Non-Fungible Tokens: What You Should Know (NFTs)

What Is a Non-Financial Transaction (NFT)? 

A digital asset that depicts real-world elements like art, music, in-game items, and films is known as an NFT. They're bought and traded online, often using cryptocurrency, and they're usually encoded with the same software as many other cryptos. 

Despite the fact that they've been there since 2014, NFTs are gaining popularity currently as a popular means to buy and sell digital artwork. Since November 2017, a whopping $174 million has been spent on NFTs.

NFTs are also one-of-a-kind, or at the very least one of a very small run, and contain unique identifying codes. "Essentially, NFTs generate digital scarcity," explains Arry Yu, managing director of Yellow Umbrella Ventures and chair of the Washington Technology Industry Association's Cascadia Blockchain Council. 

This is in sharp contrast to the vast majority of digital products, which are nearly always available in endless quantities. If a certain asset is in demand, cutting down the supply should theoretically increase its value.

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However, many NFTs have been digital works that already exist in some form elsewhere, such as legendary video clips from NBA games or securitized versions of digital art that are already floating around on Instagram, at least in these early days. 

For example, acclaimed digital artist Mike Winklemann, better known as "Beeple," created "EVERYDAYS: The First 5000 Days," possibly the most famous NFT of the moment, which sold at Christie's for a record-breaking $69.3 million. 

Individual images—or perhaps the full collage of images—can be viewed for free on the internet. So, why are people prepared to spend millions of dollars on something that might be easily screenshotted or downloaded?

Because a non-financial transaction permits the buyer to keep the original object. It also comes with built-in authentication, which acts as proof of ownership. The "digital bragging rights" are almost as valuable as the item itself to collectors. 

What Is the Difference Between an NFT and Cryptocurrency? 

The term "non-fungible token" refers to a token that is not fungible. It's usually programmed in the same way as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, but that's where the similarities end.

Cryptocurrencies and physical money are both "fungible," meaning they may be traded or exchanged for one another. They're also worth the same amount of money—one dollar is always worth another dollar, and one Bitcoin is always worth another Bitcoin. The fungibility of cryptocurrency makes it a secure way to execute blockchain transactions. 

NFTs aren't like other materials. Each contains a digital signature that prevents NFTs from being substituted for or compared to one another (hence, non-fungible). Simply because they're both NFTs, one NBA Top Shot clip isn't the same as EVERYDAYS. (For that matter, one NBA Top Shot footage isn't necessarily equal to another NBA Top Shot clip.) 

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What Is an NFT and How Does It Work? 

NFTs are stored on a blockchain, which is a decentralized public ledger that keeps track of transactions. Most people are familiar with blockchain as the underlying technology that allows cryptocurrencies to exist.

NFTs are most commonly kept on the Ethereum blockchain, although they can also be held on other blockchains.

An NFT is made up of digital objects that represent both tangible and intangible commodities, such as art, GIFs, videos, and sports highlights, as well as collectibles.

• Designer shoes • Virtual avatars and video game skins

• Instrumental music

Even tweets are taken into account. Jack Dorsey, a co-founder of Twitter, sold his first tweet as an NFT for over $2.9 million. 

NFTs are essentially digital versions of tangible collector's artifacts. As a result, rather than receiving an actual oil painting to put on the wall, the customer receives a digital file.

They also obtain exclusive rights to the property. It's true: NFTs can only have one owner at a time. Because NFTs include unique data, it's simple to verify ownership and transfer tokens between owners. They can also be used to hold specific information by the owner or author. Artists, for example, can sign their work by putting their signature in the metadata of an NFT. 

What Is the Purpose of NFTs? 

Artists and content creators have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to monetise their work thanks to blockchain technology and NFTs. Artists, for example, no longer have to sell their work through galleries or auction houses. Instead, the artist can sell it as an NFT straight to the consumer, allowing them to keep a larger portion of the profit. Additionally, artists can integrate royalties into their software so that they receive a share of sales when their work is sold to a new owner. This is a desirable feature because most artists do not receive subsequent proceeds after their first sale. 

Making money using NFTs isn't limited to art. To raise money for charity, companies like Charmin and Taco Bell have auctioned off themed NFT art. Taco Bell's NFT art sold out in minutes, with the highest bids coming in at 1.5 wrapped ether (WETH)—equal to $3,723.83 at the time of writing. Charmin's offering was dubbed "NFTP" (non-fungible toilet paper), and Taco Bell's NFT art sold out in minutes, with the highest bids coming in at 1.5 wrapped ether (WETH)—equal to $3,723.83 at the time of writing. 

In February, Nyan Cat, a 2011 GIF depicting a cat with a pop-tart body, sold for nearly $600,000. As of late March, NBA Top Shot had grossed more than $500 million in sales. NFT sold for more than $200,000 for a single LeBron James highlight.

Snoop Dogg and Lindsay Lohan are among the celebrities who have jumped on the NFT bandwagon, sharing unique memories, artwork, and moments as securitized NFTs.

How to Purchase NFTs 

If you're interested in starting your own NFT collection, you'll need the following items:

To begin, you'll need a digital wallet that can hold both NFTs and cryptocurrencies. Depending on what currencies your NFT provider takes, you'll probably need to buy some cryptocurrency, such as Ether. Coinbase, Kraken, eToro, and even PayPal and Robinhood now allow you to buy cryptocurrency with a credit card. After that, you'll be able to transfer it from the exchange to your preferred wallet. 

When researching your alternatives, keep fees in mind. When you acquire crypto, most exchanges charge at least a portion of your transaction. 

NFT Marketplaces in High Demand 

There are many NFT sites to choose from once you've set up and funded your wallet. The following are the top NFT marketplaces right now: • This peer-to-peer marketplace claims to sell "rare digital products and memorabilia." To get started, simply create an account and browse the NFT collections. You may also sort pieces by how much they sold to find new artists. 

• Rarible: Rarible is a democratic, open marketplace that lets artists and producers issue and sell NFTs, similar to OpenSea. The platform's RARI tokens allow users to vote on features such as fees and community regulations.

• Foundation: To upload their work here, artists must get "upvotes" or an invitation from other creators. Because of the community's exclusivity and high admission cost—artists must also acquire "gas" to mint NFTs—it is likely to attract higher-quality work. Chris Torres, the developer of Nyan Cat, for example, sold the NFT on the Foundation platform. It might also imply higher prices, which isn't necessarily a negative thing for artists and collectors looking to profit if demand for NFTs stays the same or even rises over time. 

Although these and other platforms are home to hundreds of NFT artists and collectors, do your homework before purchasing. Some artists have been defrauded by impersonators who have listed and sold their work without their knowledge.

Furthermore, the verification methods for creators and NFT listings vary by platform, with some being more strict than others. For NFT listings, OpenSea and Rarible, for example, do not require owner verification. Buyer safeguards appear to be limited at best, therefore it's wise to remember the old adage "caveat emptor" (let the buyer beware) when buying for NFTs. 

Should You Invest in NFTs? 

Is it true that just because you can buy NFTs, you should? Yu says that depends.

"NFTs are dangerous since their future is unknown, and we don't yet have enough data to gauge their performance," she says. "Because NFTs are so new, it would be worth spending a little amount to test them out for the time being." 

Investing in NFTs, in other words, is essentially a personal decision. If you have some extra cash, it's something to think about, especially if the artwork has sentimental value for you.

However, keep in mind that the value of an NFT is solely determined by what someone else is prepared to pay for it. As a result, rather than fundamental, technical, or economic indicators, which traditionally impact stock prices and, at the very least, constitute the basis for investor demand, demand will drive the price. 

All of this means that you may be able to resell an NFT for less than you bought it for. If no one wants it, you might not be able to resell it at all.

Capital gains taxes apply to NFTs, just like they do when you sell stocks at a profit. Because they're considered collectibles, they may not qualify for the lower long-term capital gains rates that stocks do, and they may even be taxed at a higher collectibles rate, though the IRS hasn't decided what NFTs are for tax purposes. Keep in mind that the cryptocurrencies you used to buy the NFT may be taxed if their value has increased since you bought them, so consult with a tax specialist before adding NFTs to your portfolio. 

As a result, treat NFTs in the same way you would any other investment: Do your homework, be aware of the hazards (including the possibility of losing all of your money), and proceed with caution if you decide to take the plunge. 

What Are Non-Fungible Tokens? A Beginner's Guide to NFTs 

In a nutshell, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are cryptographically unique tokens tied to digital (and sometimes physical) material that serve as proof of ownership.

They can be used for a variety of things, including artwork, digital collectibles, music, and video game goods. 

Digital assets and their classifications are multiplying and evolving alongside cryptographic and blockchain technology. Cryptocurrencies, utility tokens, security tokens, privacy tokens... digital assets and their classifications are multiplying and evolving alongside cryptographic and blockchain technology. 

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are one of the crypto industry's fastest-growing segments. We'll look at what they are, how they work, and how they're utilized in this tutorial. 

What are non-fungible tokens, and how do you use them? 

Non-fungible tokens are digital assets with unique identifiers stored in smart contracts.

Each NFT is unique due to this information, and as a result, they cannot be directly replaced by another token. Because no two NFTs are alike, they cannot be switched like for like. Banknotes, on the other hand, can be simply exchanged for one another provided they are of equal worth; the possessor will not notice the difference between, for example, one dollar bill and another.

Bitcoin is a token that may be exchanged for other currencies. You can give one Bitcoin to someone, and they can send one back to you, and you'll still have one Bitcoin. (Of course, the value of Bitcoin may fluctuate during the transaction.) Because fungible tokens are divisible, you can transfer or receive smaller amounts of one Bitcoin, measured in satoshis (think of satoshis as Bitcoin cents). 

Non-fungible tokens are typically not divisible, much like you couldn't mail someone part of a concert ticket because it wouldn't be worth anything on its own and wouldn't be redeemable. However, several investors have been experimenting with the concept of fractionalized NFTs in recent months, despite the fact that they remain a legal gray area and could be considered securities.

Some of the earliest non-fungible tokens were CryptoKitties collectibles. Each CryptoKitty is a one-of-a-kind blockchain-based digital kitten; if you send someone a CryptoKitty and receive one from someone else, the CryptoKitty you receive will be completely different from the one you sent. The goal of the game is to collect various digital cats. 

A non-fungible token's unique information, such as a CryptoKitty's, is saved in its smart contract and immutably recorded on the token's blockchain. CryptoKitties were first released as ERC-721 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, but have now moved to their own blockchain, Flow, to make them more accessible to crypto novices.

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In Q3 2021, the trading volume for non-fungible tokens reached $10.67 billion, up 700 percent from the previous quarter. 

What is it about NFTs that makes them so unique? 

Non-fungible tokens have distinct characteristics and are usually associated with a certain item. They can be used to establish ownership of digital assets such as gaming skins all the way up to tangible goods. 

Other tokens, like coins and banknotes, can be redeemed for cash. Fungible tokens are interchangeable and have the same properties and value. 

What is the purpose of non-fungible tokens? 

Non-fungible tokens can be used to represent digital collectibles such as CryptoKitties, NBA Top Shot, and Sorare, as well as digital assets that need to be distinguished from one another in order to show their value or scarcity. Everything from virtual land parcels to artworks to ownership licenses can be represented using them. 

NFT marketplaces are where they're bought and sold. While dedicated marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarely have long dominated the field, some of the most well-known bitcoin exchanges have recently entered the fray. Binance established its own NFT marketplace in June 2021, while Coinbase revealed its own NFT marketplace ambitions in October 2021, with over 1.4 million people joining up for the waitlist in the first 48 hours. 

What are NFTs and how do they work? 

Fungible tokens include Bitcoin and Ethereum-based ERC-20 tokens. ERC-721 is Ethereum's non-fungible token standard, which is used by platforms like CryptoKitties and Decentraland.

With non-fungible token tools and support, non-fungible tokens can also be developed on other smart-contract-enabled blockchains. Though Ethereum was the first to be widely used, the ecosystem is growing, with NFTs supported by blockchains such as Solana, NEO, Tezos, EOS, Flow, Secret Network, and TRON. 

Is it possible for NFTs to be useful? Some NFTs are employed as a new form of asset or credential, from owning characters in video games to providing access behind a virtual velvet rope, in addition to art and collectibles. Owners of "Bored Ape" can join an exclusive online community, similar to a virtual Soho House members' club for crypto enthusiasts, while other NFTs allow owners to purchase tangible goods that are not available to the general public. "An interesting trend I'm seeing right now is merging NFTs with social tokens," Ivanova says, citing sports teams and musicians as possible issuers. "It's a classy method to cultivate a dedicated fan following who get first access to items and events as token holders."

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Meanwhile, electronic games based on NFTs, such as Axie Infinity and Zed Run, a horse racing simulator, allow players to "play to earn." Selling virtual pets to other players is a way to get money from time invested growing and enhancing them. While some have compared the concept to a pyramid scheme, the makers claim that their method is more ethical than forcing players to pay to advance, as is the case in many prominent games. "The traditional gaming industry's purpose is to extract as much value from players as possible," says Aleksander Larsen, co-founder of Sky Mavis, the company behind Axie Infinity. "People who own Axie game characters will be able to utilize them in a variety of games that we or the community may create in the future." However, some of the largest game publishers, like Apple, Epic Games, and Valve, are skeptical about NFTs, citing legal and ethical issues about a method that some regulators have said should be classified as gambling or securities. In a recent tweet, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney remarked, "We aren't handling NFTs because the entire industry is now tied up with an intractable combination of scams, interesting decentralized tech underpinnings, and scams."