Fireblocks Web3 Leader, Luke Middleton: NFTs are going to transform the world”

Despite a whirlwind of a year for crypto and NFTs, blockchain technology is still viewed as the next step in revolutionising the digital space towards a shift to Web3. 

One company that has taken pride in building and educating businesses and people on the Web3 space is Fireblocks, a blockchain service provider to scale up digital asset operations for a variety of companies, ranging from banks to hedge funds. 

In the latest in our Payment Innovation series, we spoke to Luke Middleton – Sales Director and UK & Benelux Web3 Leader – to discuss how Fireblocks are becoming one of the key firms in blockchain and digital asset integration, along with the potential NFTs will provide in their second cycle. 

Middleton acknowledges that blockchain functions, most primarily crypto, have suffered major damage to its reputation, with user confidence hitting all-time lows. However, he also reassures that it’s his and Fireblocks’ job to garner that confidence back and open them up to new possibilities. 

He said: “The technology is now there to take ownership of their private keys and their digital assets and really mitigate risk. 

“Essentially, what it really comes down to is Fireblocks is pretty much here to start providing some confidence and some security back into the market so we can get back on the trajectory of mass adoption. 

Security was highlighted as a core mission for Fireblocks, compounded further with their recent partnership with Coincover, a digital asset protection firm that aims to build the best blockchain infrastructure to better protect its customers. 

Looking to rebuild and reform blockchain-based functions such as crypto and NFTs, Middleton reveals that this may be the best time for innovators to create within the space as he believes ‘this is when it really starts to evolve’. 

“There are people building in bear markets… This is when it really starts to evolve”

He continued: “You have to go back and really understand not just the business benefits… the humanitarian benefits it’s going to bring to the world and this distribution of wealth management, peer-to-peer connectivity, the list just goes on.” 

Middleton also goes on to describe more on his role of engaging what would be perceived as old institutions and inviting them over to the Web3 space. 

The Fireblocks Sales Director admits that there is a ‘stigma’ surrounding blockchain at the moment, but stresses that knowledge and institutional protection is at the top of the list when it comes to discussing blockchain and Web3 adoption.  

Middleton revealed what some of businesses’ burning questions were, stating: “There’s a huge knowledge gap at the moment around ‘what is the underlying technology?’, ‘what does it do?’ from a business perspective, and the second question is security… ‘how are you guys safely securing these assets?’, ‘what liability do we have on these?’

“This technology is going to be here for a very, very long time”

And of those Web3 functions that Middleton is particularly bullish on is NFTs. Despite NFTs receiving bad press during its first iteration, Middleton states that these NFTs, such as Bored Ape Yacht Club, were built on old technology and there was a plethora of benefits under the surface of NFTs. 

Football clubs such as Lazio are harnessing NFTs for matchday tickets and loyalty benefits and certain major brands such as Nike are using NFT technology to create virtual shoes to become interactive in a larger digital space. 

Nike were also reported to have been the most dominant company when it came to NFT revenue last year, earning over $186m far ahead of the second-highest earners Dolce & Gabbana at $24m, according to Dune

“NFTs are going to transform the world, they will be the underlying technology of essentially every vertical out there and a majority of business loyalty schemes, ticketing and so forth. There’s so much value in what NFTs can provide.”

For more, you can watch the full interview here