Written on 1 March 2021. Updated on 19 April 2021.
What the fung are (NFT) Non-Fungible Tokens that have the whole world talking? Here are 6 things you should know about NFTs...
1. NFTs prove sole ownership of digital art and collectibles. The unique token acts as a traceable digital file on the Ethereum blockchain.
Beeple, renowned NFT artist Mike Winkelmann explains: ‘it's similar to when you look at or take a picture of the Mona Lisa. Having that picture doesn’t mean you own it.’ With NFT, the accompanying token makes it known to everyone that you are the sole owner of that original work. (Think of it as your very own IP address). The history of the NFT (current ownership, market price, and previous owners) are shown and move with the piece. This puts market transparency at the forefront, something often criticized in the art industry.
CryptoPunks are planned to be auctioned at Christie's.
2. It's giving power back to digital artists.
While collecting digital art hasn’t yet gained the popularity that traditional art has, NFT is opening the doors for more opportunities for both collectors and artists alike. NFT empowers the artists by validating ownership, giving a platform for more artists to showcase their work, and giving them the credibility they deserve. All artworks can be traced back to the original creator. Artists can enjoy royalties on all future sales. As more people join in the movement, digital art can finally be recognized as a true art form in the eyes of the wider community.
Galaxy Sailor, Ali Sabet
3. Given the heavy impact of the mining process on the environment, blockchain experts are looking at more sustainable alternatives.
While a setback to blockchain technology comes with enormous greenhouse gas emissions, the new innovations that are currently taking place will push artists to use more eco-friendly methods to mint their artwork. Damien Hirst is expected to drop his NFT on an eco-friendly platform coming out soon.
4. It all started in 2017, with CryptoPunks and CryptoKitties. These unique collectibles sparked the use of Crypto for recreation and leisure.
Non-fungible means that you cannot exchange one NFT for another. It’s a completely unique blockchain token (e.g a digital certificate of authenticity) associated with digital art, music, videos, or collectibles that cannot be replicated. One of the first examples of NFTs that later inspired the larger crypto art movement started in 2017 with unique collectibles called Crypto kitties and Crypto punks. No two punks or kitties are alike.
Crypto kitties, Ethereum game
5. Auction Houses have broken records in the digital realm, further asserting the value of NFTs in the art world.
Prestigious auction houses are joining in on the NFT craze too. Beeple’s ‘Everydays: The First 5000 days’ sold for a record of 69M on Christie's first soley digital auction this past March. This is a major milestone as it was Christie’s’ first solely digital artwork auction! While Sotheby's just realized 17M in its first NFT auction with digital creator, Pak.
The Cube, Pak
6. As the market endures rise and falls, NFTs are here to stay for the long run.
2021 is the year of NFTs. The value of the NFT market tripled last year placing its current value over a mind-boggling $250M, according to a report from NonFungible.com. While the market now is dipping from those sky-high numbers, we're all finding our roles to sustain this new digital paradigm. Riddled with uncertainty, one thing is certain: NFTs are here to stay. While we are all eager to see what comes out of this New Age, the revolution for the future of digital artists has begun.