Learn Cryptocurrency
30 Nov 2021

What are NFTs? Non-Fungible Tokens Explained

Ananda Banerjee

If there’s one word that’s taken the world of digital media by storm over the last year, it most definitely has to be NFTs. Non-Fungible Tokens, as they’re known, are growing in prominence every day, with some touting it to be the next big thing in digital art and transactions. 

So, with so much hype around it, what is an NFT?

Before we dive into it, it’s important to understand what the term “Non-Fungible” means. It implies something that cannot be replaced as it is unique. A totally original asset is called Non-fungible. 

This is in contrast to fungible tokens, such as cryptocurrencies, which are all identical to one another and may, thus, be used as a medium for economic transactions to be carried out.

What are NFTs?

NFTs, in simple terms, are digital assets that cannot be duplicated. They are one-of-a-kind and can be considered exclusive work. Most of them are purchased and sold online, usually in exchange for cryptocurrency, and they are typically encoded using the same underlying software as many other digital currencies.

NFTs have the potential to eliminate intermediaries, expedite transactions, and open up new markets, especially for artists across the board.

Aside from that, since NFTs are usually unique, or at the very least one of a very limited release, and are identified by unique identification codes, they contain a value that can be purchased or auctioned. For example, digital artist Beeple’s artwork sold for a whopping $69 million at Christie’s! While anyone can make multiple copies of this digital work, only one person owns the “original” piece.

What are Non-Fungible Tokens?

Also, a non-financial transaction permits the buyer to retain ownership of the original object. Not only that, but it also includes built-in authentication, which acts as a means of establishing evidence of ownership. Most collectors cherish those “digital bragging rights” almost as much as they do the object in question.

However, despite the fact that they have been in existence since 2014, NFTs are rising in popularity right now since they are becoming an increasingly common tool for purchasing and selling digital artwork. NFTs have seen an incredible $174 million being spent on them since November 2017.

How do NFTs work?

 NFT’s are stored on a blockchain, i.e., a distributed public ledger. 

Ethereum is a cryptocurrency, similar to bitcoin or dogecoin. Still, its blockchain also enables these non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which contain additional information that allows them to function differently than, for example, an Ethereum coin. At a high level, the majority of NFTs is a component of the Ethereum blockchain. It should be noted that other blockchains are capable of implementing their own versions of NFTs as well.

In order to build an NFT, digital objects that reflect both tangible and intangible entities, such as the following, must be “minted.”

  • Art
  • GIFs (Graphics Interchange Formats)
  • Videos and game highlights 
  • Music videos and Masters of songs and more

\Even tweets are taken into consideration. Twitter’s co-founder Jack Dorsey sold his very first tweet as an NFT for more than $2.9 million. In essence, NFTs are similar to actual collector’s goods, except that they are digital. As a result, rather than receiving a real oil painting to put on his or her wall, the customer receives a digital copy.

How are NFTs different from cryptocurrencies?

Unlike cryptocurrencies, they are not capable of being traded or swapped at face value. Cryptocurrencies are all identical to one another and may, thus, be used as a medium for economic transactions to be carried out.

Every NFT is unique, which distinguishes it from fungible tokens, such as digital money and cryptocurrency, which may be sold or exchanged for one another without causing a loss in value.

Also, NFTs values are determined and pre-set by the “seller” or owner of the NFT. They can then put it up for sale on the NFT market, where interested buyers can purchase it. 

Why to use NFTs?

Artists and content producers have a unique chance to monetize their work thanks to blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). When it comes to selling their artwork, artists do not have to depend on galleries or auction houses. 

An NFT, on the other hand, maybe sold directly to the customer by the artist and allows them to keep a larger portion of the earnings. Apart from that, artists have the option of programming royalties into their artwork so that they get a portion of revenues every time their work is sold to a new buyer. This is a desirable feature because, in most cases, artists do not earn any further income once their artwork has been sold.

Art isn’t the only method to generate money with NFTs; there are other options as well. Brands such as Charmin and Taco Bell have sold off-themed NFT paintings in order to generate cash for charitable causes, among others. NFT art from Taco Bell and Charmin, nicknamed “NFTP” (non-fungible toilet paper), sold out in minutes, with the top bids pouring in at 1.5 wrapped ether (WETH), which was equal to $3,723.83 at the time of writing.

As an example, the Nyan Cat, a GIF depicting a cat with a pop-tart body, created in 2011, sold for over $600,000 in February. In addition, as of late March, NBA Top Shot had produced more than $500 million in sales. A single highlight NFT of LeBron James sold for more than $200,000 at an auction in New York.

A growing number of celebrities, like Snoop Dogg and Lindsay Lohan, are hopping on the NFT bandwagon and issuing securitized NFTs that include unique memories, artwork, and experiences.

How to buy NFTs?

To begin your own NFT collection, you’ll need to obtain a few essential things, which are as follows:

It is necessary to first obtain:

  • A digital wallet that will allow you to store both NFTs and cryptocurrencies. 
  • Depending on the cryptocurrencies your NFT provider supports, you may be required to acquire some cryptocurrency, such as Ether, in order to complete your transaction. 
  • You may now purchase cryptocurrency with a credit card on the many crypto exchange services available.
  • After that, you’ll be able to transfer the money from the exchange to your preferred wallet.

Popular NFT marketplaces

Markets for popular NFT products and services

Once you’ve set up and financed your wallet, there’s no lack of NFT sites to choose from. The following are the major NFT marketplaces at the moment:

  1. OpenSea.io: This peer-to-peer site describes itself as a provider of “rare digital artefacts and collectibles.” It is based in the United Kingdom. In order to begin browsing the NFT collections, all you have to do is establish an account. You may also categorize works based on how much money they made in order to find new artists.
  2. The Foundation:The Foundation is a place where artists must earn “upvotes” or an invitation from other creators before they may submit their work. Because of the community’s exclusivity and high barrier to the entrance (artists must also acquire “gas” in order to mint NFTs), it is likely to have higher-quality artwork.
  • Rarible: Rarible is a democratic, public marketplace that lets them do the same. Holders of RARI tokens produced on the platform have the ability to express their opinions on aspects such as fees and community regulations.

For example, Chris Torres, the developer of the Nyan Cat, sold the NFT on the Foundation portal. It might also result in higher pricing, which would not necessarily be a negative thing for artists and collectors looking to profit from the situation, provided that demand for NFTs maintains at present levels or even grows over time.

However, even if these and other platforms are home to a large number of NFT artists and collectors, it is important to conduct thorough research before making a purchase.

Should you invest in NFTs?

Investing in non-financial technologies (NFTs) is mostly a personal decision. If you have the means, it may be worthwhile to consider purchasing a piece, especially if it has sentimental value to you.

But keep in mind that the value of an NFT is completely dependent on how much someone else is prepared to pay for it. In this case, demand will drive prices rather than basic technical, fundamental, or economic factors, which normally affect cryptocurrency prices and, at the very least, serve as the foundation for investor demand in the traditional sense.

Similar to when you sell assets at a profit, NFTs are liable to capital gains taxes.  Also, keep in mind that the cryptocurrencies used to acquire the NFT may be subject to taxation if their value has grown after you purchased them, so you may want to consult with a tax specialist if you are contemplating adding NFTs to your investment portfolio.

That being stated, treat NFTs like you would any other type of investment: Carry out your research and be aware of the dangers, which include the possibility of losing all of your investment funds.

Common FAQs

What are NFTs in Crypto?

NFT is an abbreviation for “non-fungible token.” An NFT is essentially data that is kept or reported for in a digital ledger, and that information reflects a precise representation of that data… A blockchain is a digital recording (or ledger) that contains the token that has been validated as proof of ownership.

 What are NFTs used for?

The primary role of non-financial technologies (NFTs) in the supply chain is to authenticate items, ensure their quality, and validate their origins. However, even though they are still in the initial stages, NFTs, on the blockchain are well suited for logistical purposes due to their infallibility and transparency, which ensures that supply chain data is legitimate and trustworthy across the supply chain.

Why are NFTs so expensive?

It is possible to buy and sell them exactly like other forms of art because they have monetary worth – and, like with real art, the value is mainly determined by market forces and by consumer demand. That is not to suggest that there is just one digital form of an NFT work available on the market, as there are a variety of options.

There is a market for non-tangible collectibles, just as there is for actual collectibles such as Beanie Babies, baseball cards, and toys. The purchasers are often tech-savvy folks who grasp the concept of wanting to acquire digital products and have likely made a profit with cryptocurrency over the course of the previous year.

How are NFTs created?

Networking forks (NFTs) are formed when blockchain technology string records of cryptographic hash, which is a set of characters used to identify an array of data, onto preceding records, resulting in a chain of identifiable data blocks.

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Disclaimer : Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. The information provided in this post is not to be considered as investment/financial advice from CoinSwitch. Any action taken upon the information shall be at user's own risk.

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Ananda Banerjee

Content Writer

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