What is a non-fungible token (NFT)?

A lot of people talking about NFTs in social media recently, okay, actually since like one or two years ago. I am interested in block chain related stuffs and I also want to see if there any investment chances on it, so I write this article to help me know that actually NFT is.

Definition

NFTs (or “non-fungible tokens”) are a special kind of cryptoasset in which each token is unique — as opposed to “fungible” assets like Bitcoin and dollar bills, which are all worth exactly the same amount. Because every NFT is unique, they can be used to authenticate ownership of digital assets like artworks, recordings, and virtual real estate or pets.

You can think of NFTs as being kind of like certificates of authenticity for digital artifacts. They’re currently being used to sell a huge range of virtual collectibles, including:

  • NBA virtual trading cards
  • Music and video clips from EDM stars like Deadmau5
  • Video art by Grimes
  • The original “nyan cat” meme
  • A tweet by Dallas Mavericks owner and entrepreneur Mark Cuban
  • Virtual real estate in a place called Decentraland
"No-fungible"

Every bitcoin is worth as much as every other bitcoin. NFTs, on the other hand, are all unique. “Fungibility” refers to goods or assets that are all the same and can be swapped interchangeably. A dollar bill is another perfect example — each is worth exactly one dollar.

Concert tickets, by contrast, are non-fungible. Even if every Radiohead ticket is the same price, they aren’t directly exchangeable. Each represents a specific seat and a specific date — no other ticket will have those exact characteristics.

How does NFTs work

NFTs are different from ERC-20 tokens, such as DAI or LINK, in that each individual token is completely unique and is not divisible. NFTs give the ability to assign or claim ownership of any unique piece of digital data, trackable by using Ethereum's blockchain as a public ledger. An NFT is minted from digital objects as a representation of digital or non-digital assets. For example, an NFT could represent:

What if I have a NFT

Good question! Some people display their digital artworks on large monitors. Some buy virtual real estate (via NFT, of course) in which they’re able to build virtual galleries or museums. You can also roam virtual worlds like Decentraland and check out other people’s collections. For some fans, the appeal is in the buying and selling — much like any other asset class. (The collector who sold the $6.9 million Beeple paid less than $70,000 for it in October 2020).

Why not just copy that

Naysayers often bring up the fact that NFTs "are dumb" usually alongside a picture of them screenshotting an NFT artwork. "Look, now I have that image for free!" they say smugly.

Well, yes. But does googling an image of Picasso's Guernica make you the proud new owner of a multi-million dollar piece of art history?

Ultimately owning the real thing is as valuable as the market makes it. The more a piece of content is screen-grabbed, shared, and generally used the more value it gains.

Owning the verifiably real thing will always have more value than not.