Organize and Structure the World's NFTs
An overview of Center's mission, and why it's important.
Nonfungible Tokens (NFTs) are a fundamental shift in how humans represent ownership and encode digital private property rights in a trustless way.
NFTs are important because they help people transact with one another across physical borders, with lower barriers, and with fewer rent-extracting middlemen.
What is a non-fungible token actually?
NFTs represent ownership in a digital, trustless way. At the simplest level, they're a link between a piece of content, where it came from, and the individual that currently owns it.
It's easy to get caught up in the shills and promoters and price cycles, but those are emergent properties of this system. Even Isaac Newton participated in the South Sea Bubble.
Ultimately, NFTs have the potential to reshape how we think about asset ownership. But if we want more people to use NFTs, they need to be much easier to search, discover, and use.
That's where we come in.
What are the problems?
Nonfungible tokens are hard to use. While anybody can read a blockchain and see which address owns which assets, it's hard to do anything else of value involving NFTs.
- Seeing NFT Media: It's hard to see the underlying digital property (like the NFT Media). It's easy to know that someone owns a specific NFT; it's really hard to see what that NFT is and points to.
- Seeing NFT Ownership History: It's hard to see ownership history. Who owned this in the past? How much did it trade for?
- Discovery and Understanding Attributes: It's hard to search and discover attributes. What are other assets with similar attributes?
- Cross-chain Compatibility: In a world where assets will be spread across multiple chains and layer 2s, multi-chain interoperability and usability is paramount, but currently very hard.
Building an NFT app is almost prohibitively expensive today.
- Imagine that if in order to build a website, you first had to start your own ISP. That's how hard it is for people who want to build apps that extend NFT utility.
Fortunately, we've either already solved or are working on solving these problems.
How does Center fit into this?
We want to make NFTs useful for individuals and developers. We're doing this by indexing and organizing every NFT on every chain. It's sort of like indexing the web, but instead of web pages, we're organizing all permissionless digital property rights.
Much to the chagrin of our investors, we have two businesses:
center.app makes NFTs searchable and discoverable.
We're making NFTs searchable and discoverable on center.app. We've done the work of indexing every NFT on ethereum, and now we're working on more chains.
center.dev helps developers create world-class NFT experiences.
We're exposing the system that powers center.app and making it available as an API product called center.dev. The same systems that make center.app the fastest and most comprehensive NFT page will be available to other builders. We think that it's a good business, but moreover, we want people to focus on building great NFT experiences. We'll handle the plumbing.
We'll consider center.dev a success if it can help power the nascent ecosystem of NFT apps. There's a huge opportunity ahead.
We'd love to chat if you find this interesting.