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The Sidecar team decided that one of the best ways to help our community dive into blockchain, cryptocurrency, and NFTs, was to start using these technologies, showcasing their potential, learning through our experiences, and then documenting what we’ve learned.

Related: What member organizations should know about NFTs Learn More >

Ahead of digitalNow 2021, hosted in Nashville Dec 8-11, we decided to launch a non-fungible token (NFT) that could showcase the simplest use case of digitizing ownership of an underlying asset – in our case, the artwork we commissioned to commemorate the digitalNow 2021.

But before we get into the details of our NFT, we think it is important to understand why we’re making one in the first place.  

What is ‘Fungibility’ and What Makes an NFT Non-Fungible?

In less geeky terms, fungible simply means replaceable. 

A great example of a fungible asset is a dollar bill. There are lots of them and you don’t really care which dollar bill you have; any dollar bill has the same value. The exceptions to this might be special years, mints, or rare editions, but for the most part, a dollar is a dollar. 

In comparison, the “Mona Lisa” is non-fungible because there is only one original and copies are not even closely valued the same. 

How Are NFTs Secured?

Most people think digital automatically means something non-unique and something that can easily be replicated, which of course is what digital technology has made it so easy to do. If I post an image on a website, it is something anyone can view. 

So then, why would someone want to actually own a piece of digital artwork? 

The reason is that through the blockchain, you are really conveying property rights to the image, as opposed to just viewing the image. The owner of an NFT, based on the contract rules for that NFT, has the right to do a wide array of things. 

An NFT could convey full ownership of an underlying asset (digital, or physical) or an NFT can convey limited ownership of the asset, for example, the right to use the asset exclusively for private consumption but not the right to make derivative works. 

The beauty of NFTs is the enforceability of these contractual rules is automated and enforced by the Ethereum blockchain. 

Now Is the Time to Experiment 

Our goal is for folks to learn about NFTs, play with them and get ready for massive disruption across all industries. Why? Because the ability to digitally and efficiently convey rights through smart contracts will upend most industries in some ways. Imagine the deed to a house or the title to a car having an NFT that can be traded in this simple manner.

The blockchain enables trustless transactions at scale and NFTs are an important piece of the mix. Digital artwork rights are simply one of the first broadly adopted use cases for NFTs, but you will see them pop up all over. In the association world, pay particular attention to credentialing, where NFTs will likely play a major role before the end of the decade.

The Future of NFTs and Crypto at Sidecar

Now to our digitalNow NFT. Each year, we will commission an artist to create a unique artwork to reflect the venue and key themes from the conference. From there, we will create an NFT to auction off to our community. The proceeds of the initial sales of each NFT will be given to a local charity in the host city of digitalNow for that year.

As we continue to grow, we have many exciting projects planned including a Sidecar cryptocurrency (an Ethereum ERC-20 token) to reward our community members for their engagement. This token will be earned by community members when they meaningfully participate in activities such as attending events, sharing content, referring others into the community, and so on. We are very excited about this innovation and plan to share a lot more about it as we head into 2022.

In the meantime, be sure to bid on the first-ever digitalNow NFT in Nashville to contribute to the local not-for-profit community and learn about this important disruptive technology.

Our auction will begin on December 4, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. and will run through 12:00 p.m., December 11, 2021. 

Amith Nagarajan
Post by Amith Nagarajan
November 21, 2021
Amith Nagarajan is an entrepreneur who believes in combining purpose, passion and profit. Amith grew up in Silicon Valley and, in 1993, started Aptify, which is now part of Community Brands. He is the Chairman of Blue Cypress, a family of purpose driven companies which focus on helping associations, non-profits, and other purpose-driven organizations achieve long term sustainability. More at