Twitter and Reddit today are full of people purchasing JPEGs of rocks, flowers, scribbled canvases and have been paying thousands of dollars for them. If you are new to social media or cryptocurrency, I am sure you are going to be scratching your head about what’s going on. Let’s decode the method to the madness and find the answer to ”What is a NFT”.
NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens are nothing but unique collectible tokens exchanged over the blockchain. The token could be anything. An image, artwork an audio file, a meme, a ticket, the list goes on. While they’ve been around for a while, the hype train took off when a few months back, an artist who goes by the name Beeple sold an NFT, a collection of artworks he had made in the last 13 years for a staggering $69 million, as reported by The New York Times.
What makes it so special
What makes NFTs so special? Frankly, NFTs are still in the discovery phase but there can be a few explanations. Our lives, like it or not, are completely moving to the digital world. The symbols of status are changing. Our way of carrying out transactions is changing. NFTs primarily can be looked upon as a community creator. An exclusive community could be bound together by the NFTs owned. The way a blue tick on Instagram is exclusive and a status symbol, even NFTs are taking a similar route. NFTs may also become the norm of how art is bought and sold. They are slowly seeping into a wider audience and the next couple of decades could be massive for NFTs.
NFTs and crypto
Now, how do you enter this madness and start buying and selling NFTs? They operate on various blockchains and currently the most popular one is Ethereum. Hence, you need to open an Ethereum wallet. MetaMask which is a google extension is a good one to start with. Your wallet needs to have ETH through which you can buy NFTs. You can buy ETH from any cryptocurrency platform like Coinbase and transfer it to your Metamask wallet.
Next up, you need to get on to an NFT marketplace. Opensea is the most notable NFT marketplace currently in use. Although not without controversy, as reported by BBC. If you are a buyer, you can look through various NFTs available on the platform through various filters and buy the one that you like. If you are a seller, you need to upload your creation on Opensea. Then you connect your wallet, and voila, your NFT will be ready for the market. Keep in mind, there is some form of commission or ’gas fees’. These may be incurred when you mint an NFT.
What lies ahead in the future
Now that you have the answer to ”What is a NFT”, this is the basic process you need to be aware of to start with NFTs. This technology and the trend are still in their nascent stages. Like with any new tech, few projects may take off but a number of them may not sustain either. Read up more about various kinds of NFTs and how they are evolving and get some skin in the game.