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WTF is an NFT?

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Read time: 13m

So if you are anything like me, the title of this blog may be a recurring question in your head when seeing the barrage of illustrations and digital art that people are showcasing and selling?!

Why would someone buy a JPG that they can just download and cherish forever on their desktop (until they forget it even exists)?

Disclaimer:

Before we go any further, I just want to clarify I by no means claim to be an expert about this subject and in fact I’m actually probably more confused after researching it, anyway here are some facts about NFTs that I thought were interesting.

The definition of an NFT

In its simplest terms NFT stands for non-fungible token.

All good? Great, thanks for coming to my TED Talk.


via GIPHY

Okay fine, I’ll explain some more

“Non-fungible” pretty much means it’s unique and can’t be replicated completely. Sure it can be copied, but it won’t be the original.

NFTs are at a very basic level, digital files stored on a thing called a blockchain, which keeps all the information about that specific file, including the original uploader and the purchase history. They can be any type of digital file, from a JPG to a MP3, even a tweet!

Essentially NFTs are designed to give the buyer something truly unique and the official ownership of that thing. In a similar way to how famous paintings only have one original and a certificate to prove it.

There is a lot of talk about how NFTs are the digital evolution of fine art collecting. The question is; will they take off in the way people think they’re going to? I’m sure the people that have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a PNG of a rock illustration certainly hope so.

 

Some of the most famous NFTs

What seems to be popular within the NFT world is to create a collection of pieces that are all based on the same format, but the style changes. The most notable being Bored Ape Yacht Club, Doodles and CryptoPunks.

 

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A post shared by doodles (@welikethedoodles)

 

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A post shared by CryptoPunks (@cryptopunks)

With some of the pieces on sale for as much as over $350 million, it boggles my mind that people would pay that much for an image. I find it hard to see the value and whether it is a worthy investment, but they must know something I don’t (and I’m fine with that).

Conclusion, of sorts

I think this is as far as I am willing to speak about this subject for fear of being called ignorant or uneducated (and also mainly because I don’t think all this is for me). I can appreciate the art aesthetically, but I don’t think I’ll ever feel the need to buy one.

I guess only time will tell if NFTs really take off. I’m not sure about you, but I feel like I have somewhat of an understanding now (I think).

Anyway, to conclude I’m going to agree with a recent IG post from Kanye West.

 

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A post shared by ye (@kanyewest)

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