By now, you’ve probably heard about non-fungible tokens, or NFTs for short. If you haven’t, here’s a quick recap: An NFT is a unique token living on a blockchain that represents (or points to) some other data, like an image or video. Because they live on a blockchain, usually Ethereum, NFTs are easy to track. This tracking allows for verification of their authenticity as well as their past history and owners. Formally, NFTs are smart contracts, usually ERC-721, that people interact with by calling them and then receiving proof of interaction.
To give a concrete example, the first NFT and ERC-721 smart contract was CryptoPunks from Larva Labs. It consists of 10,000 24- by 24-pixel images of various punky characters. When they debuted in 2017, you could get one by just paying the cost of an Ethereum “gas,” which is the price to interact with the smart contract governing CryptoPunks. That price depends on supply and demand for the computational power of the network needed to process the transaction.
Once 10,000 CryptoPunks had been claimed, however, you could no longer create (or “mint” in crypto language) new punks. So, the supply was limited from the start by the smart contract. Once put on the blockchain, the contract was a binding agreement establishing how many punks can exist, how much they are sold for and how to get one.
Since the end of February of this year, the NFT market has seen explosive growth. At a recent record-breaking auction at Christie’s, Beeple sold The First 5000 Days for $69 million. Similarly, digital sports collectibles are booming with the NFT-based NBA Top Shots platform surpassing $200 million in sales last month. Clearly, this is fast becoming a lucrative market.
So, how can creators benefit from all this?
An NFT is a unique token living on a blockchain that represents (or points to) some other data, like an image or video. Because they live on a blockchain, NFTs are easy to track. This tracking allows for verification of their authenticity as well as their past history and owners. Formally, NFTs are smart contracts that people interact with by calling them and then receiving proof of interaction.
My Entry to Cryptoart
I’ve recently begun experimenting with NFTs myself. Over the past few years, as I’ve engaged in various enterprises with artificial intelligence, using AI to generate images and animations has been a fun side project. Before I heard about NFTs, I simply held my collection privately on a hard drive.
Non-fungible tokens turned out to be the missing piece I needed to share my work with the public. I recently founded the collection AIA, or Artificial Intelligence Art and created pieces that found new, happy owners. You can see my full collection at OpenSea.
This entire process was a fulfilling experience, as the NFT community is very welcoming and excited about new digital collectibles. As a result, I’ve gone even further down this road by buying a parcel in a Cryptovoxels…
Read more:A Beginner’s Guide to NFTs for Cryptoart