ERC721, Sir Tim, and Saying Hello To A Tokenized World

“Innovate, create and initiate the next technological transformation, that we cannot yet imagine”

Prof Bill Buchanan OBE
5 min readJul 1, 2021

My new passport arrived yesterday:

… and it asked me to immediately sign my name. Unfortunately, it has been a long time since anyone asked me to sign anything. So I scribbled something and moved on. The whole concept of a paper document and in signing something with a wet signature just seems to out-of-date. Why can’t I get an electronic PDF which is digital signed or a trusted version that sits in my wallet?

Recently, too, I purchased a new home (by the sea), and my conveyancer asked for my deeds. I basically had no idea where these were, and who had them. I then scrambled around the house looking for something that looked like a legal document and found some pieces of paper that seemed to define the deeds to the house. I scanned them as a PDF, and send it. “Is this it?”, “Yes. Thanks”. Pweh! In this modern time, you would think we had moved on a bit in a meaningful digital way, and where we start to create a more trusted digital world for buying something and for there to be electronic versions of the key documents we need.

Meet NFT … the copyright protector of the future?

And so we slowly move towards a more trusted digital world, and where your digital signature will have more standing than your wet signature. This will bring in a world of digital tokens, and which can be bought and sold, and which can truly prove ownership of something. For me, when I buy a car, I fill in a piece of paper or go online to register for the sale. My only proof that I own the car is that there is a database somewhere which now registers my name and address against the car. But in a tokenized world, we can transfer ownership of the crypto asset through the digital signing process, and where the previous owner of a car uses their private key to assess the car to me. I prove to everyone that I now own it using my public key. That all works well for physical assets, but what about software…



Prof Bill Buchanan OBE

Professor of Cryptography. Serial innovator. Believer in fairness, justice & freedom. Based in Edinburgh. Old World Breaker. New World Creator. Building trust.

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