There’s nothing quite like an explosion of blockchain news to make you think, “Um… what’s going on here?” That’s the feeling I got from reading about Grimes getting millions of dollars for NFTs or selling Nyan Cat as such. And just when we all thought we somehow knew what the deal was, the founder of Twitter put up an autographed tweet for sale as NFT.
You might be wondering: what is an NFT, anyway?
After literal hours of reading, I think I know. I also think I will cry.
Okay, let’s start with the basics. What is an NFT? What does NFT mean?
It doesn’t make it any clearer.
Alright, sorry. “Non-fungible” more or less means that it is unique and cannot be replaced by anything else. For example, a bitcoin is fungible – swap one for another bitcoin, and you will have the exact same thing. However, a one-of-a-kind collectible card is not fungible. If you traded it for another card, you would have something completely different. You dropped a Squirtle and got a 1909 T206 Honus Wagner, which StadiumTalk calls “the Mona Lisa baseball cards”. (I’ll take their word for it.)
How do NFTs work?
At a very high level, most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum is a cryptocurrency, like bitcoin or dogecoin, but its blockchain also supports these NFTs, which store additional information that makes them work differently than an ETH coin, for example. Note that other blockchains may implement their own versions of NFT. (Some have already done so.)
What is worth buying at NFT supermarket?
NFTs can really be anything digital (like drawings, music, your brain downloaded and turned into an AI), but a lot of the excitement right now is using technology to sell art. digital.
You mean, for example, the people who buy my good tweets?
I don’t think anyone can stop you, but that’s not really what I meant. Much of the conversation is about NFTs as an evolution of fine art collecting, only with digital art.
(Note: when we came up with the phrase “buy my good tweets” we were trying to think of something so silly that it wouldn’t be a real thing. So of course the founder of Twitter would try it just days after the article was published.)
Do people really think it will become like an art collection?
I’m sure some people really hope so – like the one who paid almost $ 390,000 for a 50 second video of Grimes or the one who paid $ 6.6 million for a video of Beeple. In fact, one of Beeple’s pieces is auctioned off at Christie’s, the famou –
Sorry, I was busy right clicking on this Beeple video and downloading the same file that the person paid millions of dollars for.
Wow, rude. But yeah, this is where it gets a little awkward. You can copy a digital file as many times as you like, including the illustrations included with an NFT.
But NFTs are designed to give you something that cannot be copied: ownership of the work (although the artist may still retain the copyright and reproduction rights, just as with physical works of art. ). To put it in terms of a physical art collection: anyone can buy a Monet print. But only one person can own the original.
No shadow on Beeple, but the video is not really a Monet.
What do you think of the $ 3,600 Gucci Ghost?
Also, if I had a Monet, I could appreciate it as a physical object. With digital art, a copy is literally as good as the original.
But the flex to own an original Beeple …
What’s the point?
It really depends if you are an artist or a buyer.
I’m an artist.
First of all: I’m proud of you. Path to follow. You might be interested in NFTs because it gives you a way to sell a job that there might not be a lot of market for. If you have a really cool digital sticker idea, what are you going to do? Sell it on the iMessage App Store? Certainly not.
In addition, NFTs have a feature you can activate that will pay you a percentage each time the NFT is sold or changes hands, making sure that if your work becomes very popular and appreciates in value, you will see a portion of it. this advantage.
I am a buyer.
One of the obvious benefits of buying art is that it allows you to financially support artists you love, and that’s true with NFTs (which are way more fashionable than Telegram stickers). Buying an NFT usually gives you basic usage rights, like the ability to post the picture online or set it as your profile picture. Plus, of course, there’s the bragging rights that you own the art, with a blockchain entry to back it up.
No, I meant that I am a collector.
Ah, okay, yes. NFTs can work like any other speculative asset, where you buy it and hope that its value will rise someday, so that you can sell it for a profit. I feel a little dirty to talk about it, though.
So each NFT is unique?
In the boring technical sense that each NFT is a unique token on the blockchain. But while it could be like a van Gogh, where there is only one definitive version, it could also be like a collectible card, where there are 50 or hundreds of numbered copies of the same work. of art.
Who would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for what essentially amounts to a collectible card?
Well, that’s part of what makes NFTs so messy. Some people treat them like they’re the future of art collecting (read: as a playground for the mega-rich), and others treat them like Pokémon cards (where they’re accessible normal people but also a playground for the mega-rich). Speaking of Pokémon cards, Logan Paul just sold some NFTs relating to a million dollar box of –
Please stop. I hate where this is going.
Yes, he sold NFT music videos, which are just snippets of a video you can watch on YouTube anytime, for up to $ 20,000. He also sold NFTs of a Logan Paul Pokémon card.
Who paid $ 20,000 for a Logan Paul music video ?!
A fool and their money are soon parted, I imagine?
It would be hilarious if Logan Paul decided to sell 50 more NFTs from the same video.
Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park (who also sold NFTs containing a song) spoke about it. It’s totally one thing someone could do if they were, in their own words, “a twisted opportunistic jerk.” I’m not saying Logan Paul is that, just that you should be careful who you buy.
Can I buy this item as NFT?
No, but technically anything digital can be sold as NFT. deadmau5 has sold digital animated stickers. William Shatner sold Shatner-themed collectible cards (one of which was apparently an x-ray of his teeth).
Gross. In fact, could I buy someone’s teeth as an NFT?
There have been a few attempts to connect NFTs to real world objects, often as a sort of verification method. Nike has patented a method to verify the authenticity of sneakers using an NFT system, which it calls CryptoKicks. But so far I haven’t found any teeth, no. I’m afraid to watch.
There are several markets that have sprung up around NFTs, which allow people to buy and sell. These include OpenSea, Rarible, and Grimes’ Choice, Nifty Gateway, but there are plenty more.
I heard there were kittens involved. Tell me about the kittens.
NFTs really became technically possible when the Ethereum blockchain added their support as part of a new standard. Of course, one of the first uses was for a game called CryptoKitties which allowed users to trade and sell virtual kittens. Thanks, Internet.
I love kittens.
Not as much as the person who paid over $ 170,000 for one.
Same. But in my opinion, the kittens show that one of the most interesting aspects of NFTs (for those of us who aren’t looking to create a digital dragon’s lair art) is how they can be used in games. There are already games that allow you to have NFTs as items. We even sell virtual plots of land in the form of NFTs. There might be opportunities for gamers to purchase a unique in-game pistol or helmet or whatever as an NFT, which would be a flex that most people could actually appreciate.
Can I do a museum heist to steal NFTs?
It depends. Part of the appeal of blockchain is that it stores a record of every time a transaction takes place, making it more difficult to steal and turn over than, say, a painting hanging in a museum. That said, cryptocurrencies have been stolen before, so it would really depend on how the NFT is stored and how much work a potential victim would be willing to put in to get their belongings back.
Note: Please do not steal.
Should I be worried about the presence of digital art in 500 years?
Probably. Bit rot is a real thing: picture quality deteriorates, file formats can no longer be opened, websites crash, people forget their wallet password. But physical art in museums is also extremely fragile.
I want to maximize my use of the blockchain. Can I buy NFTs with cryptocurrencies?
Yes. Probably. Many markets accept Ethereum. But technically anyone can sell an NFT and claim any currency they want.
Will trading my Logan Paul NFTs contribute to global warming and the melting of Greenland?
It’s definitely something to watch out for. Since NFTs use the same blockchain technology as cryptocurrencies, they could also end up using a lot of electricity per transaction. There are people working on mitigations for this issue, which is great because I don’t want to set the world on fire for CryptoKitties, let alone Logan Paul.
Can I build an underground art cave / bunker to store my NFTs?
Well, like cryptocurrencies, NFTs are stored in digital wallets (although it’s worth noting that the wallet specifically needs to be NFT compatible). However, you can still put the wallet on a computer in an underground bunker.
Are you tired of typing “NFT”?
Update March 5 at 8:07 p.m. ET: Added news that Jack Dorsey was selling one of his tweets as NFT because I originally made a joke and can’t believe it actually happened.