DeCenter Seminar: Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs): Two Market Challenges

May 4, 2023 12:30 pm

Computer Science Building, 105

Speaker: Ari Juels, Cornell Tech

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have leapt to prominence as a technical and social phenomenon. Collections such as the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) remain popular and have active communities even in the midst of the current “crypto winter.” The dynamics around NFT sales, however, leave much to be desired. I’ll discuss two problems in NFT markets. The first relates to “drops,” i.e., bulk sales, of popular NFTs today. It’s hard to achieve fairness in drops: Bots often snap up new NFT offerings and corner the market. The second problem relates to royalty payments for creators, one of the most attractive features of NFTs. Royalties have become a battleground among NFT markets, which often leads to creators being deprived of royalties or market access. I’ll discuss candidate solutions to these two problems using privacy-preserving oracles systems and a new cryptographic concept called Complete Knowledge.  

Ari Juels is the Weill Family Foundation and Joan and Sanford I. Weill Professor in the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech and the Technion and a Computer Science faculty member at Cornell University. He is a Co-Director of the Initiative for CryptoCurrencies and Contracts (IC3). He is also Chief Scientist at Chainlink Labs.