Also known as NFTs, these digital art pieces continue to take the internet by storm.
What started as an endeavor to boost autonomy and creative rights for artists soon became one of the fastest and most spontaneous money-making machines that the digital era has ever seen. It is important to note that although cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are also tokens, they are somewhat different from NFTs.
Cryptocurrency, similar to the U.S. dollar, is interchangeable and can be exchanged or duplicated. However, non-fungible tokens are unique and cannot be copied. Through blockchain technology, these tokens allow digital art to be watermarked through code and enables creators to sell their digital ownership of a token.
Therefore, when you purchase an NFT, it officially becomes your property, and no one else can stake a claim to it. Traditionally, the intention behind non-fungible tokens was to help more graphic designers and artists ensure that their creations were safeguarded from rip-offs and copycats. For many artists, NFTs have become the new standard of self-investment.
Over the past couple of years, NFTs have become so popular that there are NFT clubs that host physical meetups for their owners. You might have even seen some of them, such as The Bored Ape Yacht Club.
NFTs haven’t even been around for a decade, yet that hasn’t stopped them from rapidly growing into a $17 billion market! That’s why it’s no surprise to see entrepreneurs, investors, and money-hungry side hustlers dive into the trend.
How do you buy non-fungible tokens?
Several platforms are available, but the most common and popular one is Opensea. Keep in mind you cannot use standard currency (dollars, pounds, etc.) to purchase NFTs on Opensea.
However, you can use the standard currency to purchase the cryptocurrency the platform currently accepts. This includes Ethereum, Solana, USDC (the crypto equivalent of the U.S. dollar that holds the same value), and DAI. Opensea was founded in 2017. Since then, it has become one of the largest NFT marketplaces in the world. On this platform, you can sell, buy, and trade digital art.
“But I thought NFTs are non-interchangeable, so how can you trade them?”
You’re absolutely right! Although these digital creations are unique, they can be traded for other desirable NFTs. Think about this as you would with any authentic collection, such as Pokémon or baseball cards.
Some collectors like to collect highly sought originals, purchase them, and auction them at a higher price when their increase in market value. Others simply like to exchange items in their collection for other valuable items. The distinction with NFTs is that there is only ONE original. This makes them even more valuable.
Therefore, imagine being the prime owner of a digital masterpiece that is the first and only piece of its kind? This very factor is why non-fungible tokens have become so viral. So, yes, the hype is DEFINITELY real.
But will it last?
As I mentioned earlier, the first wave of non-fungible tokens was spearheaded by artists who wanted to further their equity and creative rights. Since NFTs became viral and lucrative, non-artists, companies, and other entities have started riding the wave by mass-producing their own tokens.
Therefore, the NFT market has seen an influx of digital art with recycled and fewer quality concepts that are solely designed to generate profit and not much else.
Now, I’m not hating on anybody…👀
BUT it does beg one question: how long can NFTs remain popular?
Most of the hype behind these digital creations stemmed from their technology redefining how modern art could be created and sold. Yet, the NFT movement seems to be moving away from that original purpose.
So, what’s next?
Someone else recently threw their hat in the ring, and you can probably guess who.
Someone just needs to send this man on vacation. Does he ever leave his computer? Does anyone ever just walk up to him and do this? 🤔
I’M JUST SAYING!
Mark Zuckerberg is always up to something. You would think he would be more focused on getting his vision for the metaverse up to speed than messing with what some perceive to be goofy little jpegs, right!?
However, the reality is that NFTs are becoming increasingly intersectional as a way to integrate more digital property, merchandise, and prizes into virtual reality worlds. So, I guess we can’t be that surprised that Meta is beginning to get involved. This week it was announced that Instagram would be testing NFTs with select creators.
How will this affect users?
Reportedly, Instagram users will not be charged for posting NFTs. The platform “intends to support widely used crypto wallets such as MetaMask. They will plug in their wallets, users will be able to prove NFT ownership, showcase them on their profiles, and tag the creators who made them.”
This could signal that Meta has plans to integrate an NFT marketplace of its own through Instagram or Facebook, but only time will tell. The future holds a lot for NFTs, and my guess is that they’re not going away anytime soon.
However, I believe these digital art tokens may play a greater role in metaverses and pave the way for other types of digital property to come to fruition. Did I mention that people are buying digital land? 😅
We’ll tackle that next time because it truly is….strange. Until next time!
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Christine Nbemeneh is a content creator and book editor who is a lover of all things related to Harry Potter, Marvel, DC, Disney, and BTS! Be sure to check out more of her work at starfirepress.com.