In the past year, the popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has skyrocketed, gaining various use, from art to food and grocery products. NFTs are a type of digital asset that sells for a massive amount of money, some even sell for millions of dollars.
But many are left to wonder about the long-term viability of investing in NFTs in the digital world. Some experts say they will not last. Others believe they are poised to become a game-changer in the industry.
Non-fungible tokens, or more commonly referred to as NFTs, are a type of digital asset that represents items, including those in the art world, products, and videos. This type of asset is purchased and sold online, more often using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. NFTs have a similar coding design to cryptocurrencies.
NFTs have only recently become more popular despite being in circulation since 2014. This is primarily due to the rising demand for buying and selling digital artwork. Since November 2017, the total amount spent on NFTs has come to $174 million.
One significant difference that NFTs have compared to most other digital creations is that the latter usually have an infinite supply, whereas NFTs are somewhat scarce. This is due to NFTs being unique, or at the very least being only available for a limited time. each NFT also comes with special identifying codes.
One of the most famous NFT is called "EVERYDAYS: The First 5000 Days" and is a composite of 5,000 digital artwork by Mike Winklemann, a digital artist who goes by "Beeple," who created them over 5,000 days. The NFT was sold for $69.3 million at Christie's, a British auction house.
Many people might wonder why anyone could be willing to pay millions of dollars to buy something that any person can view online for free. This is primarily because purchasing the NFT gives you ownership of the original item and built-in authentication. These digital proof of ownership are what collectors value as equal to or more valuable than the NFT itself.
The primary difference is that physical money and crypto are "fungible," which means they can be used to exchange or trade for each other. Their values are also equal, contributing to its reliability and trustworthiness as a means of transactions on the blockchain.
Each NFT has a unique digital signature that makes it impossible to use one in exchange for another because they are vastly different. For example, an NBA-themed NFT and the EVERYDAYS digital art do not have the same value despite both being NFTs.
Like crypto, NFTs exist on blockchain technology, which operates like a digital ledger that records any transaction. More specifically, the Ethereum blockchain holds NFTs, but other types of blockchain also support NFTs.
NFTs are created from digital objects that can represent either tangible or intangible items, such as the following:
• Designer sneakers
• Videos and sports highlights
• Virtual avatars and video game skins
Tweets can also be made into NFTs, with one example being Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's first-ever tweet being sold for more than $2.9 million as an NFT.
NFTs work similarly to physical collectors' items but are digital, which means that a buyer would receive a digital file instead of something like a physical artwork when they buy an NFT. Furthermore, when an individual purchases an NFT, they get exclusive ownership rights because only one person can own a specific NFT at any given time.
The security of NFTs makes it easy to verify a person's ownership due to its unique data, allowing a smoother exchange and transfer of tokens between owners. An NFT creator or owner can also store information inside the unit of data. An example of this is a digital artist engraving their signature inside their creation's metadata.
Artists and content creators have a special opportunity to earn money from their creations using blockchain technology and NFTs. New technology makes it easier for artists to avoid relying on auction houses or similar establishments to find a buyer for their masterpieces. Using NFT, an artist can directly sell their creation to a consumer. This has the added benefit of letting the creator keep more profits due to a lack of payment for a middle man.
NFT's can also be designed to include royalties in their programming, giving artists a percentage of the profits whenever their digital creation is sold to a new owner. This unique feature of NFTs is advantageous to artists because physical transactions generally do not provide creators with further profit after the first sale.
There are many other ways that NFTs can be monetized, including when brands such as Charmin and Taco bell auctioned off art to raise money for charity. A notable example of an NFT selling for a large sum is when Nyan Cat, a GIF of a cat with a pop-tart body, was sold in February for nearly $600,000. Even celebrities are starting to get into the NFT industry, including Lindsay Lohan. The actress sold an NFT of a photograph of herself for $17,000.
While people are slowly starting to utilize NFTs, many are still unsure how to buy NFTs and add them to their NFT collections. The most important thing you should know if you're looking to buy NFTs is that you will need a digital wallet such as Avarta to store NFTs and cryptocurrencies.
Second, you will most likely have to buy some crypto, such as Bitcoin, inside your digital wallets before you can start purchasing NFTs. The type of cryptocurrency you need would change depending on which one your NFT provider accepts. It would be best to remember that most processes have specific fees that are added on top of the initial sale.
You can purchase NFTs from many places, but a few stand out in the market. This includes some of the largest NFT marketplaces anywhere:
OpenSea.io is a peer-to-peer platform that advertises itself as a seller of what it calls "rare digital items and collectibles. If you are planning on buying NFTs from this marketplace, the first thing you'll need is to create your account to browse various collections.
This NFT market works similarly to OpenSea and is a publicly-accessible marketplace that allows artists and creators to issue and put their NFTs up for sale. The currency used in Rarible is called "RARI" tokens and is issued by the platform itself.
Another popular NFT marketplace is Foundation, where artists are required to receive "upvotes" or wait for fellow creators to invite them before posting their art on the platform. Foundation caters to artists of a higher caliber by being highly exclusive because it has a cost of entry. Creators who want to sell digital art are required to purchase "gas" to mint NFTs.
While many platforms allow digital artists to post and sell their creations, care must be taken when buying NFTs. There have been instances of impersonators acting to be a particular artist to list and sell digital artwork without the original artist's permission.
Another note is that different platforms or NFT marketplaces generally do not share similar verification processes for creators and NFT listings. Some may be more strict, while others tend to focus on different parts of their platform.
If you are looking into investing in NFTs, you should note that they have not been around for that long. This means that there is not enough data to judge their future performance, acceptance, and status accurately. However, with the potential to become the next big thing, it may be worth investing a small amount in the industry that would not be life-changing if lost.
The price changes of NFTs are based entirely on how much an individual is willing to pay, meaning that it is demand-driven. Therefore, typical influences such as fundamental, technical, or economic indicators are less likely to affect NFTs' costs.