Nothing beats an explosion of blockchain news to leave you wondering, “Um… what’s going on here?” That’s how I felt when I read about Grimes being paid millions of dollars for NFTs or Nyan Cat being sold as one.
The situation has only gotten more complicated in the year since NFTs became popular. Images of apes have sold for tens of millions of dollars, headlines about million-dollar hacks of NFT projects abound, and corporate cash grabs have only gotten worse.
All of this news may have left you wondering: what exactly is an NFT?
After consulting with a group of NFT experts, I believe I’ve figured it out.
Okay, let’s start with the basics, from what an NFT is, to how to buy them, why you need an Ethereum wallet to buy an NFT, and what an NFT collector is. Keep reading to know what the experts told us.
What does NFT stand for?
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token and is a token on a blockchain. Being non-fungible means, an NFT is not interchangeable. A great example of a non-fungible token would be the Mona Lisa where there is only one copy worldwide.
Jamie Shaw from The Cloud Consultancy
What is an NFT?
An NFT is a Non-Fungible Token (a unique digital token), which many see as a certificate of authenticity, or a deed or proof confirming you own the right to display the above art on your wall or in your wallet (digital wallet). It might give you the right of ownership of the copy you bought (for your private use) but not necessarily over the ownership of the original artwork. Production rights and copyright are automatically retained by the artist unless otherwise specified in the contract. Regardless, non-fungible means ‘irreplaceable’ since each token is unique. And ‘Unique’ creates scarcity which, in turn, increases the market value for NFTs.
An NFT is technically an ERC-721 token on the Ethereum Blockchain. Another meaning of ERC is a ‘collectible’. The artwork is minted into the ERC-721 token. This token contains:
The historical information of any transactions plus artist information (including the artist’s public key) plus the number of likes (see the tiny ‘heart’ symbol above the image in the NFT).
A unique identifiable number = the token ID (click ‘chain info’)A picture of the art
A smart contract (the NFT is effectively a smart contract – you don’t need humans to sign signatures). Standard copyright law applies, and more specific conditions can be added to the description section.
A list of unlockables (additional optional extras e.g., a table mat or even a jigsaw with the art printed on it accessible via a link in the description.
NFTs can include art (paintings, graphics, videos, GIFs, songs, poems, tweets, posts even video games, virtual real estate, books), even birth certificates, and an awful lot more. Fungible means ‘replaceable by another identical item’. Non-fungible means are irreplaceable or unique. Another way of thinking about NFTs is as a process of documenting authorship and ownership.
Paul Smith from PR Smith
Why are NFTs so valuable?
Primarily, NFTs have value because they are non-fungible assets. They can’t be traded or exchanged at equivalent values like crypto or other fungible assets. NFTs are often misunderstood, which leads people to dismiss them with the ‘right-click, save as’ argument. Blockchain technology ensures authenticity, so no matter who downloads NFTs as files, they don’t hold any ownership on the blockchain. In the same way, you can take a picture of artwork and view it on your smartphone, but you cannot claim to be its owner simply by having a photo.
As well, the value of an NFT is affected by the popularity of its creator, its rarity, utility, ownership history, and potential value.
Like real-world collectibles, NFTs created by high-profile figures are worth more than those created by unknowns. As an example, Jack Dorsey’s 15-year-old tweet stating “just setting up my twttr” was sold as an NFT and earned him $2.9 million.
In terms of rarity, each NFT collection has its own characteristics that make it more valuable.
An NFT’s utility value is also an important factor in determining its price. NFTs associated with gaming assets, for example, have a higher utility. Although some virtual properties have no real-world value, their in-game value is tremendous, which is why some sell for millions of dollars.
NFTs also have a particular value attached to an ecosystem they revolve around, and as that ecosystem grows, so does an NFT’s price. On a broader scale, NFTs aren’t going anywhere as we move into the Web3 era. Using a “play-to-earn” model, metaverse platforms offer rewards and incentives in crypto that can then be traded for cash, NFTs, or other assets. Instead of being controlled by a game entity, players will own all their assets, resulting in an open and fair economy. In this regard, NFTs play a crucial role in the metaverse and the crypto market in general.
Mike Ermolaev from Change Now
How to make NFT art?
1. Select an NFT Marketplace like AssetMantle’s Mantleplace: which offers the best of both worlds i.e. Whitelisted (curated artist’ content) & a chance for anyone to upload & trade their NFT art. Curated Platforms permit only authorized artists to mint or produce digital art tokens., instead of collectibles made by anyone. On AssetMantle Anyone can create their NFT using whatever they want using this category of the peer-to-peer marketplace, with pro & genesis/post-genesis artists having the chance to be whitelisted on Mantleplace marketplace.assetmantle.one
2. Wallet: The next step is to create a digital wallet. Refer to wallet.assetmantle.one
In the upcoming developments, one can use Fiat on-ramp to purchase $MNTL directly via Mantleplace & trade instantaneously
3. Create your collection & mint the tokens: Go to the ‘Create’. You must now edit your collection by giving it a name, providing a description, and adding a display image. This lays the framework for you to exhibit your works of art after you have finished them. Once your art is assembled (audio, video, static), it’s time to start the main process of making your NFT. You can submit metadata by selecting, Add New Item, which gives you the choice of visual (JPG, PNG, GIF, etc.), audio (MP3, etc.), and 3D files (GLB, etc.), as well as giving your token a name. Tokens can be minted indefinitely, but you must do it one at a time.
Next, add attributes, as these allow customers browsing your collection to filter your artwork, and choose the percentage of royalties you want to receive from secondary sales of your artwork. Click “Create” to add your NFT to the blockchain. This step will require negligible amounts of cryptocurrency to cover approval and gas fees (less than 1 $MNTL).
4. Marketing: List artwork for sale & promote on Social-media After you’ve finished creating your NFTs, the following step is to sell them. You can select a fixed-price listing or an auction and establish your own price.
Vismay Hegde from AssetMantle
What’s the connection between NFTs and cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrencies and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) depend on the blockchain to confirm their identity, which ensures the asset is one-of-a-kind and records its ownership. You need to buy crypto to purchase NFTs. A big similarity between an NFT and the value of a cryptocurrency is that there both market-driven. A difference is that a cryptocurrency gets its value from being a currency or an investment vehicle whereas an NFT can be considered a modern-day collectible.
Ivo van Herwaarde from Smart Options
What is an NFT marketplace?
An NFT marketplace is a platform that allows users to buy, sell, or trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs). NFTs are digital assets that are unique and cannot be replaced by another identical copy. Common examples of NFTs include cryptocurrencies, in-game items, and collectibles. NFT marketplaces provide a way for users to find buyers or sellers for their NFTs. They also typically charge a fee for each transaction. Some popular NFT marketplaces include Opensea, Rarebits, and Mintable. NFT marketplaces can be a great way to get started in the world of NFTs. They provide an easy way to buy, sell, or trade NFTs. However, it is important to research each marketplace before using it. Make sure you understand the fees, terms, and conditions before buying, selling, or trading any NFTs.
How do NFT Marketplaces work?
NFT marketplaces work by connecting buyers and sellers of NFTs. These platforms typically charge a fee for each transaction. Fees can vary depending on the marketplace, but they are typically a small percentage of the total transaction value. Some popular NFT marketplaces include Opensea, Rarebits, and Mintable. These platforms allow users to buy, sell, or trade a variety of NFTs. Each marketplace has its own rules and regulations, so it is important to research each one before using it. When buying or selling an NFT on a marketplace, it is important to remember that you are dealing with real money. Be sure to only trade with people you trust, and never send money to someone you don’t know.
Hadi from The Next Future
What is an NFT trading card?
Card games and trading cards have been popular since the 90s. On a blockchain network, NFT trading cards are digital trading cards. People can now validate the legitimacy and ownership of these cards thanks to blockchain technology. The most often used blockchain for NFT is Ethereum since it was designed with the intention of allowing developers to build applications on top of it.
The purpose of NFT trading cards
NFT trading cards values are similar to real-world trading cards based on their scarcity, usefulness and certification. In addition to this, many collectors buy them to show off, similar to how enthusiasts display physical cards at conventions. Others purchase NFT cards as investments and then sell off the ones of which the values increase. However, just like with conventional trading cards, the value of NFT trading cards can change instantly. New NFT trading cards and collections are published daily, and trends — particularly those in gaming — are subject to change. Because of this, you should always do your own research before selecting the NFT trading cards you intend to buy.
What changes are NFTs making in the collectable card market?
· Easy authentication procedure: Previously, trading card collectors had to verify the authenticity of their physical cards through a lengthy process. However, now with NFT trading cards, it is simple to observe and authenticate the whole history of a digital commodity on a blockchain ledger.
· Increased usage of trading cards and variety: A growing number of well-known musicians, artists and major sports leagues are entering the NFT market. As a result, a wider range of collectables and trading card games are introduced on NFT marketplaces.
· Minimizing the loss of value: Physical trading cards are prone to scratches, wrinkles and stains and, despite your best efforts, they will inevitably face general wear and tear with time, which lowers their worth. As NFT trading cards are digital, they are more resilient to regular wear and tear — thereby successfully reducing the possibility of theft, loss, and damage.
David Andersson from CryptoRunner
How do I store an NFT?
The simple answer is the blockchain does it for you. When you purchase or receive an NFT, it will enter your web3 wallet which only you can access. It can only ever leave that wallet if you sign a digital transaction to transfer or sell it. You can see and appreciate your securely stored NFTs on a marketplace, such as Opensea, or by using a physical NFT display, like Tokenframe.
Damian Medina from Token Frame
What is an NFT fund?
NFT funds are collections of NFTs and NFT-related projects that you can invest in rather than a single NFT. You can think of them a bit like you would a mutual fund – expert collectors put together a portfolio that’s optimized for profitability and then share their holdings with investors.
The way it works is pretty simple. For a moderate percentage, a team of experts curates a portfolio of NFTs. Investors buy shares, and when a piece is sold, the fund managers pass on some of the profits to investors.
The NFT market is expected to grow, but it’s considered by a lot of traditional investors to be an unstable market. But historically speaking, investing in funds has always been a safer bet than investing in individual assets. NFT funds kind of give them a familiar terrain to work with; a more traditional way to invest in these non-traditional assets. And since investors aren’t having to handpick their own holdings, they can benefit from the expert knowledge of the fund managers. In theory, the diversity of a portfolio can also help hedge the high volatility of NFT investments.
It’s still relatively early days, but if you want to know what an NFT fund looks like, you can check out the Non Fungible Fund. Wave Financial, which is based out of Toronto, was one of the first financial services companies to launch its own NFT fund. The Non Fungible Fund is made of 70% digital art & collectibles (“traditional” NFTs, as it were) and 30% platforms & protocols (projects related to blockchain developments and infrastructure.) They focus on choosing assets for rarity & scarcity as the main value drivers.
If you’re an investor with a high tolerance for risk & don’t know which individual NFTs to buy (or you can’t afford them), you might be an ideal candidate for investing in an NFT fund.
Zuka Kakabadze from Fugo
What is the best moment to buy NFTs?
On the other hand, there have been, and still are, doubts about what is really being acquired when buying an NFT, and even the very definition of NFT, which is not uniform because an NFT can represent almost anything or any service that we can imagine.Surely that is why, once the hype dies down, in the coming weeks and months, it will be a good time to acquire really valuable NFTs because, one, they will be from solvent creators and companies that understand the value proposition they offer in these, and, two, it will be clearer what is really being acquired. At this time, the best thing to do is to prospect for emerging projects that move away from pure speculation and bring real value to the acquisition of NFTs, either as elements that combine digital with analog or as digital services that can be accessed dynamically through the NFT as a validation ticket for those who have acquired it. It is very likely that in the first quarter of 2023 solvent proposals will begin to consolidate offering legal guarantees on what is acquired, as well as NFT models that transcend mere digital collecting for the sake of collecting only hoping for others to buy from us for more than we paid. Although we have said that the acquisition of NFTs mustn’t be limited to collecting for the sake of collecting because others do it, undoubtedly, the unique collections and NFTs that remain after these past turbulent months will be the ones that will probably retain value and future demand. However, it is always important to look beyond and be clear that the first thing to request is clarity on the terms under which an NFT is acquired and what it entitles you to in what form.
Mario Pena from Safe Creative
When did NFTs start?
In 2014, artist Kevin McCoy and techpreneur Anil Dash teamed up with a very particular goal in mind. They wanted to find a way to let artists assert ownership over a piece of original digital art. McCoy at that point had taught himself to code and was experimenting with a blockchain called Namecoin. McCoy and Dash found a way to register a looping art video created by McCoy’s wife on the blockchain. They coined this solution: “monetized graphics.”
It was then that digital artist Kevin McCoy minted the first-known NFT ‘Quantum’ on the Namecoin blockchain. ‘Quantum’ is a digital image of a pixelated octagon that hypnotically changes colour and pulsates in a manner reminiscent of an octopus.
Following these events, a significant amount of experimentation and development occurred, paving the way for platforms to be built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. Simultaneously, the Ethereum blockchain also began its initial reign over NFTs.
Elizabeth Bowen from The Lyons Gallery
When did NFTs become popular?
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, a form of cryptocurrency that exist on a blockchain, were first introduced to the world in 2014 when digital artist Kevin McCoy minted the first-known NFT “Quantum.” Quantum is a pixelated octagon filled with different shapes that pulse in a quite hypnotic way. In November 2021, the one-of-a-kind digital art piece sold for over $1.4 million in a Sotheby auction.
But earlier that year, in March of 2021, a different NFT sold at Christie’s Auction for $69 million. This one was created by an artist named Beeple who in October 2020 sold his first series of NFTs, with a pair going for $66,666.66 each. In December, he sold a series of works for $3.5 million total.
Most would agree that it was these events in 2021 that brought the idea of NFTs to the mainstream. Prior to these events, from 2014-2021, NFTs were primarily a niche gaming product.
During those years, a significant amount of development and experimentation took place in platforms built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. Most notable is the Counterparty platform (Bitcoin 2.0), which allowed the creation of digital assets. Later on, Spells of Genesis followed Counterparty’s footsteps and through its platform pioneered issuing game assets. Finally, the meme age began in 2016, with the release of Rare Pepes NFTs on the Counterparty platform.
But the Bitcoin blockchain was never intended to act as a database for these alternative tokens. Many Bitcoin users did not like the idea of filling precious block space with tokens that represented ownership of images. That was the beginning of the shift for NFTs to the Ethereum blockchain, when a new age for NFTs began.
The Ethereum blockchain introduced a set of token standards that allowed the creation of tokens by developers. The token standard is a subsidiary of the smart contract standard. For the blockchain that supports the smart contracts, the token standard is often included to tell people how to create, issue and deploy new tokens, which are based on their underlying blockchain.
CryptoKitties, a blockchain-based virtual game that allows players to adopt, breed and trade virtual cats from the safety of their wallets, was introduced in 2017. It was so popular that people were making crazy profits trading those cats. The activity was so high that CryptoKitties clogged the Ethereum blockchain, which made it even more prominent. After witnessing this activity, people began to realize the true power and potential of NFTs.
To keep up with the development of key blockchain technologies such as NFTs, check out and subscribe to the AutoConverse Mobility Tech & Connectivity Podcast which releases weekly episodes that include cryptocurrency subject matter in practically every episode.
Ryan Gerardi from Autoconversion
What is the best way to display your NFT?
Digital frames are a great way to display your NFT inside your home, but you want to keep a few considerations in mind before making a purchase you might regret. First, make sure you can upload your art. Some frames only allow you to use existing art library subscriptions, which doesn’t work for displaying your own NFTs. If you’re going for a digital frame, check out the manufacturer’s art library to see if there is anything else you would enjoy. I use the Meural Canvas and pay a small subscription every year to constantly rotate through new art on the canvas. I’ve discovered a lot of great artists this way that I would never have before. Find one that supports upload and device management through a mobile app. Some cheaper ones don’t have great controls, so keeping everything managed on your phone makes it way easier over time. Consider setting a sleep timer on your display to conserve energy.
Most modern art frames allow you to set a time when you want the frame to turn on and off, which means you never have to worry about manually turning it off when you head to bed. If you’ve got animated NFTs, make sure your digital art frame can support them. Even if you don’t have any animated art now, it might be a good idea to keep it in mind for the future. My first NFT purchase was an Infinite Grid, and it looks great when it’s looping on the frame in the background. My recommendation for a digital frame is the Meural Canvas. It’s backed by Netgear, has all of the above, and allows you to choose from various frame sizes and styles. Enjoy your collecting!
Bryan Maniotakis from Minimal Goods
What is an NFT collector?
An NFT: non-fungible token, is a record on a blockchain that is linked to a particular asset, digital in most cases, like an image or a song. The ownership of an NFT is recorded in the blockchain, is virtually unforgeable, and can be transferred by the owner, allowing NFTs to be sold and traded. Given these characteristics, and the love of people for collectibles, it is not surprising that they have become a completely new class of assets to be collected, saved, bought, and sold.
How can a link to an image be valuable?
Let’s face it, from a strictly utilitarian point of view, an NFT that represents ownership of a perfectly reproducible asset has zero value. I.e. one could make an exact digital copy of the image and use it wherever they please. But one could make a similar argument with an indistinguishable replica of a Van Gogh painting (it’s not uncommon for paint collectors to hang replicas on the walls and keep the originals in a safe vault) and those paintings trade for millions of dollars. For centuries, humans have extracted pleasure from the knowledge and social proof that they own something original and unique. And NFTs are no exception. In fact, they provide a stronger certification power than a piece of paper from Christie’s or Sotheby’s where one needs to rely on the trust of those institutions instead of allegedly unbreakable math and cryptography.
So… What is an NFT collector?
An NFT collector is an individual who purchases, and possibly trades, NFTs that are considered to have future value either individually or as part of a bigger collection.
The most popular blockchain to record this ownership is Ethereum and the most popular marketplace for these items, OpenSea, but new competitors aiming to take a share of this new market appear every month.
If you want to get started, you’ll need to get an Ethereum wallet (Metamask or Rainbow are the most popular), fund it with some ETH normally by buying it through an exchange (Binance, Coinbase, Kraken…) and purchase your first NFTs in one of the multiple NFT marketplaces (OpenSea, Rarible,etc.)
David from Exirio
How can I minimize the risks of investing in NFTs?
Non-fungible tokens are taking the digital work with their many benefits they offer to both creators and investors. However, as NFTs are a relatively new asset class, they come with a unique set of risks. Before you invest in the market, you need to understand how to minimise the risks involved. Whether you are collecting NFTs for investment reason or just for the love of art, there are two imprtant steps you must always take into consideration: the security of the transaction and the storage of the NFTs.
One of the main NFT risks threatening investors is scams. Malicious actors may impersonate popular platforms, wallets or well-known artists and sell fake artworks to unsuspecting customers. For this reason, it is always important to do your research on which wallet you are transferring your money to and where you are getting the money from. Checking the provenance of the work can also help you avoid falling victim to scams. Platforms usually provide guidance on how to make sure that the artwork was minted by a real artist.
Once you have purchased an NFT, you can move it to a cold or a warm storage. The warm storage, such as Coinbase or MetaMask, is connected to the internet, making it easier for hack to take place. Even if the platforms use the most advanced security measures, with the failure of securely store passwords, hackers can easily steal users’ non-fungible tokens. If you want to secure sensitive data, we recommend using cold storage or hardware, such as Ledger or Trezor. These options are safer as all key information is on the device, protected by password or touch authentication and more difficult for threat actors to access. The only risk of storing your NFTs in a hardware storage is the loss or damage of the device. For this reason, many users own two cold storages, which is probably the best solution to protect your assets.
Agnes Flora Ferenczi from Kate Vass Gallery
How to buy NFTs?
$25 billion worth of NFTs were sold in 2021. This has attracted much attention to the NFT scene, but most people still don’t know how to buy an actual NFT.
This guide provides a quick introduction on how to buy NFTs.
1. Create a crypto wallet
The first step should be to create an Ethereum wallet and deposit some ETH. One trusted wallet is MetaMask; it’s easy to install and use.
Make sure you back up your wallet. You can lose your assets, and nobody can recover them without doing so.
2. Deposit some ETH to your wallet
You can buy ETH on many cryptocurrency exchanges for your local currencies, such as US dollars or Euros. After you buy ETH, you need to withdraw it to your MetaMask wallet.
3. Find what NFT you want to buy
The biggest and most trusted NFT store is OpenSea. You can browse different types of NFTs, such as domain names, collectibles, and virtual lands.
NFTs can be bought through auctions or just simply for a fixed price. This depends on the seller of the item.
It’s helpful to observe the particular NFT item’s transaction history. It can give you some idea of how liquid it is, basically how easy it will be to sell it later. There are many NFTs available, and most of them will go unnoticed. If you buy such, you will have difficulty selling them later.
Once you’ve picked your NFT, you just need to follow the instructions provided by OpenSea. Next, they will integrate your MetaMask wallet into your account and initiate the transaction. Finally, MetaMask will ask you to approve this transaction.
Tom from Marshmallow Challenge
What is an NFT minting service?
It’s easiest to think of NFTs as contracts that serve as digital certificates of ownership and authenticity. These contracts are recorded in a ledger that everyone can see – the blockchain. There are a number of blockchains where these transactions can be recorded. Popular blockchains include Ethereum, Solana, Tezos, Flow and WAX. But Ethereum continues to be the most popular blockchain for recording NFTs. This recording of the contract on the blockchain is called minting, just like the term used for creating a coin. There are a number of companies that provide creators the opportunity to mint new NFTs using their services.
One can think of this minting service as being similar to that title company that recorded your transaction when you bought your house. And like that title transaction, the benefit of owning an NFT minted and recorded on a blockchain is confidence that there is a clean and accurate record of past and present ownership of the asset. At Canvia, we have made sure that our users have that same level of confidence in the safety of displaying their NFTs. In April of 2021, Canvia was the first digital art frame to integrate the industry’s leading crypto wallets – the place where you safely store those NFTs you are collecting. For our users, it’s as easy as connecting to their crypto wallet and then choosing the NFTs they want to display on their wall.
Craig Gould from Canvia
What is the sandbox in the metaverse?
The Sandbox is a play-to-acquire game that consolidates blockchain innovation, DeFi, and NFTs in a 3D metaverse. Its virtual world permits players to make and tweak their games and advanced resources with free plan apparatuses. The virtual products made can then be adapted as NFTs and sold for SAND tokens on The Sandbox Marketplace.
The SAND token is the local badge of The Sandbox. It is used as the premise of all exchanges and corporations in the game. SAND can be acquired through messing around and challenges in its market or bought on digital currency trades like Binance.
In this context, the most pertinent question is how this sandbox work. The answer to this question is super easy. A person can make his or her avatars, objects, animals, and other things in the virtual space. In addition to this, he or she can make a complete game as well. A player can make virtual goods and games by using the sandbox VoxEdit and Game Maker.