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SCOTT DUKE KOMINERS

SCOTT DUKE KOMINERS

PROFESSOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION IN THE ENTREPRENEURIAL MANAGEMENT UNIT AT HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL; RESEARCH PARTNER AT A16Z CRYPTO

“NFTs become true possessions, letting us establish more complete personal identities in digital space.”

Being part of this moment has been the intellectual and social opportunity of a lifetime. I’ve found community upon community of incredible people and had the great honor of learning from all of them.

MARKET DESIGN I study market design, a field of research that uses economic theory and analysis to build practical solutions to real-world problems. The idea is to fix market failures and help markets achieve their full social potential. Many of the greatest market design opportunities come from changes in technology, such as NFTs.

NFTs introduce a new type of property right embedded in blockchain ledgers. They make it possible to define the “owner” of digital assets where that was difficult or impossible to do before. This enables all manner of new exchanges. Moreover, because NFTs do this without relying on intermediaries or structured institutions, the transaction opportunities they open up can be made broadly available to everyone.

ON THE EDGE The fast-moving NFT space is a nexus out at the edge of the future of the internet. We’re all pioneers, building culture around exploration and discovery of new markets and forms of exchange. From an economist’s perspective, watching this develop is utterly fascinating.

METAVERSE MEANINGS I take a very expansive definition of the Metaverse, which I first learned from my friend and collaborator Far: the Metaverse comprises all the various digital spaces we build around ourselves. People have been creating Metaverse spaces since the internet was born.

What’s changing now is that the Metaverse is becoming more immersive and physical than ever before. And the big difference web3 brings is that it enables us to carry our digital assets seamlessly from platform to platform. In this way, NFTs become true possessions, letting us establish more complete personal identities in digital space. It is groundbreaking for the future of the Internet – and the world.

Acknowledgments: I’ve learned so much from so many people it’s impossible to list everyone. But some of my most frequent interlocutors include Shai Bernstein, Robbie Broome, Christian Catalini, Luke Crawford, Zoe DeStories, Jad Esber, Far, flashrekt, Kerry Herman, Adam Hollander, Bobby Hundreds, Valet Jones, Steve Kaczynski, Ellen Dickstein Kominers, Paul Kominers, William Kominers, Limp, Martha Lincoln, Paul Mahon, Dad Mod, Das Narayandas, ripcache, SAFA, Pancho Socci, Tom Stackpole, Matthew Stein, Merry Sun, Luca White-Matthews, Wirelyss, the a16z crypto team, and the 1337 Skulls 532s.

SCOTT DUKE KOMINERS