There has been an explosion in the sales of NFTs in the past year. One digital artist called Beeple sold his NFT artwork called Opus for $69 million at Christies. Another artist called Pak created a collection of NFT Cubes which sold out at Sothebys for $17m, and last week UK based artist Doctor Troller’s first drop of Crocs League NFTs netted over $500,000 in a couple of hours.
But what exactly is an NFT?
OK, let’s start with the basics. NFT stands for non-fungible token.
OK, I’m sure you get the token bit, but non-fungible?
Non-fungible means it’s unique, one of a kind, and cannot be replaced with something else.
You’ve heard of Bitcoin, right?
Well Bitcoin is fungible. One Bitcoin is exactly the same as another, you could trade any Bitcoin for another, they won’t be any different. An NFT however, is a one-of-a-kind trading card. If you swap or sell it for another NFT you will have something completely different.
So how exactly do NFTs work?
Most NFTs are part of the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. Most purchases and trades of NFTs are done in ETH. Ethereum is a cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, but the ETH blockchain also supports these NFTs, and stores extra information which is why most NFT transactions are done in Etherium.
So what is worth buying in NFTs?
NFTs can be pretty much anything collectable that can be digitised. It could be music, videos, the world’s first Tweet (it sold for $2.9m), but a lot of the current NFT excitement is around digital art.
The reason for this excitement is that NFTs are designed to give you something that can’t be copied: ownership of the artwork. To explain this in terms of physical art collecting, anyone can buy a Van Gogh print, but only one person can own the original. And with blockchain technology, you can easily see that the artwork is the genuine version and not a fake.
OK, how does that work?
All transactions of the artwork are recorded and stored on the blockchain, this gives the NFT artwork, what art dealers call “provenance”, you can see exactly who has owned the artwork right the way back to the original minting by the artist.
Right, I’m interested, but which NFTs are worth collecting?
Well, that’s the $69m question, literally. So rarity of NFTs is important. If an artist releases an edition of a million NFTs they’re not exactly rare, and so therefore this should be reflected in the price.
Have a look on community sites to see what prices these NFTs are going for, do your research. Discord is a good site to check on prices and sales for NFTs. Look and see what prices those NFTs have sold for today, not last week. This is a fast moving market, fortunes can be made quickly…and lost quickly. You’ve got to know the right time to get in, and get out.
What about security, I’ve heard about people being robbed online?
It’s really important to have strong security. Have a good secure wallet, something like Metamask, but also it’s good to double down with a physical wallet as well, so that if your computer is hacked you’re not going to lose everything when you’re asleep.
Please do ask us any questions that you think we should cover and we’ll get back to you with some answers soon.