun here and let me give some other examples of how NFTs might be used. Okay. So right now, do you use your phone whenever you go on an airplane to show your little QR code and have a scan?

Keith Simon: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So-

Keith Simon: Even I can do that.

Patrick Miller: ...yeah. So that's pretty basic.

Keith Simon: Like your boarding pass, you mean.

Patrick Miller: Your boarding pass. But you can know how stressful it is if you lose the image or I thought I got it inside of my little wallet book.

Keith Simon: I always screw it up. And I hate it when other people screw it up and they're in line and they can't find it. And you're like, dude.

Patrick Miller: And there's this whole other element of, you have to prove, this is my ticket and this is who I am. So I need these forms of identification to show you that I'm Keith Simon and the Keith Simon bought this. And so you got to let me on the plane because all of this fits together, right?

Keith Simon: Sure.

Patrick Miller: Okay. So again, we'll probably in the future begin to use NFTs as our tickets, not just tickets to get onto airplanes, but our tickets to get into NFL games, anything that you would need a ticket to attend.

Keith Simon: So I don't understand. I go to the NFL game or I get on an airplane. Now airplane makes more sense to me because I have to prove that who I am because of security reasons. You don't have that necessarily in a sporting event.

Patrick Miller: Well you do. Let's think about ticket inaudible. So if someone screenshots a ticket and they say," Hey, I'm going to sell you this ticket and I've got the screenshot, I'll text it to you. But they sell that ticket to three different people and you try to get your ticket scanned. Well you're screwed. Now that's a dumb way to buy tickets.

Keith Simon: Sure. You'd be pretty stupid to do that.

Patrick Miller: Right. You have to be pretty dumb to do that, but what's cool. And I think the airplane one is better is because this property, that ticket is associated with you personally, it's inside your little digital lockbox in the cloud. You're the only person that could have access to it. So I don't need to go through this giant identification protocol. I can know exactly who you are. Something similar by the way could happen in medicine. You hear about people, double recording people's medical information or something getting lost because of being transfer from this hospital to that hospital. Well now all of a sudden, if all of your medical information is stored under your account inside of the blockchain, wherever you go, personally, it's all there. It's all present. This is Keith Simon's medical history.

Keith Simon: So in the two examples you just gave, the medical history and the plane ticket. One of the things that it shows is that digital security is of incredible importance because-

Patrick Miller: Incredible.

Keith Simon: ...if all your medical records are tied up in you as in this NFT and you have a copy of it, if I can get access to that and break into it, then I can do all kinds of bad nefarious stuff, right?

Patrick Miller: Nefarious things. Yeah.

Keith Simon: Same with transportation and airplanes and stuff like that. So I guess that the blockchain is really secure, but with the advancements that come with creation, something like that, there come advancements in defeating it.

Patrick Miller: There is, and the blockchain is remarkably more secure than what we're using currently to store that information.

Keith Simon: So maybe it's not perfect, but it's much better than it is now.

Patrick Miller: It's much, much, much better. Again, this is where you start getting into the details and-

Keith Simon: Yeah, let's don't.

Patrick Miller: ...and it gets a little bit complex, so I won't get into it.

Keith Simon: Please don't.

Patrick Miller: But the point is that if anybody were to alter your personal information on your account, it would be obvious to every node of the blockchain out there that someone had tampered with it. And every node would say, that's wrong. Something's wrong here. Go back to the original. The only way that someone could tamper with it is if they connected with the thousands, tens, hundreds of thousands of nodes out there and convinced them all, we're going to change Keith Simon's medical records.

Keith Simon: So that's what's meant by decentralized instead of having one place where it's held and one person, you have to" fool" or one system you have to break, you'd have to break 10,000 nodes, whatever that is.

Patrick Miller: And be so much safer than what we have now, because if someone hacked in the bank of America or chase or wherever you have your credit cards, your banking happening, they only have to break one system, one system to take everything that you have to steal your identity.

Keith Simon: So that's where the decentralization turns out to be an asset for security.

Patrick Miller: Absolutely. So anyways, another one let's talk about credentialing. How do I know that you're a real MD or how do I know that you are a ordained pastor? How do I know that you're a certified hair stylist? There's all these different things that people have to get certifications for or how do I know that you actually went to Harvard? You didn't just put it on your resume. Again, I think what we're going to see is that these things will be given to people as NFTs. There's no way to forge that you went to this school or that school. So there's no Rovvie Zacharia who's bragging about going to Oxford or wherever else Cambridge, I think to get a degree because no, it's not in your blockchain record.

Keith Simon: You're going to have a little card, an information card that connects to all the things that are true about me. And I show that card and it has my medical history on it and it has my educational history and my work history and anything I own, I don't quite understand. Does all this come together in some central things that carry around my wallet?

Patrick Miller: Imagine it like a safety deposit box in the cloud and you are the only person who has the key to the box.

Keith Simon: And how do I get access to it through my phone, through wifi, through what? I don't get it. You know what I mean? I know I sound like Katie Couric now with my hand drawing the at symbol.

Patrick Miller: Yeah.

Keith Simon: I don't get it.

Patrick Miller: You're the only person who has access to it because you have a personal key, which is the set of that allows you to have access to it. And that's your box, but here's the deal rather than memorizing 50,000 different passwords and which one goes away, which everybody knows is a pain. These are much more difficult to steal. They're much more difficult to hack. You would have your own number, but you'd only have to have one. And so you'd keep that number in your safety deposit body, in your fireproof safe, wherever it is. Are there going to be idiots who give out their... Of course.

Keith Simon: But you can't idiot proof life.

Patrick Miller: crosstalk say that.

Keith Simon: So let's not go down that road. I mean, if you're dumb, you're dumb. Can't fake stupid.

Patrick Miller: Let me give a few other examples. So what we talked about earlier, how these entities could with musicians, they could write a contract into it where essentially I get a little bit of the proceeds when you sell it, that's called a smart contract. This is what I mean when I say they're programmable. And so again, we're going to see this actually break into car sales, real estate sales. When you think about the amount of overhead that you spend, just in doing the contractual logistics of buying and purchasing a car, of getting a loan or of buying and purchasing a house, a lot of that is programmable. And so you would be able to program, and this is already happening. You can program these contracts into the NFT. So that me selling my car to you is much less trustless, because-

Keith Simon: Much less what?

Patrick Miller: ...so if I buy something from you, I have to trust that I've given you the money. So that's we do cashiers checks, okay. This is verified. This person has$10, 000 in their bank account. They're giving to me in the form of this cashier's check and now I'm going to give them my car and my title. That requires still a lot of trust in the complex system. I've got to go to the bank. I've got to get the cashier's check.

Keith Simon: It's a hassle.

Patrick Miller: It's a hassle. Now, if the title exists as an NFT, and if ownership is owned as an antique and because all of the financial transactions are verified in the blockchain, I don't have to know whether or not you have the money. That the blockchain will tell me, do you have enough money to trade this vehicle right now? And so, in other words, it's reducing trust. That's necessary between someone buying something and someone's selling.

Keith Simon: So it's reducing friction. It's just making commerce easier to go back and forth between people or businesses or whatever.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. And so we're going to see this with cars. We're going to see it with real estate. Anything that's contractual, and they can be automated. So it lives on an if then basis. You can automate that into the blockchain. It can start doing that work for you. Let me give one last example. We've talked about the metaverse previously. We can link to that. crosstalk

Keith Simon: Yes, that was metaverse for morons. What are we calling this one?

Patrick Miller: I like NFT for noobs.

Keith Simon: Okay. That's good. Let's go with.

Patrick Miller: You're the noon. Here's my last one. I've got so many more. I just get so excited. Okay. I'll got to do two more.

Keith Simon: That says a lot about you right there.

Patrick Miller: I know. Okay. Gaming. Okay. Right now in gaming, buying in game gear. So this is like a shirt on your character or skin. So your character looks a certain way when you're playing Fortnite.

Keith Simon: We're a lot of people right now.

Patrick Miller: Well, I shouldn't because this is something like a$ 40 billion industry.

Keith Simon: Gaming is.

Patrick Miller: No, gaming's way bigger than that. Just this one aspect of buying and selling gear inside of games.

Keith Simon: So I'm in a game. I don't play any of these games, but I read Ready Player One, so I understand a little bit. So I'm in a game and I want to buy a sword to fight this dragon. And I pay a dollar and get the sword. You're saying that's a big industry.

Patrick Miller: Massive industry. And when it came out, it was laughed at matter. Who's going to buy a digital shirt. Well, those people were dumb because the biggest, most lucrative gaming businesses right now were the businesses that said, we'll give you our game for free, but if you want to buy some stuff on here, cool. Now here's the problem, if I buy something in Fortnite, let's say I buy a skin. So I look like Batman. I can't take my Batman skin from Fortnite over into Final Fantasy 14 or Call of Duty War Zone, or one of these other games where I would want to do it. It only exists in this one place. And that there's a lot of reasons why that's the case that I won't get into. But one of the cool ideas here is that if you were able to buy it as an NFT, that would allow you, if these games were working with one another.

Keith Simon: They would have to allow you to do it though.

Patrick Miller: What I would describe it as it'd probably be like going from one country to a different country. So if you go to Europe, there's some things you can't bring with you. They're going to stop you. And there's some things you can't take got to the United States. But there's lots of things you can take with you that can go both places. The point is there will be lots of things you'll be able to take around or even inside of the game itself. Let's say you level up this sword and it's the best sword. Well, there's no way for you to make any money off of your work that you've put into making this sword, but someone might want to pay you real world money to have that leveled up sword. Well, again, NFTS because you can now become the discreet owner of that specific sword in that game, you can sell to that person. This is happening in a game right now called Axie Infinity. There are people in the Philippines who are making a good living and all they're doing is playing video games and selling their NFTs, their everything on the side of an NFT, selling the NFTs to other people inside of the game. So it's becoming a gamer owned economy and the company's making money just by taking about a three or 4% processing fee off of all of these purchases. So rather than the company making all of the money, which is what you see with things like Fortnite, they're taking a portion, but it's based on the idea that someone's going to be more incentivized to play their game if they know what I do here, I can sell to someone else and I can actually make somebody on it.

Keith Simon: So I was going to ask you how far out in the future, all this is. And I think you're saying that it's already happening in places, in small pockets, it's going to grow and develop. And we don't know how long that will take, but nobody has a crystal ball. But it's not something in the future. It's today, it's in the future, but it's already started.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. I would put it this way. If you think about it like a baseball game, we're just now singing the national Anthem. I mean, we might barely be in the first inning.

Keith Simon: Sure.

Patrick Miller: But those other innings are coming and things move really, really fast. Right now in America I think there's something like 10 million wallets. So that's not a massive amount of people that are buying and selling crypto or buying and selling NFTs, but it's going to have to grow to 100, 500 a billion people before it kind of hits that critical mass, but that's where we're at. Okay. So let's transition here. We've given lots of examples. I hope people feel like they have a better understanding of NFTs. And let's do a little bit of non fungible theologists. Think about this from a Christian perspective specifically. Okay. So we spent a lot of time trying to explain NFTs. And the reason behind that is so that we can actually have a intelligent, ethical conversation around how Christian should begin to think about this in the very, very early stages.

Keith Simon: So it seems like some of the concerns with Christian ethics around NFTs are the same that we might have around physical items that we already own. I mean, in some sense, this appeals to some of the same dark tendencies in our heart, that we are very familiar with already.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. All the normal risks of consumerism, of the desire to just have more stuff or to have stuff that's a status simple. Well, that's all going to apply when all of a sudden digital content becomes discreet and ownable

Keith Simon: Like your octagon, Twitter photo. That's going to become a cool thing. And then you might have a bad motive for wanting that to prove you're somebody just like now that maybe is a blue check mark a certain number of followers.

Patrick Miller: Think about the sneaker head who stays up until midnight, refreshing their browsers so that they can get the next pair of air Jordans. They love sneakers. They're obsessed with it. They're willing to spend all kinds of time buying it. Why? Well it's because having those sneakers, it's a symbol, it's a status symbol. And it shows that you're a part of a community. Now that's not an all bad thing, but the exact same thing's going to happen digitally, where people are going to be spending a lot of time browsing on open sea or these NFT markets trying to find the next thing. If they're an investor, I've got to find the next big investment. How am I going to make more money off of this project that I'm doing?

Keith Simon: So in this sense, NFTs, aren't creating a new temptation. There's simply another way that greed or seeking of status can manifest itself in our world. And so what our heart needs to hear is the same truth that we've needed before. When Jesus says life does not consist in abundance of possessions or that our father knows we need and provide. So we don't need to worry and obsess about our status, our reputation, those truths are going to apply in the digital world, just like they do in our current physical world.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. Or I think about the warning from Ecclesiastes, where the author is talking about how he tried buying new property. And then he tried buying slaves and then he tried good food. And he's talking about all these things he's trying to buy to satisfy his soul, to feel happy. At the end of it in Ecclesiastes 2: 11, he says, it's all meaningless, a chasing after the wind. And I think that's always the temptation with stuff is that we can spend so much time thinking buying this next thing, owning this next thing. That's going to complete me. It's going to make me more of who I want to be. And of course it never satisfies. And so that's going to be the warning. I think we have to take into this new world.

Keith Simon: So are there any ethical concerns that are unique to NFTs?

Patrick Miller: I think one is just the risks that accompany digital identity creation. So we've talked about this on the podcast at other times, but We are living in the era of self-expressive individualism. That's a mouthful word, but what it means is "I think that I own myself and I think that I create myself and the highest best thing I can do in my life is be true to myself. Whatever I see on the inside, that's the best thing that I can do." And so this is what people are doing on Instagram, they're cultivating an image of themselves, a version of themselves that the world gets to see. It's digital identity creation, but I think this will be even more tempting in the world of NFTs because now all of a sudden I can actually own stuff that shows who I am to the world.

Patrick Miller: this allow you to pretend to be someone you're not in an easier way? So let's think of dating apps, you can project whatever image you want on there, more or less accurate. Do NFTs allow that duplicity or self definition to multiply or not necessarily.

Patrick Miller: I think it's going to allow that and a lot more. I think weirdly, it's going to allow people to begin to associate themselves with things that are non- human. I know that sounds like a weird concern to have, but I already mentioned this example earlier, of the guy who had a crypto punk that looked like Breaking Bad's Walter White. Listen to what he said at Time magazine when people were trying to buy from him, he said," People almost now tie that character to me. It's almost like I'd be selling a part of myself. If I sold him." And that's really interesting that he's become so attached to this NFT that selling it... He won't sell it, even though it would give him a lot more, a lot more money than he has right now. He won't sell it simply because that's part of me.

Keith Simon: So his identity has become wrapped up in something that he's bought. And maybe that is true in some ways, if somebody has a certain car or a lake house or gets to go to a Super Bowl some big sporting event, they don't want to give that up because this is who they are. But this now NFT thing has allowed it to be a product in a way that you can show more people. You can't show everybody your lake house, but you can show everybody that you have the crypto punk of Walter White.

Patrick Miller: Yeah.

Keith Simon: So I guess, I mean, I'm a little bit confused. You can hear it in my voice. I don't quite get it.

Patrick Miller: I think I would press it one step further.

Keith Simon: Okay.

Patrick Miller: Because that crypto punk is his profile picture. In other words-

Keith Simon: You don't have your lake house as your profile picture.

Patrick Miller: ...I mean, some people buy. Elon Musk has one of his rockets as a profile picture.

Keith Simon: But you'd have to be a pretty-

Patrick Miller: Yeah Elon Musk.

Keith Simon: ...kind of guy to do that.

Patrick Miller: It's not just that. And other words, he's associating himself with an image, with a digital avatar. He's saying there's something about this digital version of me that's more me than I am.

Keith Simon: Yeah. Okay. So you're creating this digital persona that you hide the real you behind. And that is a whole Pandora's box of dangerous things we don't even know what's coming.

Patrick Miller: Yeah, absolutely. It's dangerous for us because we are already so deeply tempted to self- define. We don't want God to tell us who we are. We don't want tradition. We don't want family, we don't want anything to tell us who we're, we are. Roll Mullen, in 1999 saying," Look, I will be whatever I want to be." And if you can do that digitally, of course, it's a temptation that we're all going to be tempted to buy into.

Keith Simon: Yeah. So we've thrown off the shackles of God, community, family, biology, to say, we're not going to be defined by anything outside of us. We're going to look inside of us. And now this digital world is allowing more and more expression of that. More encouragement of that. And that seems different.

Patrick Miller: It is different. I'll end this little section with a quote from Isaiah 45, he said, woo to those who quarrel with their maker. To people who say to God," Hey, you made me, but I know better than you." He says those who are nothing but pot shards among the pot shards on the ground, does the-

Keith Simon: The pot shard?

Patrick Miller: ...it's a broken part of a pot. So a broken pot, the pot shards are the little pieces. Anyways, he says, does the clay say to the Potter, what are you making? Does your work say the Potter has no hands. In other words, humans have always had the temptation to look at God and say, I know better than you. I might be broken. I might be fractured. I might be the clay that you made, but I know better than you.

Keith Simon: Well, that's my point. And that's why I get frustrated with people who think that digital world is somehow going to lead to all this negativity, bad stuff. We've struggled with these same things for thousands of years. And we're going to struggle with them until Jesus returns. So the digital world is only giving another manifestation of the same temptations that we have without the digital world, we had in the physical world. So yes, we need to be aware. Yes, we need-

Patrick Miller: Same artist that you look, that's where we're at.

Keith Simon: ...pay attention. We need be careful. We need to follow Jesus in whatever world we're in, whatever era, whatever technology is available, but to act like the digital world creates a whole new set of temptations, seems a bit naive to the human condition. Isaiah saying we were into self definition back in 700 BC, yeah. So whatever.

Patrick Miller: So let's change the conversation from, hey, what are some of the warnings to maybe what are some of the opportunities that come with this new technology? And I would just start here and say, God made us in his image. He's a creator. We're creators.

Keith Simon: We partner with God to develop the world. That's the way he set it up in Genesis chapter one. That we co- create with God.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. One thing that bothers readers with Genesis two is that when the author's describing the garden of Eden, there's all of these natural resources mentioned. It's like, there's a river. And there's gold and bdellium and onex. And as a modern reader, why are you telling about all this stuff that's in the ground? Why would I care about that? And of course the answer is that if you were an ancient person that's the stuff you need to build a civilization. In other words, Eden was seated with everything that Adam needed to create civilization, Adam was made to create, to expand, to do new things.

Keith Simon: And so maybe we are created to join with God in creating the digital world, just like we had out in economic world or an educational world or a business world. And we can do this to the glory of God. We don't have to be afraid of digital as if it is somehow from Satan. God has given us the resources that we need to create this digital space. So let's do it in a way that honors him.

Patrick Miller: When we're talking about culture making and creating, we have to talk about digital. Sometimes people are like, well, yeah, I like creation. I like creators, but why do we got to talk about this digital stuff? And I find that so laughable, because just think about your own life, the TV shows you consume.

Keith Simon: They're probably complaining on a digital platform. I mean-

Patrick Miller: That's exactly right.

Keith Simon: ...they're complaining about digital in a digital world in which they're using digital technology to complain about digital.

Patrick Miller: The TV shows, you watch you're streaming them digitally, the movies, same thing. The photos you look at probably grabbing them digitally, the music, the audio books, the eBooks, the articles, the newsletters, even if you're reading physical books, how do you think that author wrote that book? How do you think that book was laid out? Digital is a part of creation. And so NFTs are allowing us suddenly to make digital property discreet. And I think that that's really good. I think about second Thessalonians 3: 11 to 12, where Paul's talking about the need for people to labor for their keep, he's saying don't live off of other people, but it also suggests that, hey, it's good for laborers to reap the rewards of their work. Right now in our current digital economy, it's really hard for digital creators to reap the rewards of their hard work. And so I do think there's an economic justice angle that we need to consider when we're talking about creating online content.

Keith Simon: So if we think about co- creating with God and living in a world, as it's developing under his sovereignty, and we need to bring our whole selves, our whole Christian life in it, that means that we are going to be responsible for God, for telling others about Jesus, helping others learn to be his followers, just like we do in a physical world, also in the digital world. And we see some of that say on Facebook, the kinds of things you might post or the kinds of ways you might interact with people, my guess is that this NFT world going to change that a little bit or advance it.

Patrick Miller: I think NFTs are going to open up new forms of evangelism. One of the coolest, or I think it's a cool part of NFTs is that there's often communities that form around ownership. So you have a bored ape, this is a really famous-

Keith Simon: A what? A bored ape?

Patrick Miller: Bored ape. So bored-

Keith Simon: He was interested and now he's bored.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So Bored Ape Yacht Club, it was an NFT project and it was ape.

Keith Simon: Like gorilla?

Patrick Miller: Yeah. Like gorilla.

Keith Simon: Okay.

Patrick Miller: So you can go look these up online. It was similar to the crypto punk thing that I said, where was these algorithmic-

Keith Simon: A Bored Ape Yacht club?

Patrick Miller: ....yacht club. It was these algorithmically produced digital apes. They all look bored. They're just looking cool and they're bored. And there's often yachting themes that are part of it. You might be wearing a boating hat or something like that, not all of them.

Keith Simon: See, this is where NFTs get bad rap because it just seems so juvenile. It just seems like a waste of time, a way to a way to kill time. I'm not saying it is. It just seems like it.

Patrick Miller: I'm not going to disagree with you. And there's definitely an aesthetic around the NFT community right now. That is this almost gen X grunge, I don't give an eff about anything attitude.

Keith Simon: Surf dude, just the cool.

Patrick Miller: Bored, cool. So I here to affirm the ethos of the NFT community in its entirety, because there's going to be other projects that come along that are very, very different than this. It's just what it is now. Again, we're at the national Anthem before the first ending. This is very early.

Keith Simon: Okay. So the Bored Ape Yacht Club-

Patrick Miller: The bored Ape Yacht Club.

Keith Simon: ...has a community around it.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. So if you have one of these bored apes, you can be a part of the digital online community where you're interacting with people, but they have also began to do actual in- person meetups. There was one that was done in Miami. One that was done New York city. And I have some Christian friends who own bored apes. Now, I mean, these board apes are very, very valuable, after crypto punk, this is probably the most valuable NFTs that there are out there. So they own these board apes and they went to these meetups and they connected with other Christians, but they went in there with a missional evangelistic mindset. Like, hey, having this thing means that I get to be a part of this community. And we have this thing that we all share in common that we can talk about, which by the way, that's how you do Evangelism.

Keith Simon: Well, okay. I was going to say, so you might think of a PTA, parent teacher association that you go into and you think I'm a Christian here. Here's a community built around our school and education. And I want to get to know these other parents, teachers, school administrators. And I want to have a missional mindset that I want to maybe invite him to church or something like that. And so what you're saying is that the Bored Ape Yacht Club or other digital communities, or you can enter into those with that mindset to help represent Christ, be an ambassador for Jesus in those places.

Patrick Miller: Yeah. I mean, it works the exact same way as what you're saying, if I'm in the PTA, what I'm saying is I have shared values with you. We both care about the school. We both have shared interests. We want the school to do well. We want our students to do well.

Keith Simon: Or bored apes.

Patrick Miller: Right. Yeah. But you can do this with sneakers. You can do it with video games. You can do it with TV shows like a PTA might be more substantive than an NFT club. That's not what matters. What matters is the ability to build bridges. And it's really cool hearing the stories of these guys, how, as they're building relationships with real life people based on this shared interest, when those people that they build those relationships, when their life hits the hard rocks of reality. And they're like, who do I talk to? Who do I connect with? Well, I have to guess that someone who might be behind their list was someone who's a part of a community that they really value and had built trust with already. And they say, man, there's something different about that person. I'd like to talk to them more. And that could be their pathway to knowing Jesus.

Keith Simon: Okay. So the NFT community then is just an extension of what we already have. Human beings gathering together around common interest, common values. And I guess the danger here is if Christians write off NFTs or scoff and say, well, I'm not going to do that stuff. I'm going to live in the physical world. They type that on Facebook, I'm going to live in the physical world. Then they won't have an ambassador in the Bored Ape Yacht Club or whatever the new NFT community is. And so we can't pull back. We can't put up the draw bridge. We have to enter into the realities of the people we live with. And maybe that's people you work with, or you go to school with, in PTA, or maybe it's the digital communities, but we need to build relationships with people, with the hope that we can represent Christ to them.

Patrick Miller: Absolutely. And add to that at least at this stage in the NFT world, a lot of the people who are buying NFTs and involved in the community are also developing NFT projects. They're also actively involved in developing the next era of the internet, Web3. These are people who are at the first step in this new thing that's going to happen. And so again, by having Christians in the community, it's not just, I'm a part of the community, but it's also, I'm a part of this broader community that's going to shape what Web3, what the future of NFTs, blockchain, all these funky words that we haven't even gotten into, what that's going to be. That might not be evangelism, but there is an ethical kingdom mindset that says, I want the future of the internet to be more just, more good, more beautiful. It's not going to be perfect, but I want it to be more of all those things.

Keith Simon: But the physical world isn't perfect either. So let's, don't use that against it. Web3, what was web 1. 0?

Patrick Miller: This is a different podcast episode.

Keith Simon: Okay.

Patrick Miller: You're tempting me to go down the road. We're already going long.

Keith Simon: Let's do it another time.

Patrick Miller: We'll do it a different time.

Keith Simon: Web 1.0, Web 2.0, Blockchain, all coming to you.

Patrick Miller: And an episode in the future. Now in all seriousness, thanks for listening to this episode, I do hope that the ending of this though is challenging you. If you're involved with the NFTs or you're not to think a little more Christianly around the ethics of digital consumerism, around the ethics of digital identity formation around the call of God to be involved in creating and making and developing and having a missional mindset to share Jesus with others.

Keith Simon: Thanks for listening. If you found this podcast helpful, make sure to subscribe and leave a review.

Patrick Miller: And make sure it's at least five stars.

Keith Simon: Stop. No, just be honest reviews, help other people find us.

Patrick Miller: Okay. Okay. At the very east, you can share today's episode, maybe put it on your social, your favorite text chain.

Keith Simon: And if you didn't like this episode, awesome. Tell us why you disagree on Twitter @ truthovertribe_. We might even share your thoughts in an upcoming newsletter.

DESCRIPTION

What the heck are NFTs?! What does one doΒ withΒ an NFT? Are they worth all the hype? If you've ever found yourself asking these questions, this episode is for you, n00bie! Today, Patrick and Keith dive into the world of NFTs and the blockchain to help you better understand this new digital frontier. Patrick breaks it all down in Layman's terms (for which Keith is thankful!), leading the two to have a well-rounded, ethical conversation about how we as Christians should approach the digital world.


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