Why we’re giving NFTs to our employees to celebrate our relaunch

On Wednesday the 19th May 2021 Bitwala became Nuri.

This was a historic day for us and we wanted to do something special to remember it. We also needed a way to reward the incredibly talented and hardworking people who invested hundreds of hours in making this a reality.

So, we decided to give each employee an NFT to commemorate the day.

I made a video on Fiverr to announce it, because.. why not?

NFTs are a great way to say thanks

We decided to thank every employee who had contributed to the relaunch with their own commemorative NFT.

Our awesome Head of Design whipped this beautiful artwork up over a weekend

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been in the press recently, often because of their crazy prices. At their core, an NFT is just a digital collectible. While one bitcoin is pretty much equivalent to any other — they are fungible, NFTs are unique.

Today NFTs are used for:

So, when McDonalds is making NFTs, what place do they have at Nuri?

For us, the NFTs were supposed to be a digital medal or badge. While employees can send them to someone else or auction them, we assume (and hope!) that our team will see them as a memento.

Nuri Launch #80 was minted and sent to a team member.

What can employees do with NFTs

View and enjoy them!

Like a medal, badge or certificate, NFTs are meant to be enjoyed, both in their own aesthetic rights, but also because of what they signify.

Read the unlockable content

While assets on the blockchain are typically visible by default, it’s also possible to embed unlockable content which is only visible to the holder.

This was the unlockable content I wrote to myself as a test. Not my most creative work.

Print them and put them on the wall

NFTs typically exist in the digital world, but just like your favourite photos, you can print them out and have them publicly on display

Trade them

We don’t advise this, but maybe they will become highly sought after collectibles in the future. The point is they are 100% yours to do with as you please.

Giving NFTs to our employees to say thanks is a way of honouring our values #LiveTheRevolution, #MindYourKarma and #AimForTheMoon.

How it works

Creating your own NFTs for your employees may seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite easy thanks to the wonderful set of tools being created. We chose to use OpenSea.

The set up

You’ll need to get the following:

  • Create a MetaMask wallet and fund it with Ethereum (at the time of writing, it cost about $5 per NFT)
  • Create the artwork and other content that you want to base your NFTs off

Creating and sending

  • Create a collection on OpenSea. We called ours “Nuri Launch”
  • Create the NFTs as items inside of the collection
  • Transfer the NFTs to the Ethereum addresses of your employees

NFTs are still too complicated for the average company and employee

The step by step guide makes it sound simple, but this is probably quite tough for most non-crypto companies! If you asked your finance team to buy $1,000 of ETH, do you think they’d do it? Would your employees be able to set up their own non-custodial Ethereum wallet to receive the NFTs?

While this project was an important part of living our values, I think this is too complicated for the average company. In the future, tools will evolve to make this easier.

The ‘Nuri Launch’ collection on OpenSea

Privacy and GDPR

Blockchains are public so by locating the Nuri Launch collection, it’s possible to to see a list of ethereum addresses associated with Nuri employees. Our employees have been informed of this and some have chosen to create brand new addresses.

We needed to get our employees’ expressed permission to collect their Ethereum address as this is data that is not covered by their basic employment contract. In the future, we’ll delete the spreadsheet mapping the personal data to the addresses for extra security.

More than NFTs: Predictions for blockchain and the workplace

Blockchain is still in an early and experimental phase, but there are exciting applications for blockchain and the workplace:

NFTs for employees will become more common

We think Nuri is a trend setter! We believe that digital collectibles will become more common in the future. Imagine getting an ‘first day’ NFT and then another one when you pass your probation period or if you get an ‘excellent’ on your performance review. B2C apps use badges to gamify the experience. The same will follow for employment.

The use cases and ecosystem will become more complex

It’s easy to imagine that in the future, current and past employees of a company could use their NFTs in a broader ecosystem e.g. Nuri employees could get a discount or advanced access to a product. Also, you could imagine NFTs to be used as concrete proof of someone’s careers. The same thing could happen with the tokenisation of degrees and higher education certificates.

ESOP will be tokenised

The employee stock option pool — a common mechanism for founders to reward key and early employees — will be tokenised. This will reduce the cost of administration and also allow for interoperability with outside protocols like…

Liquidity against shares / options

Today if you have startup shares or options, you typically don’t access any of that money until you have an exit e.g. the company is sold, goes public. If you wanted to access some of that liquidity early, you could provide your shares / options as collateral and borrow against it. We’re already seeing something similar with Tinlake enabling companies to invoices on the blockchain and allowing individuals to finance against them.

Thanks to everyone at Nuri for the awesome work!

We’re immensely grateful for each and every member of our team and their hard work to help Bitwala become Nuri. As a blockchain company, we’ve used NFTs to show that.

Interested in working for Nuri and getting your own NFT in the future? Check out our careers page.

Startup advisor | Co-Founder & CEO/CTO @Nuri