Jackson Laskey, Co-Founder of Asset Layer represented his company during the Unbounded Perspectives event in Austin on March 9, 2023. Laskey believes that NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) present a significant opportunity in the field of technology, as they facilitate interoperability in the digital world as was never before possible.
Bitcoin – disrupting money and data
Laskey acknowledges that people often associate NFTs with the popular ‘sad little monkey’ meme, but he clarifies that this barely touches the surface of the topic. He references George Gilder, known for his writings on technology revolutions and recognition of historical trends. According to Gilder, during technological revolutions, something that was once expensive and limited becomes abundant, leading to a significant creation of wealth and utility.
Laskey applies this concept to the current tech revolution involving NFTs. He suggests that the scarce resource that has become abundant in this revolution is interoperability, particularly in a digital context. He draws parallels with money and its role as the ultimate form of interoperability. He uses Bitcoin as an example to illustrate the impact of this revolution, highlighting how it has changed the way money works.
Prior to Bitcoin, services like Stripe were considered the preferred payment method, charging transaction fees of about 3% of a transaction. The Co-Founder of Asset Layer implies that Bitcoin has disrupted this by introducing micropayments. He also explains the significance of Bitcoin in transforming data into a form that can function as money. In essence, such NFTs can represent any kind of data, which is why they play a central role in interoperability and the ongoing tech revolution with NFTs playing a central role.
Reshaping the Internet on interoperability
To facilitate interoperability, Laskey emphasises the importance of secure, verifiable, and ownable data as the foundation for the Internet of the future. He highlights that despite the existence of some level of interoperability in today’s Internet, it is very costly and involves many extra steps. The process requires creating secure data silos and building APIs to connect applications, which is both expensive and limiting.
Laskey suggests that true interoperability is yet to be fully realised, and he likens the current state of the Internet to the economy of 1780, where people would have struggled to envision the world shaped by a future energy revolution.
Laskey asserts that NFTs represent the biggest opportunity in technology today because they enable a transformative role for users within application ecosystems. While owning personal data is important, he suggests that the focus should be on applications being unable to trust users, which creates a problem. Blockchain technology addresses this issue by elevating users to become bridges that connect applications securely and reliably.
With blockchain, the Co-Founder of Asset Layer envisions a world where every application on the Internet effortlessly connects to one another, unlocking limitless possibilities. Laskey believes that NFTs will play a crucial role in shaping the future of the Internet, with users who own NFTs acting as connective tissue, driving new opportunities for interoperability and reshaping the Internet’s architecture. He draws a parallel between NFTs and the importance of data packets in the current Internet era.
Duro Dogs – a demo of interoperability and Asset Layer’s capabilities
Laskey explains the development of Asset Layer’s first true blockchain game Duro Dogs as a means to experience first-hand the process of building within a user-centric, application bridge framework. In Duro Dogs, players own digital assets in the form of dogs and their clothes, all represented as NFTs. The game allows players to raise their dogs, providing them with experience, abilities, and personalised names. What sets Duro Dogs apart is its unique feature of user-owned digital assets that can be utilised across multiple games created by third parties, marking a new gaming ecosystem.
He emphasises the power of interoperability, highlighting how smaller teams like theirs can leverage the creator economy by seamlessly integrating with other developers’ projects. Laskey envisions a future where a game like Duro Dogs could have thousands of titles attached to it, created by numerous developers, forming a vast interconnected Internet landscape.
What’s to come for Asset Layer
Laskey describes Asset Layer as a platform that simplifies the creation, integration, and sharing of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) within applications. He emphasises the seamless connectivity between applications in their ecosystem, enabling users to effortlessly bring their data from one application to another.
Asset Layer serves developers, creators, and application users, supporting them in fulfilling the user’s role as a bridge across application ecosystems. The platform has experienced significant growth, with over 50 teams building in their private beta, primarily focusing on B2C applications, particularly in the gaming, digital media, consumer rewards, social media, and e-commerce sectors.
Laskey mentions a partnership with nChain and teases upcoming collaborations with well-known companies. He also highlights Haste Arcade as one of their first customers and showcases the power of interoperability by driving traffic between games like Duro Dogs and Haste Arcade.