Disputed episodes


Avatars, Bored Apes and Nike sneakers – a look at our new virtual reality with guest Nick Abrahams. As the Metaverse is expected to become a $1 trillion market, many of the world’s largest companies are investing in this new world, developing NFTs and building operating platforms. What’s all the fuss about? Are NFTs here to stay? How much of a Wild West is Web3? Nick is Global Head of Tech and Innovation at Norton Rose Fulbright, and host of the podcast Web3 goes Mainstream.

Additional resources: Web3: From Mystery to Main Street

CPD credits: This episode qualifies for 0.67 hours of Substantive credit in Ontario and 0.67 hours of Substantive credit in British Columbia.

Web3 NFT | S2 EP10



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Nick Abrahams  00:00
So having a Bored Ape, as your- Andrew, you're looking at me like I'm speaking madness. 

Andrew McCoomb  00:09
I’m just-- I'm just so glad we got here. I'm so glad we got here. 

Welcome to Disputed, a Norton Rose Fulbright podcast. For this episode, we're taking a look at the new world. That is the Metaverse, Web3 and NFTs. Web3 is the newest phase of the Internet, which is often characterized as the read, write and own Internet. The premise is decentralization. Ordinary users own the Internet. Unlike Web2, the Internet most of us are familiar with, where only a handful of tech players dominate. And within Web3, there exists the Metaverse where users experience the web as a virtual reality. If you haven't done so yet, you can access the Metaverse as an avatar using a platform such as Sandbox or Decentraland. And part of this virtual world involves NFTs which no doubt you will have heard of. NFTs enable Metaverse users to exchange value and verify ownership of digital assets. In 2021, the NFT market grew to $41 billion, and JP Morgan Chase estimates that the Metaverse will infiltrate every sector and become a $1 trillion market opportunity soon. Many of the world's largest companies are investing and building in the virtual space while retailers and artists are selling NFTs at an increasingly high value. So how much of a wild west is Web3? Why are companies building in the Metaverse? And why are entities and individuals alike buying into it? Are NFTs really here to stay? And if so, how do you create and sell them? Ultimately, what legal issues lie behind these questions? We were very excited to speak with Nick Abrahams, Global Head of Technology and Innovation at Norton Rose Fulbright, and creator of the world's first AI-enabled privacy chatbot. Nick also hosts the popular podcast Web3: From mystery to mainstreet about businesses embracing crypto. A link to this is in our episode description.

Andrew McCoomb  02:22
Nick, thank you so much for joining us. Welcome to the podcast.

Nick Abrahams  02:26
Thank you very much, Andrew, I'm delighted to join you.

Andrew McCoomb  02:30
So a-- a question I bet many of our listeners have Googled, some maybe have Googled, some have figured out the answer, others have heard of it, but they don't know what it is - Web3. What is it?

Nick Abrahams  02:46
Yes. It's a great question. And it's really an important place to start when talking about, I guess the future of technology and particularly converged technologies. And so the easiest way to think about Web3 is it's an umbrella term that covers a range of technologies. So, effectively, blockchain, NFTs, decentralized finance, cryptocurrency, and the Metaverse. All of those things have largely one thing in common, which is blockchain. And for years, of course, blockchain has been a bit of a solution in search of a problem. And crypto was the first example of it with Bitcoin back about 13 years ago, which was our first touch of blockchain. And now it's-- it's evolving and Web3 is that evolution. So you basically started with Web1, which is sort of ’94-’95 to 2005, which is a very first experience of the Internet. You may recall, Andrew, that-- that time where we, you know, you could-- you could read sort of glossy brochures, there were nice photos on the Internet, but you couldn't do your banking, and you weren't able to sort of book travel and so forth. So that was Web1, it was very much just a read experience. And then Web2 came in 2005. And you had a ‘Read Write Experience’. So you could do a whole range of transactions on the Internet. And particularly things like social media became massive. So we've had this ‘Read Write Experience’, until now. And so now what we're looking at is this real explosion of opportunities, because not only can we read and write on the Internet, but now for the very first time, we can own digital assets. And so that's what NFT technology allows, which is actually owning things on the Internet. So that's one key differentiator. The second one is that we are moving towards a more immersive experience of the Internet as the Internet moves from a two-dimensional experience to a three-dimensional experience and the so-called embodied Internet. And that's where the Metaverse comes in.

Ailsa Bloomer  05:04
And just a side note to that when I was reading about this, I'm seeing reference not just a Web3, but also Web4 and 5. Why-- is that just a misnomer at the moment?

Nick Abrahams  05:18
I think it's, you know, there-- there is discussion around, you know, a--, a fully immersive experience where you get to Web4 where we, you know, your-- your ability to distinguish between the real world and the virtual world becomes quite difficult. And it's so engaging that you don't really care. I think-- I think we probably just need to get over sort of Web3, because Web3 is in its very earliest stages. And, and one of the issues around Web3 is really, we're waiting for--, for the solution to actually become super engaging. So, we know where it is engaging, and that's in gaming. So-- so gamers, you know, they become fully immersed. And the interesting thing about gaming is that-- that is the area where we're seeing the business models of Web3 and the future of digital assets being established. And there's a very good reason why Facebook, changed its name to Meta, and is spending, you know, $10 billion plus every year on-- on its Metaverse platform, is because what they have seen is that gaming now has a very social element to it. And it's a-- it's a deeply engaging social experience. But a lot of gaming these days, involves working with a community and a group and achieving goals. But also a lot of gamers time is spent in-- in quite social interaction. And so the social media platforms recognize that they've got a ticking clock, where they need to get fully immersive. Or they will-- they will lose ground to either gaming solutions which will take over, or other players using similar sorts of strategies.

Andrew McCoomb  07:18
Nick, at the start of the discussion, you mentioned, converged technology, you used that term. It's an interesting term. When you make reference to gaming, I'm picturing what we're seeing so far from these early experiences and people in the Metaverse and it seems to be sort of what-- what you're describing right now, which is a breaking down of the barrier between a construct that people understand as a video game and a social media community.

Nick Abrahams  07:47
That-- that's correct. And if you come to Meta-- to the Metaverse, such as it's called, from a non-gaming experience, then your experience of-- of the Metaverse platforms will be through something like Decentraland or Sandbox. And for most of us, that will be a pretty ordinary experience. And it's an experience that has been around since about, you know, probably 2012 or 2013 with, there was a company called Second Life, which had effectively a Metaverse-style experience. The graphics on Metaverse experiences like Decentraland, and Sandbox, have not really advanced since Second Lives, of over a decade. So actually, for most of us, who don't come to it from gaming, it will be a bit like why am I here? What am I doing? So, what changes it, is that people can build now on these Metaverse platforms and own assets. So previously, when we had Second Life, and Second Life still exists. But Second Life was, you know, if you bought anything in Second Life, then that was something that you bought in Second Life, you paid the fee for it in Second Life and if you tired of Second Life, you couldn't take it anywhere. Whereas now, if you're the concept of the Metaverse is, you can, there's a whole range of different vendors that people can get into these Metaverse platforms, set up a business selling, you know, avatars or, you know, in some of the gaming platforms, they're selling suits, so-called skins, and, you know, magic potions, you know, the fab swords and so forth. They are--, they are people they are not the actual game owners, but rather they are third parties who've gone in and you're able to establish a business in there, you're able to sell these digital assets, and then there's a secondary market for the digital assets. So, if you are in this Metaverse land, you know, could be one of the game platforms for example, and you bought that skin and that skin cost you-- you know, let's say the equivalent of $100 US dollars. If you tire of that game, you can then sell that skin and-- and move to another platform. And ultimately, there's some bridges now where you'll be able to move to other platforms with that skin as well. So that's the fundamental change which is, no longer is it just the owner of the Maverse platform dictates everything. It's a-- it's an environment where it has its own economy, and you can start your own business there and you can--  you can trade with people on those Metaverse platforms.

Ailsa Bloomer  10:32
Platforms are almost like marketplaces, in a way.

Nick Abrahams  10:35
That's a good way of thinking about it. It's a marketplace or it's--, you know, it should be regarded as-- as an economy. And I think it's, how can the Metaverse platform owners create an environment where there's a community. And Web3 is all about community and that's something we never really talked about with Web2. Web2 is an e-commerce proposition. You've obviously got social media. And then you've got e-commerce, social media is about community. So you look at that combination of the community of social media together with e-commerce. But you-- you have to, on them in a Metaverse platform, you have to create a community environment. So that's why we've seen a few of the early adopters, sort of well-known entertainers like Snoop Dogg and so forth, who are able to bring a community around them. And you know, we’ll see that develop over time.

Ailsa Bloomer  11:31
Who creates these platforms? And what are the advantages or disadvantages of design to create a Metaverse platform as opposed to just entering an existing platform like Sandbox or Decentraland?

Nick Abrahams  11:44
Yep, yeah, no, that's a-- that is a great question. Why build a Metaverse? Or why-- why buy into a Metaverse? And so, you know, if we look at some of the bigger new entrants in terms of brands, so Nike have been very active with setting up, you know, quite a big experience. And that's-- that's really about making sure they are very close to the, particularly the under 30 market. Nike recognizes that they need to be close to that market. And they built on top of someone else's platform, because, you know, it has the benefit that Nike is not the one who has to generate all of the traffic. So it's not dissimilar in some respects to a shopping mall-type idea, which is where you are expecting that Metaverse platform to generate people to come along and then Nike has the fused-- fused experience, which is you can go into certain Nike stores and that links into the Metaverse platform and so forth, then you've got people who are, you know, buying virtual sneakers, et cetera. And then you've got other players, so JP Morgan, for example, just opened a lounge, in Decentraland. So much of this stuff is still at the experimental stage, not-- not a lot of sort of massive revenue, I think being generated. But really important for these organizations seeing that, particularly the under 30s market, is interested and that idea of community, which is super attractive to a marketer, if you can tap into a community, then that's a-- that's a great opportunity. And so that's-- that's sort of why they are, why they are getting into that. 

Andrew McCoomb  13:41
And Nike is probably a particularly good example from which to jump off, to talk about NFTs in particular. I mean, I think about sneaker head culture, and collected very rare sneakers that you never intend to wear. And in fact, the moment that you do, they lose value, but their value is in their uniqueness, and their rareness and their authenticity. So with reference to Nike, tell us about where NFTs fit into this whole picture.

Nick Abrahams  14:12
So conceptually, it is the ability to own a digital asset. And so this is a brand-new asset class. We've never had that as a concept before. So we've had tangible assets and we'll see you know, it's a real property. We understand how all that works. But actually owning, how can we prove ownership of a JPEG on the Internet. So using the blockchain, you can, by way of NFT technology. So basically, if you buy an NFT, then you are assured via the blockchain that it's on and it might be on the Ethereum blockchain, which a lot are built on. So that's a public blockchain and you can prove that that is your particular digital asset. So-- so that means once you have the ability to identify and defend ownership of a digital asset, then that means that you've created an asset class, which has value. And so that value can then be traded, if you like. And so where we first saw corporates getting into NFT, it really started with the luxury brands. And so you saw folks like Gucci selling NFT sneakers, you know, $15, $20, that sort of thing, and which-- which people could only use on their avatar, but you could own those NFT sneakers. So the sports apparel folk, Nike and Adidas, very big in that space. It's then morphed now, and that was, it's sort of a combination of selling those particular NFTs as a revenue proposition, but also, it's really about building a community. And that's what NFTs are about now. It's about building a community. And we've seen it now become an expansion of the loyalty program. And so in order to have a successful NFT, you really need to develop a community around it. And it's a very different prospect to any normal, like a gift card, for example. So a gift card, you know, you might, as Nike, you know, hand out a bunch of gift cards. But, you know, people might be interested in that just because it's a pure gift card. But that doesn't work in an NFT situation. In an NFT project, you need to develop a community that wants that particular NFT. And so you build that community largely through what's called crypto Twitter, which is just Twitter, but it's focused on crypto. And the way to look at it is, it’s very difficult to get a successful NFT sale to someone who's not already on chain to convert someone who's not a believer in NFT or already owns NFT. You’ve got to set up a wallet, and then you got to go and you've got to get the crypto to buy the NFT. So there's a number of gates there, you have to go through so-- so really what you need is people who are already on chain, largely they’re under thirty. One of the good examples is with the Australian Tennis Open in January this year, they did-- they did a big project in Metaverse, so they opened, it was an identical-- it was identical to the Australian Open tennis court. And you could go in there as a whole, a bunch of things that you could do play tennis against your favourite tennis player, et cetera, et cetera. So the Metaverse experience, and then they had and NFT drop of six and a half thousand art NFT tennis balls. And so they developed a following on Discord of 20,000 followers, which is quite a lot on Discord. And so that was a very successful NFT drop. And then the critical thing about NFTs is the community which I mentioned, and also the utility these days. So you can't just you know, people aren't just buying, you know, a pretty picture, there's got to be some value to it. And so what the NFT art balls get is a phase one utility proposition. So there are six and a half thousand NFT balls, and they, each ball corresponded to a part of the tennis court. And if the winning shot in there was-- there was basically 10 finals across all the different things. So singles, doubles, men's, women's, etc., 10 finals, across the 10 finals, if the winning shot, hit that part of the court that corresponded to your NFT, then you-- you got sent that game ball and you got a bunch of other prizes as well. So that was stage one of the utility proposition. And then there's this further stage, so there'll be further NFT drops and free drops and so forth. And the way that the Web3 world looks at NFTs is, it's like buying into a stream of future dividends, where by buying this particular NFT, you get rights to subsequent NFTs, and as they get dropped, that's like getting a dividend. So that's a very unusual way to think about a dividend stream but that's-- that's what they talk about.

Ailsa Bloomer  19:35
It also links into the debate in the US about whether it constitutes a security or not, right, for the purpose of regulation. So that is a-- that is a really key point to focus on. The other example I was, that was coming to my mind as well was this Bored Ape Yacht Club, is that another example of where there's a ton of following and loyalty behind various pictures of the same bored ape in different outfits, and what you're hinting at is this sense of community that is behind NFTs. Because, you know, a common question that also comes up with NFT is, once we like, understand the basics of what they are, next question is, what is all this fuss about really? And where is this going? And is this a bubble that is ultimately going to burst? But I think what you're saying is that the product is evolving, and it's being tied to lots of linked products, and also coming back to Nike, the tying the NFT with a product in real-life and marrying the two. So maybe that is a good off-ramp to talk a little bit about the key legal issues that we are seeing with NFTs.

Nick Abrahams  20:39
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I think, so, with Bored Ape Yacht Club, so that, that's obviously not a corporate proposition. And so that's what I call flex club NFTs, and so they are really, they are relatively small clubs. So there's 10,000 Bored Apes. And people buy those because they get further utility. So they get, you know, so-called ‘mutant apes’, and then ‘ape coin’. And so there's a whole range of different things that are provided, which have some theoretical value. So they are also there because if you've got a Bored Ape, you're kind of in the ‘in crowd’ with the crypto crowd, and so it's about digital flex, you know, I put that off to one side, because I mean, that doesn't feel like that's a sustainable business model, necessarily. But, you know, who knows where that all ends up…

Ailsa Bloomer  21:31
And by ‘digital flex’ do you mean like…?

Nick Abrahams  21:33
It’s like showing off.  Yes, digital showing off. It’s the equivalent of having, you know, a Lamborghini in real life. So, you know, we put that sort of ‘flex club’, where it's digital showing off, we need to recognize there's a community out there of people who have made untold fortunes on-- in crypto, like really extraordinary amounts of money. And I say untold, because they're not about to tell the tax office that they have all this crypto. And so they do not want to transfer that-- that crypto into fiat currency because that's, that's a sure way to get tracked. So you can, if you're good enough, you can stay largely anonymous with your crypto holding, as soon as you off ramp into fiat, then you run the risk of, you know, the tax authorities coming after you. So-- so what has happened, and this is-- this is my theory  and this, you know, could be completely wrong. But, you know, one of the things that's driven up these “flex clubs” is, you've got a lot of people who've made really extraordinary amounts of money, but it's sitting there in crypto, and they've had to create a digital asset class, that they can invest in because otherwise, that crypto is just sitting there not earning anything. So-- so out of that came NFTs, out of that came this idea of Bored Apes, and Crypto Punks, and so forth, these ‘flex clubs’ where, you know, highly desirable digital assets that go up in value. So-- so that's a--, that's my theory around sort of why those have-- have started, but I think you put Bored Apes off to one side, it's sort of very difficult to comprehend, I think, similarly with art NFTs. We saw, you know, an artwork by a chap called Beeple, sell for $69 million. You know, that seems extraordinary, that to most of us, so the for singular items that are-- that are-- sort of fall into that art category, you know, we put that aside. But we start to see real value coming as, as I said, the corporate NFTs which is really around loyalty and building brand community. And then particularly collectibles have been successful. So the NBA, the National Basketball Association, with their Top Shots NFTs, which, you know, a great Canadian company, Dapper Labs, created, there's more than $700 million US of Top Shots. So basketball NFTs changed hands last year, and the NBA gets 5% of every secondary sale. So that, I mean, that was a clarion call to sports codes around the world. And basically, every sports code in the world now has an NFT project of some description of either already dropped or in--, in progress. So I think the collectibles market is solid. And then, you know, Ailsa, you talked about the concept of an NFT that's linked to a physical asset, that what they call that is Phygital, which is sort of an awkward word to say. But in Phygital, you've got a combination of the digital and the physical. And it's a-- it's a-- it's a tricky area to advise on. And it's, sort of the hardest area, frankly, of the digital asset space because, let's say for example, a, you know, an NFT of, you know, of a great basketball moment. So a LeBron James dunk, an NFT of that. So that all exists on chain. It just all exists as a digital asset. So you can validate whether that exists just by looking at the blockchain, you don't need a third party to say ‘yes, that's correct, that is the original LeBron dunk JPEG’, the technology can do the validation. The problem when you get a combination of digital and physical, is, how do you prove that-- that physical asset actually exists? And so, Penfold, which is a big wine company, did a-- a Phygital NFT which was, they issued NFTs which were redeemable for a bottle of premium wine. And so for Penfold, that was a good deal because for premium wine, at least with Penfold, their biggest market is gifting. And it's very difficult to gift a bottle of wine, much less a bottle of premium wine, but very easy to gift, an NFT because I can literally just send you an email and that has the code in it, and then you can choose to either keep that NFT and-- and then you can redeem it and get the bottle of wine till you're comfortable because Penfolds, you know, I trust, it's a solid brand, I trust that the wine will be there. Or you could re-gift it or you could trade it. So that-- that's been very successful. They’ve done three drops now. And in fact, NFT liquor is a very, very fast growing space. We'll see lots more about that. And in fact, one of the bigger players in that space, I contacted them the other day for a client to see if they could do a project. And they said, actually, we're not taking on any new projects until 2024. So that's a decent business, where you know, they're 18, they’ve got 18 months where the projects already in there so-- so digital liquor is a big-- is a big opportunity. But getting to, Ailsa, the issue with the StockX case. So you know, what we've got there is this idea that the-- the company StockX, has NFTs of sneakers that it is holding, so physical sneakers, so once again, it's a Phygital concept very similar to our Penfolds example. So StockX is selling NFTs, and those NFTs are redeemable for the sneaker. And StockX is holding on to that sneaker, so very similar to the idea that Penfolds is selling an NFT of a bottle of wine, and that NFT is redeemable for the bottle of wine. Similarly, StockX, it's just an NFT, which is redeemable for the sneaker. And so Nike’s not happy about that, because they say that the sale of the NFT is a breach of their IP. And so because it's an image of the sneaker, and so StockX is saying that, well, no, this is very similar to what happens every day on eBay. And so it's merely a digital representation of the actual sneaker and we've got the sneaker, it's a genuine secondary sale. We don't know where the court will find on that. If this was just an advertisement, then, you know, Nike wouldn't-- wouldn't be saying anything, but it's because of the fact that the NFT is a digital asset. And it's the NFT that's being sold, and the NFT, its utility, is that it is linked to a physical sneaker. So that's-- that's the challenge.

Ailsa Bloomer  28:46
It's an interesting concept of value because ordinarily, it's like having a token or a voucher, and you can trade it in for the good, ultimately, but actually, the-- the value of the voucher in this case, the NFT, is it can be in the StockX case, 10, 20 times the value of the of the physical product behind it, too? And so I think that's a really interesting point where your value is to some extent, tied or maybe backed by the physical item, but then the physical item is worth way less than the going rate for the NFT at that moment. I can see why it seems uncomfortable.

Nick Abrahams  29:24
Oh, absolutely, so in Nike’s case, they are also in the business of selling digital sneakers as well. So they've got a bit of a step up. Because they can say well, you know, we also sell digital sneakers. So the NFT that's being sold is also very similar to something else that we sell. And so there's a concept of passing off. In another quite significant case, which is the Hermès case, where we've got the sale of the so-called Meta Birkin. So NFTs, which are drawings of the-- Hermès’ famous Birkin bag that was sold for, you know, mid $40,000 range US, which is more than, you know, what you would pay for a real Birkin, and Hermès don't take kindly to that and so brought an action against the artists. So basically you've got these NFTs, so just drawings of Birkin bags that have sold for four or five times what an actual Birkin bag gets sold for. So Hermès is-- is saying there's IP infringement, passing off, as if it's Hermès, and so forth. And then interestingly, the artist, their-- their defense is, that this is art and it is no different to Andy Warhol and the Campbell's Soup Cans. And we know that there was-- the-- there's the celebrated series of Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans where he elevated the Campbell’s soup can to high art, and they traded for a lot of money. And so that's the argument that these NFTs are, in fact, art, and art is therefore, you know, in some way protected. So it remains to be seen how the courts find in that case, but you can see-- you can see the arguments on both sides.

Ailsa Bloomer  31:31
And I'm just interested, just practically speaking, if a company is thinking about setting up their own NFT, in a nutshell, how do they go about doing that?

Nick Abrahams  31:39
So the NFT world, if you look at the way the numbers have gone, in 2020, the NFT market was 13 million US dollars. 2021, the NFT market was 41 billion US dollars. So-- so this is a market that's really only two years old, and really only one year old in terms of any real market significance. So I've got to say, we are all figuring it out as we go. There's a few plays out there right at the moment, which are sort of doing NFT as a service, where all of the technology is looked after in a very simple and easy way. And that's-- that works well for artists. But in terms of the corporate sector, very few organizations have a) the technology capability. It's not enormously complicated technology, but it's new, and it's blockchain. So you need someone who's a blockchain specialist. And then most importantly, you need an agency that can help actually generate the demand for the NFT, because as I mentioned, this is not about us getting a pretty picture and dropping it out there. You need to generate the demand. So you need to spend a lot of time working through the Discord channel, through the crypto Twitter channel, getting that going. So-- so as an organization, if you want to drop, if you wanna do an NFT program, then step one is finding a) a technology solution provider and b) a-- you know, a digital marketing agency. And sometimes those two come together. And often because this is such an early stage, you're dealing with much smaller organizations. So it's not the big technology companies or the big technology service providers, or integrators aren't in this space yet. And then in terms of the way that you analyze the-- the legal relationships. So a) you've got to figure out what are you actually giving with the NFT. And as I said, utility is a critical element of this, are they getting the IP in the actual image? And more often than not, people aren't getting the IP in the image. And that for IP lawyers creates quite a bit of uncertainty. Because if they're not getting the IP, what are they getting? And so it then falls to sort of this-- this definition, if you like, which falls in as part of the so-called smart contract, which are part of the coding. And so in effect, it's a personal use, right?

To use the image on the Internet, in social media, etc. But not to create derivative works from it, and not to use commercially, things like that. And then what do you say about the subsequent utility, and that obviously gets complicated in terms of a Phygital proposition. So if it's Penfolds and the ability to redeem the NFT for something physical, then what are the terms upon which that redemption can occur? What's the timeframe? And, you know, I've had one client that’s like, yeah, no, we-- we really love that idea of redeem. I'm like, oh, well, you know, how long are you going to keep that redemption window open for? Because people will buy this because they want to trade it, potentially. And so they'll see that, you know, if it's only six months or a year, then the trading window is relatively short. So-- so you've got to figure out all of those commercial terms, and then embody those into the actual coding as much as you can. So you put that into the smart contract. So, some simple things which can be coded in, which is really attractive and I mentioned it before with respect to Top Shots, this idea of getting a percentage of the secondary sale, which is incredibly attractive. So the idea of every time you know, the basketball, the-- the image of LeBron is on sold, that 5% of that, through smart contract coding just automatically goes back to the NBA, the same with artists. And that's a real breakthrough for artists, because obviously, artists have never had an opportunity to get a piece of the secondary sale. And now it can be hard coded in. So-- so, you basically try to code in what you can. And the problem with NFT and blockchain and crypto and so forth, is that unlike normal technology solutions, when you launch a normal technology solution, it's generally got-- got bugs in it, you can't do that with an NFT solution, because literally, as soon as you drop it, that is locked forever. And your ability to actually come back in and change the code is incredibly complicated and almost impossible. So-- so when you think about it, that's a big shift in mindset for technology companies, which is, it has to be, the code has to be 100% at the time of deployment. And then of course, we get to that old chestnut of what happens if people breach those terms and conditions? And-- and that's where lawyers come in. Back in the early days of the Internet in ’96, ’97, ‘98, lots of discussions around, oh it’s going to be an international Internet court. And there'll be some sort of global standard. And so, and as we've seen, that's just not true. And that's never going to happen, because countries will not cede sovereignty over their citizens. So we're not going to see any sort of global organization that takes responsibility for this. Courts will, will just apply existing legal principles, and they will look at what's happening and-- and we'll see how it turns out. I think, you know, my belief with Web3 is that digital assets are here. In five years’ time, digital assets will be an absolute mainstay or a significant part of the economy and financial services. But the trajectory from here to five years away is not going to be linear, there's going to be a lot of fraud, there's going to be a lot of technical hiccups, a lot of projects are going to go poorly. And so people just need to recognize this enormous volatility. It's a very dangerous space. I think it's fascinating. I would encourage organizations to, certainly those that are consumer-facing, to look at, you know, what the opportunities are in Web3 and get involved in a measured way such that, you know, we see them rise up as digital assets flourish over the next five years.

Andrew McCoomb  38:33
Well, Nick, I don't think we're going to wait five years before asking you to come back on the podcast and pick this conversation up. But this has been fantastic. Thank you so much.

Ailsa Bloomer  38:44
Thank you. 

Nick Abrahams  38:45
Great. Thanks, Andrew. Thanks, Ailsa. Thanks everyone, for listening. And please, if you--if you are so mind and want to learn more about Web3, then please feel free to listen to my podcast, Web3: From Mystery to Main Street we love to-- where we uncover stories about mainstream companies that are using Web3 technologies.

Ailsa Bloomer  39:06
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