With the rise of influencers such as Paris Hilton emerging themselves in the NFT market, is it time for all content creators and artists to start creating their own Non-Fungible Tokens? NFT professional, Michael Eckstein, recommends that influencers consider branching out into NFTs in order to earn more money and secure their original work. In this interview you will find out why and how to do so.
Today we’re speaking to Michael Eckstein, NFT expert and founder of AllCertified, a patent-pending NFT technology to enable individuals to create and authenticate their own NFTs. NFTs have been around for a while now and while not everyone is dipping their toes into this new virtual sphere, others are already reaping the rewards from these digital assets. However, if you're still unsure about what they are, how to use them and who can benefit then read on to learn why we should all be turning our attention to NFTs in 2023 and beyond!
With a 40+ year successful IT and management career, Michael Eckstein has had the fortune to have held multiple senior executive roles and responsibilities, ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. Michael’s former positions have included the North American Software Executive for the Government of Israel, CEO for the PA Blue Shield technology subsidiary, and a senior member of the National Insurance-Healthcare IT Standards Committee. In May 2021 he started AllCertified, a patent-pending NFT technology toolkit company that enables individuals to create, manage and affix their authenticated digitized autographs to NFTs.
Michael, why is it so important for content creators and artists to affix autographs to their NFTs?
NFTs are collectibles, and all fans-investors-collectors know that autographed collectibles are worth multiple times more than unsigned pieces. In addition, an authenticated digitized blockchain autograph affixed to the NFT provides authenticity of the NFT, thwarting NFT scams, fakes and frauds. With the exception of third party work-for-hire paid engagements, by law all original content creators (movie studios, artists, streaming services, musicians, fashion designers, social media influencers) are the legal owners of both (a) the physical items they create, and (b) any digital assets known as “derivative works” of those physical items (photos, videos) that have the ability to be minted and transformed into NFTs.
In your opinion, should all influencers and content creators be creating their own certified NFTs?
Every NFT project is a collaboration effort. The ability for an influencer or content creator to create-publicize-launch-monetize their own successful NFT project is a daunting task; companies such as ours can help sort out the legal, logistical and technical details and bring those needed skills and processes to the table. That said, every influencer and content creator should be involved in their NFT project details. It’s their IP and creative efforts being transformed into an NFT, so they must insist on final sign-off approval for all business, operational and financial project issues.
Can anybody create an NFT?
Yes, anyone with a computer or a smartphone, and an internet connection, can create an NFT, for either personal enjoyment, to be traded or for sale. There are hundreds of DIY YouTube videos and websites that provide step-by-step instructions for anyone to create and launch a basic NFT. But creating an NFT is the easy part: choosing the visual graphic/ images, pre-creation planning, market research, promotional efforts and pricing models all need to be in place before starting an NFT project.
What advice would you give to somebody who is just getting started with creating or investing in NFTs?
Like every personal, business or investment decision made during your lifetime, it’s never a good idea to swim against the tide. The February 2021 $69million sale by Christie’s of an NFT, ignited a global frenzy of NFT activity. Starting with that event, and for a 15-18 month period thereafter, global NFT mania ran wild, with $41Billion of NFTs (many being quirky digital images or momentary fads) being sold or auctioned during the calendar year 2021. Unfortunately, 99% of the public lumps the new technology and digital markets (crypto, NFTs, blockchain, metaverse) into a single technology basket known as Web3. We’re now going through a “crypto winter,” where Bitcoin has lost 70% of its value from last year, and the chaos caused by the FTX bankruptcy has wiped out billions of dollars worldwide of real-dollar investment money. This has resulted in a negative halo effect of NFT sales being far below 2021 market levels. However, NFTs can be totally decoupled from crypto, and several series of creative NFT digital collectibles have recently been launch. I’m optimistic that 2023 will see new uses and functionalities for NFTs; the tide will turn, and when it does it will be a time to start looking at both business and investment opportunities related to digital assets.
How do you see the future of content creation merging with NFTs?
What you’re describing will be the golden age of innovative, visionary content creators eventually being able to monetize their work selling NFTs to the masses, without the constraints of traditional distribution models. Right now we’re in discussions with auction houses, record labels, movie and TV production studios, music festivals to create digital collectible projects from either their bought or created content to be turned into NFTs. But we’re also being approached by indie artists and musicians who want to bypass traditional art galleries, auction houses and the entire entertainment ecosystem to launch and sell their own digital NFT assets directly to the public. And with Millennials and GenZ the primary target markets for NFTs, these initiatives are gaining major traction across the creative arts landscape.
How do your services make it easy for individuals to protect their digital assets?
The purpose of our patent-pending NFT toolkit is not for individuals to protect their digital assets. What it does provide is for buyers of the NFTs that display our logo, blockchain metadata and authenticated digitalized autograph -- to know that the content creator (or legal rights holder) saw the raw image or video and approved their autograph to be affixed to the digital NFT asset for subsequent sale.