NFTs first emerged on the scene in 2012 via Colored Coins on the Bitcoin Blockchain. First embraced by crypto-enthusiasts, gamers, and memers, the technology has slowly but surely picked up steam among disruptors from across industries and interests. In the first half of 2021 alone, the NFT market saw $2.5 billion in sales, up from just $13.7 million in the first half of 2020.
Yet, only a small fraction of creatives are involved due to high barriers to entry and the exclusionary nature of many of the early platforms. In the spirit of our goal to make NFTs easy, we’re breaking down some of the jargon in the space.
What is an NFT (non-fungible token)?
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique digital items that can be verified and validated using blockchain technology, making them irreplaceable. NFTs can be used to represent items such as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files and hold important information such as the creator of the work, time created, and more. NFTs introduce the concept of a unique digital work — which gives them new value.
What do NFTs do?
An NFT is essentially a unique, digital good. For the first time ever, digital assets can be scarce and unique.
For example, your couch is a completely unique, scarce item. There is only one of them in existence. It might be the same model as your neighbor’s couch, but your neighbor’s couch is not your couch. They are two separate, unique items. This is what NFTs do for digital assets — whether it is an image, song, video, gif, or even a digital representation of your couch online. NFTs create and represent unique, scarce, digital assets.
And now, because of this uniqueness, these digital assets can be assigned value and ownership. From art to real estate to tickets, anything you can imagine on the internet can now be minted (created as an NFT), bought, and sold.
What is a blockchain?
Blockchains are a type of technology for tracking data in a way that can be decentralized. This means they allow for the information on them to be permanent. NFTs are one piece of data that can be tracked, stored, and moved between users with the power of blockchains.
Do I need to know how to code to make an NFT?
While some NFT platforms require a knowledge of coding, many (including Voice) do not. Just bring your creation in any supported format.
What can I do with an NFT?
By purchasing an NFT on the blockchain, you are given unbreakable ownership of the asset it represents, whether it be a piece of digital art, song, or virtual trading card. You can showcase that asset in whatever way you want — in a virtual frame, screencast to your TV, or simply in your collection online — or sell it down the road.
Whether you’re interested in the space as a creator or collector, the possibilities of NFTs are endless. And this is only the beginning.
So you want to get into NFTs? Here are a few things to help you get started.