NFT Resumes: Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin Presents Soulbound Tokens (SBTs): The Next Big Trend or Mega-Flop? | newsletter

• SBTs: Personal CVs in a format similar to NFT
• SBTs are designed to integrate our analog and digital personalities
• The success of the SBT teams will depend on the characteristics of the Metaverse

Buterin speculates that Soulbound tokens (SBTs), such as NFTs (non-fungible tokens), could soon go through the roof. But what’s behind this new encryption idea?

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SBTs – The Latest Blow From Buterin’s Crypto Mastermind?

Vitalik Patrin is a popular supporter of the new class of SBT tokens. Buterin has become known as the mastermind behind the Ethereum blockchain and its associated cryptocurrency Ether, which has a market capitalization only surpassed by the original internet currency Bitcoin. And so Buterin has proven his originality enough – so it’s no surprise that the crypto scene is taking a very close look at the innovations the crypto entrepreneur is planning next. On May 10, 2022, the founder of Ethereum detailed his latest idea in a 37-page research paper he published with Microsoft specialist E. Glen Weyl and Flashbot’s Puja Ohlhaver.

What is SBT?

Buterin, Weyl, and Ohlhaver provide an introduction to Soulbound Tokens (SBTs), loosely translated as “soulbound tokens”. SBTs are best described as NFT-like resumes (CVs), which transfer personal accomplishments such as educational qualifications to “real” people into the multidimensional digital realm (Web3). So that everyone can access their most important documents in the metaverse. Buterin stresses that it cannot be counterfeited by other users or by larger organizations. According to “Block Builders,” Buterin’s vision is that digital identities must be decentralized in the future in order to be trustworthy and enable innovation at the same time. Like NFTs, SBTs cannot be modified. However, the big difference between SBTs and NFTs is that SBTs cannot be transferred, but rather are attached to an individual.

Possible uses

SBTs are similar to resumes because – at least according to the current idea – they are primarily intended to mark college degrees, school diplomas, or awards that have been won. Institutions, such as universities, issue these SBT exams to graduates. This is to ensure the credibility of these documents.

However, the use of SBTs should go beyond documenting educational qualifications. According to the project study, the SBT can serve as a ballot paper in decentrally organized polls, such as “Business Insider” reports. In addition, functional references and personal recommendations may be provided with the SBT. Environmental NGOs can issue SBTs to supporters as proof of their support. SBTs will create an “extended resume” that is documented on the blockchain and stored in a “soul wallet.” Similar to a resume, people can delete individual SBTs from their Soul Portfolio, for example if they no longer wish to emphasize past activity.

How much personal information do we want in the Metaverse?

The success of SBTs will primarily depend on the fundamental question of how willing users are to reveal their true identities in the metaverse. Will the metaverse become an extension of real life, where we want to take our names, family and professional status and life achievements? Or will the Metaverse rather become a place of escape, escape from reality, and escape into a fantasy world? To date, this fundamental question cannot be answered conclusively.

If indeed the Metaverse will be a 3D social network with real identities, then SBTs will certainly have a good chance of success. However, Buterin explicitly warns of the potential dangers. SBTs can also lead to discrimination and bullying by acting as tags to “automatically get rid of unpopular social groups or even target them for cyber or physical attacks.” Also, SBTs can be used by authoritarian regimes to label unloved individuals. For this reason, it is critical for each person to decide for themselves which SBTs should be based on their own digital identity.

The latest huge trend?

Unlike NFTs, SBTs cannot be bought or sold in the digital realm. Therefore it is personal and limited. As always, this will depend on how the demand for SBT groups appears. The competitive situation is not to be underestimated here: big tech companies like Meta Platforms in particular, but also Apple or Amazon will likely try to unmask real people in the Metaverse as well. Unlike SBT groups, however, a central authority will be responsible for this, which should lead to major concerns regarding data protection. Not surprisingly, these IT giants also care about profits. However, companies specifically oriented towards the crypto sector, such as the NFT OpenSea marketplace or the crypto exchange Coinbase, have simultaneously built a significant position of strength in the cryptocurrency and the NFT world. In doing so, sub-teams can offer a popular, non-profit, and decentralized alternative.

finanzen.net editorial office

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