It’s 2022 and everyone and their mum is talking about how they’re planning on getting on to the ‘metaverse’ and ‘minting’ NFTs this year.
Want to get involved but don’t know where to start? We’re about to break down the basics for you so you’re fully up to date and ready to get involved.
What are NFTs?
NFT stands for a non-fungible token. The word fungible can be used to describe an item that can be replaced by another identical item. For example, in trading terms a sack of rice would be an example of a fungible item, it’s easily replaceable by another identical sack of rice.
However if something is non-fungible, it’s incapable of being replaced by another identical item – for example a painting or a limited edition designer handbag. This kind of exclusivity brings value to the non-fungible item.
On the metaverse, NFTs are effectively used as tokens representing ownership of unique items like art and other collectibles. These can be traded for other items or for cryptocurrency.
NFTs come in all shapes and sizes, they currently exist in the form of digital files such as jpegs, mp4s, or audio files. There really is no limit to the NFT format, with people selling land and digital properties online on the metaverse too.
How do I own something online? If it’s digital does it really exist?
In short yes it does, because of this thing called the blockchain. There are many different types of blockchains, but the one most relevant to the NFT space is the ethereum blockchain.
Think of the blockchain as an official online register with every transaction and transfer of NFTs permanently recorded and accessible to everyone. This means that the fact a digital work of art is technically able to be screenshot and duplicated is actually irrelevant – because the owner of the work is recorded on the blockchain. When the work is transferred to another owner in an auction, the new ownership is recorded again on the blockchain.
It is possible to see all of the owners of a particular NFT at all times and even see how much they paid for it.
NFT projects you should really know about
You could say Cryptopunks are the OG NFTs and were among the earliest examples of NFT collectibles on the metaverse. They are 24×24 pixel art images, generated algorithmically into punky looking men and women as well as apes, zombies and aliens. Made up of 10,000 uniquely generated characters, no two are exactly alike and each one has The lowest price for a punk currently available is 69 ETH ($163,794.28). Serena Williams is known to own one – a good enough reason for us to get involved.
World of women are a women-led NFT project with women’s empowerment at the the forefront fo their work. The project was started by 4 friends who shared a vision of creating a thriving community of women. The founder and artist behind the bold and colourful digital collectibles is Yam Karkai, an NFT artist focussed on bringing women into the spotlight. Celebrity hot girl owners include Reese Witherspoon and Eva Longoria.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club is a good example of a utility NFT, which essentially means that being the owner of one grants you certain benefits. When you buy a Bored Ape, you’re not simply buying an avatar or piece of art but will also gain access to a club whose benefits and offerings will increase over time – think of it as a super exclusive members club on the metaverse.
One very cool feature of these rights is access to a members only canvas called The Bathroom. Described as a ‘dive bar bathroom,’ each ape-holder will be able too paint a pixel on the ‘bathroom wall’ every fifteen minutes. Bored Ape Watch Club describe it as ‘a collaborative art experiment for the crypto’s-here.’