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They're unique crypto-assets that cannot be duplicated or exchanged for anything else. Since they are stored on the blockchain, this means they are decentralized, immutable, and verifiable - that is, their transaction history can be viewed by anyone.
It’s a great way to own a piece of the internet and attach value to digital objects such as code, music, art, governance rights, credentials, loyalty passes and more. Owning an NFT is like having a digital certificate of authenticity and proof of ownership for a specific digital asset.
For some people, NFTs have become an incredibly lucrative opportunity. Like traditional art or collectibles, rare NFTs can be sold for millions. Popular NFTs that have made headlines include Crypto Punks and Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).
And for the creator of the NFT, as NFTs are built with smart contracts, they can code the contract to earn a share of the profit from all future transactions of their NFT or digital asset, which is a significant advantage compared to traditional art sales. This means that the original creator can receive a percentage of every sale that the NFT generates, providing a continuous stream of revenue.
ERC-721 and ERC-1155 are two technical standards used to create non-fungible tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.
ERC-721 is a set of rules that defines how to create non-fungible tokens. Each token created using the ERC-721 standard has a unique digital signature, which ensures that it cannot be duplicated or replicated.
ERC-1155 is more flexible than ERC-721, allowing developers to create both unique NFTs and fungible tokens in a single contract. This means that developers can create collections of tokens that include both unique, one-of-a-kind NFTs, as well as fungible tokens that can be exchanged for one another.
NFTs also come in various forms that cater to different interests. For example, an NFT could represent a rare piece of artwork, a limited edition sports card, a recording of a live concert, a unique gaming item, or a popular meme.
A few of the popular types of NFTs, include:
1/1s are singular items, such as digital art and domain names, and are evaluated based on factors such as the quality of the art, the reputation of the artist, and the desires of other collectors. In March 2021, Beeple sold a 1/1 NFT for $69 million at Christie’s.
Collectible NFTs, like other collectibles (think baseball cards), are evaluated based on their rarity, cultural significance, and community, among other factors.
NFTs have enabled gamers to own and purchase in-game assets, which can be represented as NFTs and used to represent in-game items (e.g. suit of armor) in virtual worlds. One leading game in this space is Axie Infinity, which is popular in developing countries such as the Philippines, where players can earn a living by buying, breeding, and battling digital pets represented as NFTs.
In DeFi, NFTs are used in staking, which involves locking up NFTs on a platform or protocol in exchange for passive income via staking rewards.
If you're wondering how to access, buy, store, and sell NFTs, here's what you need to know:
Let's start with buying and accessing NFTs.
There are two ways to buy NFTs. You can either mint an NFT for the first time or buy one on a secondary market.
Minting an NFT refers to creating it on a blockchain for the first time. Minting a collection’s NFT often lets you buy the NFT at a lower price than what it’ll sell on the secondary market.
Before the mint, you should know which blockchain the mint is happening on and have your wallet loaded with enough tokens to pay for minting and gas fees. Most mints happen on the project’s website. You typically need to connect your wallet, click a button to mint the NFT, and pay the mint and gas fees.
If you missed the initial mint, you can buy an NFT on the secondary market. NFTs that feature digital artwork are typically sold on specific marketplaces such as OpenSea, Magic Eden and Rarible.
To buy an NFT on the secondary market, you can browse them based on category, artist, or price, and once you find one you like, you can make an offer or purchase it outright.
To sell NFTs, you'll need to set a price and wait for a buyer to make an offer or purchase it at your listed price. When selling NFTs, you'll need to set a target price, list the NFT for sale, and accept an offer.
To set a target price for your NFT, consider historical price movements, rare traits and fees.
Storing NFTs is similar to storing other digital assets such as cryptocurrency. You can store your NFTs in a digital crypto wallet. A crypto wallet is software or hardware that lets you own your crypto and make transactions. There are two types of wallets, hot wallets and cold wallets.
A hot wallet is a digital wallet with internet access that enables common activities like sending payments and interacting with decentralized software. These wallets are typically desktop or mobile programs that give investors a simple self-custody option. Some popular wallets include MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, and Edge Wallet.
A cold wallet, in contrast, is a custody solution that stores money offline, thereby enhancing security. Receiving money or digital assets, and storing it for a long time are the main uses of cold wallets. Some popular cold wallets include Ledger or Trezor.
Our recommendation is to start with a hot wallet then transfer your long-term assets to a cold wallet. Hot wallets are connected to the internet. Compared to cold wallets, they are less secure but more practical. To protect your long-term assets, it is worth the expense to purchase a cold wallet and keep your long-term investments there.
The first NFT ever made, called Quantum, was minted in 2014 by Kevin McCoy on Namecoin.
With the release of CryptoKitties in 2017, a blockchain-based game that let users buy, breed, and trade exclusive virtual cats using Ether, the currency of the Ethereum blockchain, NFTs gained popularity. The Ethereum network became clogged as a result of the game's popularity, which led to longer transaction times and more expensive fees.
Since then, the popularity of NFTs has skyrocketed, with participation from well-known athletes, artists, and brands like Nike and Gucci. Digital artist Beeple made history in March 2021 when he sold a single NFT for $69 million at Christie's auction house, demonstrating the potential of NFTs as a brand-new type of investment.
NFTs are transforming the way we think about digital ownership and value. They give digital assets a new level of rarity and authenticity, and potential uses for them outside of the art and collectibles industries are only just beginning to be explored.
NFTs are important in the world of art because they offer a means of authenticating digital art and guaranteeing its provenance or origin. NFTs offer a safe and transparent way to confirm ownership and transferability, in contrast to more conventional methods of authentication, such as certificates of authenticity.
They also make it possible for artists to sell their work directly to collectors, without relying on galleries or auction houses.
In the sports industry, NFTs are becoming more and more popular because they can authenticate and sell digital trading cards or highlight reels, like NBA Top Shot.
NFTs in the music industry can give fans the opportunity to own a special item of memorabilia, such as live performances, autographed album covers, or a way to directly support up-and-coming musicians.
The ownership of digital assets in DeFi, such as loans or insurance policies, can also be represented by NFTs.
NFTs are revolutionizing manufacturing and supply chain management, where they track product origin and verify the authenticity of luxury goods, with brands like Gucci and Burberry exploring their use.
NFTs have come under scrutiny due to concerns over fraud and theft, which is partly attributed to the speculative nature of NFT investments.
Environmental impact is another major concern associated with NFTs. Up until recently, a single Ethereum transaction would use as much energy as The Netherlands does in electricity production. But with the introduction of Ethereum 2.0, energy use has been considerably decreased.
From a legal perspective, ownership and rights associated with NFTs can be ambiguous. Owning an NFT representing a piece of artwork does not necessarily grant the owner copyright or intellectual property rights related to the artwork. This creates potential legal grey areas and disputes.
NFTs have already revolutionized the art world and are expanding to other industries.
Several major companies, including Starbucks, Salesforce, Amazon, and luxury watchmaker Breitling, are exploring the use of NFTs in their businesses.
Starbucks announced their Web3 Odyssey program, which will incorporate blockchain and NFTs into their loyalty program.
Salesforce is creating a suite of Web3 products, including tools for creating and managing NFTs.
Amazon is reportedly working on an NFT marketplace and supply chain solution that could revolutionize the way we buy and sell digital goods.
Breitling is using NFTs to authenticate the ownership and history of their watches through their digital passports.
Ticketmaster is enabling artists with their own NFT-collections to offer NFT-Gated concert and event presale tickets to their fans.
The rise of NFTs has attracted the attention of major companies across industries, indicating the potential for NFTs to become a significant player in the future of business.
NFTs may eventually be used for things like voting and real estate, according to some experts. Who knows, maybe one day all of us will purchase our morning coffee using NFTs.
As for what's on the horizon, the possibilities are endless and the future is wild. But hey, at least we'll have some cool digital tokens to show for it.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are unique digital assets that are stored on a blockchain, providing a high level of authenticity and scarcity to digital content. NFTs cannot be replicated or exchanged, making them one-of-a-kind, and offering proof of ownership that is easily verifiable.
To mint NFTs, one must have enough tokens and know the blockchain the mint is happening on. To buy an NFT on the secondary market, marketplaces like OpenSea, Foundation, or Rarible can be used. To sell NFTs, one needs to set a target price and list it for sale, and store it in a digital wallet. When storing NFTs, it's recommended to start with a hot wallet and move long-term assets to a cold wallet like Trezor or Ledger for better security.
While NFTs have shown great potential, they’ve also ushered in concerns regarding fraud, environmental impact, copyright infringement and more.
Overall, NFTs have already revolutionized the art world and are expanding to other industries, with companies like Starbucks, Salesforce, Amazon, and Breitling exploring their potential. Despite concerns, NFTs offer exciting possibilities for ownership and monetization of digital content, and their future is promising.
Beeple: A digital artist known for his NFT artwork, including the record-breaking sale of "Everydays: The First 5000 Days" for $69 million.
Cold wallet: A type of crypto wallet that stores cryptocurrency offline, providing better security against hacking.
CryptoKitties: One of the first NFT projects on the Ethereum blockchain, allowing users to collect and breed unique digital cats.
Crypto Punks and Bored Ape Yacht Club: Two popular NFT projects known for their unique, collectible pixelated characters. Cryptocurrency: A digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security and operates independently of a central bank.
Crypto wallet: A digital wallet used to store, send, and receive cryptocurrency. DeFi: Short for decentralized finance, a movement to create financial systems using blockchain technology and smart contracts.
Fungibility: A digital asset to be exchanged for another identical digital asset, with both having equal value and properties. For example, currency is a fungible asset.
Hot wallet: A type of crypto wallet that stores cryptocurrency online, providing easier access but lower security than a cold wallet.
Immutable: Once a transaction is added to the blockchain, it cannot be altered or deleted without consensus from the network participants.
Minting: The process of creating and publishing a new NFT on a blockchain. NFT or Non Fungible Token - A non-fungible token that represents a unique, digital asset, such as a piece of artwork or a collectible item.
Non-fungibility: Digital assets that are unique and cannot be exchanged on a one-to-one basis. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a type of digital asset that represent ownership of a unique asset, such as a piece of artwork or a collectible.
OpenSea, Solanart, Magic Eden, Solanart, Foundation and Rarible: Various marketplaces for buying, selling, and trading NFTs. OpenSea and Rarible are popular marketplaces for Ethereum-based NFTs, while Solanart and Magic Eden are popular for Solana-based NFTs. Foundation is known for 1/1 NFTs on Ethereum.
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