NFTs - non what-ible what's-its...?
Arrgh..! The world is full of TLAs now-a-days. And here's another one that's being bandied about a lot of late - "NFT".
NFT is simply the TLA for the term Non Fungible Tokens.
But, what the heck is a fungible token, let alone a non-fungible token? Let's see if we can break this down a little...
firstly... what's a fungible...?
Generally speaking, anything that can be easily exchanged, substituted or replaced by something else of equal or comparative value is said to be fungible.
If I had a $20 note, it is fungible because it can be swapped or exchanged for another $20 note; $20 in change; $20 worth of other currencies; or even $20 worth of goods or labour.
Similarly, a box of cereal, a case of bananas, a newspaper, or commercially sold vehicle would each be a fungible item, because they can be replaced with another item of the same type or a similarly valued item, and all those items would be worth the same set monetary value. And most likely there would be lots of them available.
ok... that makes sense... so a non fungible is...
...something that isn't fungible, of course...!
It's still not that obvious, is it? But think of it like this -
If that fungible $20 note mentioned above was actually the last $20 a dying friend had given to me, or had been signed by someone really, really famous, or had a production error that made it a one-off, then it would no longer be exchangeable for something else worth $20. It would, in effect, be a unique, collectible item worth much more than its $20 face value.
Likewise, if you owned the original Mona Lisa and you lent it to a friend for the weekend, then that friend rolls up and hands you back a printed copy of the Mona Lisa, it's going to be difficult for you two to remain friends. No amount of arguing on their behalf that it looks the same and is the same size and even has a nicer frame on it is going to convince you to accept it in place of your original.
These types of one off, non-replaceable items are non fungible.
now... let's just add the word "token" to "non fungible"
In the world of cryptocurrencies exists items known as non fungible tokens. By now, you should have a bit of an understanding that something non fungible is something unique and, in most cases, irreplaceable.
Tokens in the crypto world are items created within a particular cryptocurrency's database or ledger, each one having a unique identifier. They can also keep record of a range of other specific information including owners; creators; history of transactions related to the token; or, really, pretty much anything that the ledger designer might want to allow for. Once an item is entered in to the cryptocurrency's ledger (i.e. "tokenised" or "minted"), it cannot be altered.
Early examples of non fungible tokens were unique collectibles, one of the most well known being crypto-kitties. These are one of a kind, collectible "digital" cats, some of which could be worth tens of thousands of dollars.
NFT based art items are essentially works of art that have been uniquely "tokenised" with a crypto-based token identifier. A tokenised art work may also include limited editions releases; rights to the physical original if there is one; events such as telephone hook-ups or dinner with the artist; or anything else the artist wishes to include when they tokenise or mint the work.
Another important aspect of NFT creation is that, unlike most "un-tokenised" art that is sold through the general art markets, a royalty can be set within the tokenised work to automatically reimburse the artist anytime the tokenised work is on-sold.
Because NFTs are housed on different cryptocurrency blockchains you will need to get started by buying up some cryptocurrencies used in the various NFT galleries and marketplaces.
My works are listed in a few different NFT galleries using a range of cryptos including BNB, ETH, wETH, HIVE.SWAP, and RARI.
Stay tuned for more information...