MIT Predicted a Societal Collapse. Here's How NFTs Can Prevent That.

A 1972 study by MIT scientists discovered that global society could experience a societal collapse this century if humanity kept pursuing economic growth without regard for environmental and social costs. 

A new study by Gaya Herrington, director of KPMG US, found that the timeline of this collapse is accurate.

In this conflict between economic growth and environmental protection, Herrington’s research states that only pollution depicts a collapse pattern. This suggests that it’s not yet too late for society to change course. 

One of the solutions that Herrington’s study suggested was technological progress and increased investments in public services. By focusing on these two factors, we could continue to lead a prosperous civilization that operates safely within the environmental boundaries.

She also advocated for "agrowth," an agnostic approach to growth that focuses on other economic goals and priorities. 

As daunting as the term “collapse” may seem, Herrington shared that it does not mean that “humanity will cease to exist,” but rather that “economic and industrial growth will stop, and then decline, which will hurt food production and standards of living.” 

And just as her research stated, technological progress can prevent this collapse.   

Physical products + NFTs

One way to avoid a societal collapse is by leveraging Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). “Non-fungible” means that something is unique and cannot be easily replaced. NFTs can come in many digital forms such as artworks, music, in-game assets, etc. One of the most known NFTs is Beeple’s artwork Everydays - The First 5000 Days, which sold for a whopping $69 million.

Since its initial boom, developers and enthusiasts worldwide have found ways to incorporate NFTs into different aspects of life. As a company that uses blockchain technology to trace products throughout the supply chain, Real Items has created a way to pair physical products with digital twins or NFTs. These physical assets integrated with NFTs are called “Phygitals.”


Real Items phygital shirts
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Phygitals come with many advantages. They are recorded on the blockchain, so they are traceable and have an extra layer of security. Phygitals can also be used for direct-to-consumer (D2C) communication. These smart products allow business owners to gamify their products and even send loyalty rewards to customers. 

Phygitals can be used for just about any physical product, especially consumer packaged goods (CPG). They are perfect for medical or limited edition products that need verification for their authenticity. Great examples of Real Items phygitals are Cannabidiol (CDB) products, Shopify store goods, and limited edition apparel.


Phygitals for an Agnostic Approach to Growth

Phygitals are vital to transitioning to an approach for growth that benefits the environment. Beyond the ability to trace products, phygitals can also incentivize brands to continuously have assets traded between consumers while receiving a royalty for the lifetime of the goods. This will enable them to transition from making apparel that is trendy to being more focused on clothes that lasts as long as possible. Phygitals allow for royalty incentives, which capture more value the longer something is in the market.

This structure is similar to the NFT artwork system, where artists can receive royalties for secondary sales. 

Because the blockchain is inherently traceable and decentralized, customers can personally check their products’ origin and verify that their purchases contribute towards a circular economy. Phygitals allow end-consumers to see a product’s backstory and experience its production process. They are also tradeable, which incentivizes consumers to take care of the products they purchase. This way, every recycled item can be considered a product of worth, creating a lesser chance to dispose of the products. 

Moreover, Real Items phygitals are tailored to suit the needs of businesses and their end-consumers. Our technology was built with growth and environmental sustainability in mind. Economic growth does not have to cause ecological destruction. 

If you align with these values and want to turn your physical products into phygitals, book a demo with Real Items. Follow us on Twitter to learn more about phygitals or join the conversation with our community on Discord

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