Blockchain news has been everywhere during the last few months with the beloved Nyan Cat meme being sold online, artists like Shawn Mendes and Grimes selling digital art for millions and even the founder of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey selling a singular tweet for 2.9 million dollars. But what exactly are NFT’s and why are they something you should know about?
So, in simple words, what is an NFT?
An NFT is short for non-fungible tokens. Non-fungible means something that is unique and cannot be replaced. It could be described as a crypto token that is connected to a digital file. This digital file could be anything from a piece of art, music, video to a plot of land in a Metaverse like Fortnite. (To find out more about metaverses follow this link)
NFTs could be deemed as digital collectibles that can also be traded. Once you buy an NFT, the token will act as an authentication certificate that states what you bought is unique and you are the sole owner of it. This certificate is verified solely through technology and is recorded on the blockchain with a public record of your ownership. These transactions can be viewed by anyone – making the buying and selling of NFTs an extremely transparent and trustworthy process.
Currently, the most popular blockchain for NFT is Ethereum. To buy any NFT it is also necessary to have a crypto wallet to manage your funds. Some of the popular wallets used for Ethereum transactions are Metamask, D’Cent, Status, and Trezor.
However, one of the intriguing aspects of NFTs is that these artworks can be accessed and downloaded from the internet for free – so why are people spending millions for them?
The current conversation surrounding NFTs suggests it’s an evolved form of collecting fine art, albeit digitally. Every NFT is created in a way that cannot be copied, and although the artist may retain copyrights, its sole ownership lies with the buyer. Simply put, one could sell a thousand copies of an artwork, but the original will be owned only by one. Once purchased, the artwork can be used by the owner for personal use, or commonly shared on social media.
Throughout the pandemic, several artists have started selling their artwork on NFT platforms such as Nifty Gateway, Rarible, Superrare and OpenSea. Some examples include 3D artists like Khyati Trehan & Mike Winkelmann who goes by the name Beeple. Beeple sold his artwork for a whopping $6.6 million. Big brands like Coca-Cola auctioned their first set of NFTs earlier this year;The Friendship Box, The Friendship Card, Sound Visualiser & Digital Bubble jacketAsics was the first sportswear brand to launch an NFT collection of sports shoes – an experiment to bridge the gap between our physical and digital world.
How does selling my art as an NFT benefit me as a creator?
One of the best aspects of selling artwork as NFTs is the complete authority maintained by the artist. Crypto art creators profit instantly from the purchasing of their artwork, which otherwise floats around the internet as free property. In a world where being online has become a way of life, NFTs is a welcome innovation that provides direct profit for artists worldwide.
To conclude, NFTs have the potential to pave the way for more virtual environments where people can freely buy and sell their assets. This has already started taking place in the form of Metaverses, (which comes from the combination of the words meta (virtual) & verse (short for the universe). This is a new virtual space, created by converging virtual and physical environments. Metaverses such as Fortnite, Decentraland, Roblox and Sandbox have taken over, whereas big brands like Nike, Gucci and Coca-Cola have also started investing in them. Recently Nike introduced Jordans for characters to wear in Fortnite whereas Gucci sold a bag in Roblox which was worth more than the original bag.
With ever-advancing technology, we expect NFTs and metaverses to become the new norm, and pave the way for a new type of innovation and creativity that we have yet to experience.