Do you understand the NFT movement?
Every time a meteor hurtles towards the digital world, those in the know sit back and wait for the chaos that follows. That is exactly what happened when the Non-Fungible Token or NFT hit us hard in 2021. NFTs as an art form have been around since 2014, but they were just a piece of rubble floating around at that point. Last year, all of that changed.
We hear the people at the front of the crowd muttering, ‘why now’ and ‘what even is an NFT’, stop whispering and speak a little louder for those at the back. The NFT revolution is upon us, but there’s still no reason to be ashamed of not fully understanding what’s going on. Because, well, we’re going to help.
In this blog, we’re talking through the world of NFTs as we aim to explain in the most understandable way, why the world has gone crazy and what it is exactly that it’s going crazy for.
So, without wasting any more valuable time, let’s get into this madness.
Why do I need to know?
Well, in case you haven’t noticed, the NFT revolution has somewhat taken over the world. Those in the know are trading buckets of cash for their piece of the NFT pie, so surely it’s worth understanding?
Long gone are the days of the cash-heavy entrepreneurs of the world digging in their money foam mattress to purchase a new Porsche. Now those folk that we love to envy are heading online to buy another NFT, and most of the population have no idea why.
Well, honestly, you need to know because any time there is a serious flurry of money moving around, it’s worth knowing where you stand, or should be standing.
So what is an NFT?
OK, so – non-fungible pretty much means it’s unique. It can’t be traded for something like itself. For example, if you own Bitcoin or whatever other cryptocurrency, it can be exchanged for another version of the same currency as it has the same value. An NFT, however, can not. Think of a one-off trading card; you wouldn’t want to swap it for someone’s 2015 Robin Van Persie Match Attax, would you? Regardless of RVP being a brilliant finisher and ‘that goal’ against Villa, it just isn’t a trade you want to make, because there’s only one version of the card you’re giving away.
NFTs can be anything really, pieces of music, imagery, and so on. The most popular and by far the wave-making use of the NFT has been the digital art sector.
So, will the Louvre be after NFTs one day?
Well, some would certainly hope so, and as the move into the metaverse edges ever closer, we certainly wouldn’t write off a virtual Louvre of NFTs. The Mona Lisa, and a CryptoPunk hanging side by side would be pretty cool in some apocalyptic kind of way.
Just to put the money involved into perspective, ‘The Merge’ by digital artist Pak sold last year for 91.8 million dollars. So let’s look at, say, “The Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers” by Vincent van Gogh is probably also worth around the 90 million dollars mark as of today, scary, right?
However, despite the fact the majority of the population may not want to accept it, this is the will of the world, and it’s certainly the direction we are moving in. Will classical institutions like the Louvre follow suit? Who knows. But if you can buy an NFT by Beeple or a classical work by Van Gogh, the smart money right now is on Beeple.
What about duplicates?
Here’s the question that appears the most difficult to grasp, but it makes total sense when simplified. Essentially, a digital file, including your incredibly expensive CryptoPunk or your work of digital art by Beeple, can be replicated and duplicated as many times as someone wants.
The thought process behind the ownership is to have something that people can’t replicate, which is the rights to the NFT itself. We know this sounds super confusing, like, what’s the point in owning some art that everyone can technically copy and then own.
Think of it this way, the pub around the corner from your house, you know the one, the dog and duck, with the retro net curtains that no one dares to go in unless they live locally, well, what about their copy of ‘The Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers’ that hangs on the wall? It’s certainly not the original, but it looks the same…kind of.
There are millions of copies of original artworks out there, Banksy’s being sold on street corners by those people who sell the whistles that make you sound like a bird, you know the ones. But someone somewhere owns the original, which is essentially the process with NFTs.
So, what’s the point?
Well, we will have to answer this from a number of perspectives. The relevance and poignancy of the NFT movement comes largely down to your position within it. So it has a different intrinsic value to both Collectors and artists, so let’s look at both.
For the collector!
So firstly, and most positively, by being a collector of any form of art, it means that those with the cash to buy a piece are able to support their favourite artists. Buying an NFT is no different – because of your purchase, the artist is able to continue to create the art that they love making.
Of course, there is the secondary interest that comes with any speculative purchase; that is, you hope the value increases, and you can make money on your investment.
For the artist!
The emergence of NFTs as a viable source of financial growth is, of course, incredibly beneficial to any digital artist. We love to see those who put effort into their trade succeed, and that is exactly what has happened for the digital artist in the case of NFTs.
There’s also the added beauty that an artist can write into the blockchain that if their work goes up in value and is sold on, they are also entitled to a share of the profit. It seems fair and logical, but it is often not the case with real-world tangible art.
What are the limits of NFTs?
Honestly, this is a tricky one, as pretty much anything can be sold as an NFT. For example, if we wanted to, this blog post could be sold as an NFT; it’s digital, it’s ownable, and therefore, someone could want to buy it to limit the access of others to this valuable NFT information.
Truth be told, we wouldn’t be the first people to turn an article into an NFT. The New York Times has been there, done that, and most probably wears the t-shirt with immense pride; it has got us thinking, though…
There have already been some weird and wacky implementations of the Non Fungible Token obsession. Take Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, selling his famous first tweet as an NFT. People couldn’t wait to form an orderly line to attempt to buy the ‘just setting up my twttr’ post in NFT format. It’s hardly Oscar Wilde, but it caused a stir nonetheless.
Shawn Mendes’ embroidered vest. Yes, you thought you had heard it all; you hadn’t! Canadian pop prince and constant lovey-dovey hitmaker Shawn Mendes has also offered some of the most famous pieces of his apparel as NFTs. So, if you want to saunter around the digital world looking like Aladdin, why not buy his gold-embroidered vest?
When it comes to the world we live in, you can’t second guess the advancements of the digital world and its relationship with the tangible one we live in. However, our advice would also be to read up on what’s going on, investigate the top trends and understand what everyone is talking about. Your business can benefit from the sharp, unexpected curvature in the online landscape by staying in front.
Think of it this way, if you’re a graphic designer and your business has been making NFTs from way back, kind of like the king of the NFT design realm Beeple. Then you could be in his shoes as we speak. When it comes to art and the development of varied art forms, we are all for it. Who knows, you might see a Create8 NFT coming your way soon. Never say never.
If anything you have read in this blog has caused a stir, and you want to know more, visit the link below. Please send us a message, reach out and don’t be shy! We don’t bite, and we can’t wait to hear what you and your business have in store.
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