Could NFTs impact L&D?

A look at one of the most exciting technological advancements of the 21st century and its potential impact on the future of L&D.

Matt Bristow Digital Marketing Specialist

Could NFTs impact and L&D?

NFTs are a big deal. That’s obvious by now. “NFT'' is Collins Dictionary’s word of the year, despite it not even being a word. The art industry has been fundamentally and irrevocably changed by the introduction of non-fungible tokens and the gaming industry is like a surfer just about to catch a giant wave but the surfer is a gaming company and the wave is NFTs. That simile really got away from me.

Always one to be future-focused, us keen lot at THRIVE have been thinking about how this exciting new technology could revolutionize the L&D industry! But first, we have to answer your burning question, what exactly is an NFT?

An NFT is a unit of data stored on a blockchain (a non-editable digital ledger that is hosted on a global network of computers so no one person can take control of it). NFTs differ from other blockchain technologies like the ubiquitous Bitcoin as each token on an NFT blockchain is unique (which explains its huge impact on the art scene, as it can be used to “mint” and trade different unique art pieces). 

The blockchain means that an immutable ledger exists of all known transactions that occur on the blockchain and proof of ownership is easily created and tracked. You can also set up blockchains with built-in rules of how transactions should be dealt with e.g. an artist can set up rules that mean that with every transaction of their artwork, they get % of the sum.

Course tickets

A more traditional and less pie-in-the-sky application here, but the uniqueness of NFTs will make them great for ticketing and will allow people to swap and trade the tickets they have quicker than ever, and with a much-reduced risk of fraud. For training and development, event organizers will be able to quickly “mint” tickets that can be easily distributed and accounted for, making checking in for training and events will be much easier. Ticket resellers will be able to effortlessly sell on their tickets and event organizers will automatically receive their cut of the price.

Qualifications

The immutability of the blockchain makes it excellent for keeping permanent records. This could be revolutionary for educational bodies who want to assign qualifications. Imagine an interconnected network of qualifications that can be easily assigned to a user, with additional information like grade, date completed, and percentile of achievement.

Online trophy cases for educational achievements

Speaking of qualifications, one of the defining features of a cryptocurrency blockchain is the “digital wallet”. A digital wallet basically does what it says on the tin: holds your cryptocurrency. But a big aspect of blockchain technology is openness, so people's digital wallets are visible to the public but are identified by an ID number rather than any personally identifiable information. This means that learners in the future could build an education trophy cabinet full of the different qualifications they have.

Credentialing

Another huge part of the immutability feature is that it can be used to create a trustworthy rating system. Imagine almost all aspects of your qualification stored in the metadata of a token on a blockchain, instantly viewable by any employer or interested party, all you need to do is send them your public key, and they have a detailed and more importantly verifiable record of your academic achievements. 

Course leaders could leave notes on enthusiasm, learners could grade the quality of teaching and even things like group projects could be directly contained within the token to show proof of knowledge. It will help create a sense of trust in qualifications and even more importantly, build a sense of community.

Building community

Hey, look at that, something in one of my blogs actually flows!

As you can tell from the guy at the pub who won’t shut up about NFTs (guilty as charged), NFTs have an incredible ability to instill a sense of community in those involved. We are all about changing cultures here at THRIVE, and having the ability to create tangible, displayable, and provable qualifications within a giant, decentralized network dedicated to learning would be an ultimate game-changer, providing learners with a huge community to push them further on their learning journey.

It’s not a hot take to say that NFTs are an exciting technology. But usually, this is framed within the context of art and gaming, and other industries are forgotten about. By shooting high and really pushing the technology to its limits, NFTs could completely revolutionize the learning game, ushering in a new and bolder environment for learners and teachers alike. Now excuse me whilst I dust off my MS Paint skills, I’m off to make an NFT and subsequently millions of dollars.

Latest from the blog

Innovation and inspiration

L&D lessons from the gambling industry

In case you missed our webinar with Sophie Wood, L&D partner at Lottoland, we are recapping the core takeaways from the stellar session.

Matt Bristow Digital Marketing Specialist

Try it out for yourself

Get started and see how your employees can thrive.

Get Learning & Skills Platform demoGet Content Club demo