ALL ABOUT NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) – Creating Value by Creating Scarcity

The budding art form, the digital art has captured the world in the modern era in the form of non- Fungible Tokens.

All forms of arts are an outstanding way to express and communicate. Arts convey artist’s intention, thoughts, ideas and feelings in innovative ways. It gives way to human creativity and imagination. We recognize arts in various forms like painting, music, theatre, architecture etc. The artists can even monetize by selling their arts on various platforms.

What is an NFT?

The budding art form, the digital art has captured the world in the modern era in the form of non- Fungible Tokens. NFTs are cut out not only for various art forms but also for fields like games, videos, entertainment, fashion and even tweets. The only condition is that one should be able to store his work digitally.

An NFT is a form of an art which can be presented digitally and recorded on a blockchain and assessed in terms of cryptocurrency. The world now considers it as a value holding investment in collectibles.

Is NFT similar to Crypto Coins?

Non-Fungible Token abbreviated as NFT is analogous to a cryptocurrency just like Bitcoin, Ethereum or Dogecoin.

The NFT deviates from the cryptocurrency in the sense, that they are unique and non-fungible. It means that it cannot be exchanged in a like – for- like manner with another NFT whereas a crypto coin can be exchanged for another coin.

We cannot have more of the same NFTs if we trade them in the market but we can have added quantity of Bitcoins if we trade in them. In very uncomplicated terms, we can call NFTs as digital goods as we call cryptocurrency as digital currency. The future prospects of NFTs are mind boggling.

NFTs store extra information when on blockchains and are marked by different colors to differentiate them from crypto coins. This also escalates the value of NFT. The rapidly flourishing world of NFTs has heltered- skeltered the markets.

How is NFT unique?

Now the thought that clouds our mind is that then everyone who’s online will have an access to that piece of art. You are thinking in the right direction. Anyone can download, visualize or screenshot an NFT but only one person can claim the ownership. That person also holds the right to resell the art form.

Thus, NFT is a type of certified digital arts whose authenticity can be checked by anyone. A copy of the same art is fungible — unless it is recorded and verified to be a true copy with an NFT.

To understand it better let’s take the example of the masterpiece of Monalisa by Leonardo da Vinci. The painting of Monalisa is the most celebrated and most valuable painting in the history. Though you must have seen the copies of this notable painting in markets, galleries or even living rooms but the highest value is retained by the original piece only. The copies do not hold a worth even anywhere near to the original piece. It is only the original piece which is cherished and treasured. And the value to that piece is elevating constantly.

Similarly, buyers of NFT become the owner of that art piece whose value will depend on the market. Henceforth, an NFT can either be distinctive, a copy of a work or like a real-life artwork whose ownership can be verified by track records maintained on the blockchain. The value of a copy or look alike work is always less than the original work. Thus, NFT is a novel way of creating value by creating scarcity.

What is Beeples?

The explosion that NFT may create can only be imagined when we relate it to Beeples. Michael Joseph Winkelmann (Mike Winkelman) also known as Beeple, is an American artist who creates digital artworks. He has around 2.5 million followers on various social media network. Apart from this, another reason for Mike Winkelman creative popularity is that he has been part of a project ‘Everydays’ for almost 14 years in which he presented a digital art work daily. He sold his 10-second video clip known as ‘Crossroads’ for $66,666.66 which was resold for $6.6 million at NFT auction. This is the fattest value an NFT has hit upon so far.

By preserving a piece of art as NFT, the owner can also call for royalty everytime the NFT changes title. People have sold variety of things as NFT collectibles. The range is wide encompassing things that are poles apart from a music album to tweets, from an animated image of a flying cat leaving a rainbow trail famous as Nyan Cat to highlights from NBA (The National Basketball Association) games.

NFTs are traded in online markets like Nіftу Gаtеwау which became very popular with the traders after hosting the sale of Beeples. The websites like Nifty Gateway mintѕ a unique NFT and earmarks іt to an art form which stores it forever in the wallet of the company. Once they are stored in wallet, anyone can view the ownership of the digital art. The only requisition is an internet connectivity and of course a login Id.

Where to buy NFTs?

Apart from Nifty Gateway, other popular websites allowing trade in NFTs are Super Rare, Decentraland, Open Sea, VIV3, NFT Showroom, etc. Before buying or selling an NFT, you need to recognize the apt online store according to the form of art.

Logos of a few of NFT Platforms. Images credit: Viv3, NFT Showroom, YellowHeart, SuperRare , OpenSea, NiftyGateway, DigitalTradingCards

For example, Yellowheart is a platform for musical art files whereas ‘digitaltradingcards’ is a site devoted to sale and purchase of baseball cards. All you have to do is stock up your wallet with the currency used by that particular site.

Do NFTs have any negative side?

But if we see the bleak side of the rise of NFTs, a large amount of work has gained unexpected valuation due to the uncalled hype. Moreover, the digital bubble may burst anytime and a blockchain may lapse leaving the NFTs deprived of their values. Some people have even gone to the extent of stealing someone else’s work and claiming it as their own in the auctions.

Owing to its presence on the blockchain, NFTs are high on electricity consumption and therefore have a negative impact on the environment. It may hamper the demand among many environmentalists. But minting instead of mining as pioneered by Ethereum may eliminate such worries and NFTs enjoy remaining a bourgeoning craze among many.