NFTs have been around since 2017, when they were created as part of Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard, but they’ve recently been pushed into the mainstream because of their enormous value and market interest in the crypto world—and because famous people have started using them to sell artwork and other collectibles at astronomical prices.
OK, let’s back up. What is NFT? NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are a type of crypto token that represents ownership of a digital asset. You must have already heard of Solana, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and other cryptocurrencies. An NFT Art can be used to verify someone’s ownership of specific digital assets, like tweets by artist Beeple or paintings by musician Grimes. You can think of them as the equivalent of a stock certificate for an intangible item—but one that is completely unique and non-copyable.
Some of the biggest NFTs have come from the world of entertainment
Beeple NFT (photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)NFTs are being used in the music and film industry to both protect copyrights and facilitate transactions.
Beeple, a popular digital artist, sold an NFT artwork for $69 million—one of the largest NFT sales to date.
Meanwhile, the CEO of Warner Music Group put forward a proposal that could use blockchain technology to make it easier for artists to be paid each time their music is played on streaming services like Spotify or Pandora.
One of the possibilities of using NFTs in the entertainment industry is to manage intellectual property rights through smart contracts that are stored on a blockchain network.
CryptoPunk #7804 is a rare digital collectible asset, one of several NFTs (non-fungible tokens) that are unique because they are non-replaceable. The CryptoPunk #7804 is unlike other NFTs because it’s an extremely rare item. There are only 10,000 of these in existence, and the first 9,000 were purchased by early investors. Only 1,004 remain for sale to the public.
CryptoPunk #7804 will increase in value over time as more people discover its value and rarity. Because the number of existing CryptoPunks is finite—only ten thousand—it’s highly unlikely that even more CryptoPunks like this one will be produced in the future.
Digital scarcity has been used to create other products besides NFTs (examples: limited-edition sneakers on Ethereum), but with this particular investment opportunity, there’s also another dynamic at play: You’re buying into something that values individualism and uniqueness above all else. As a result, you can feel good knowing that you’ve contributed to keeping communities like Cryptopunks thriving and growing!
Aladdin Sane (1973)
The iconic cover for David Bowie’s 1973 album “Aladdin Sane,” depicting the so-called “Thin White Duke” with a bolt of lightning painted on his face, has been reproduced in all kinds of formats over the years from keychains to t-shirts. Still, that hasn’t stopped an NFT version recently selling for $6.6 million.
In 2018, Sotheby auctioned off the original painting as part of a collection of Bowie artifacts. The winning bidder was an anonymous buyer who holds it not in private but on display at Sotheby’s New York Gallery—which means you can go see it yourself if you want to get up close and personal with one of rock history’s most famous album covers.
Kitty #10, the first born CryptoKitty, sold for a whopping $170,000.00 in 2018 (USD) to crypto-collector “theonevortex” through an NFT marketplace.
If you’re wondering how this could be possible, imagine if there was only one of something in the world that anyone could ever have, like a valuable baseball card or other collectibles. The value of that item would be determined by how much someone was willing to pay for it. If you had #10 (which is referred to as Genesis) and wanted to sell it now at its peak price, given its increasing popularity, you could easily make $170,000 from a single CryptoKitty!
CryptoKitties are unique because they can be bred and sold through the NFT marketplace.
The Mike Winkelmann Collection
Going by the name Beeple, visual artist Mike Winkelmann has sold well over $3 million worth of NFTs. As a result, he’s now the third most valuable living artist in the world. His sales are so big that not even Damien Hirst has had a single sale as large as one of Beeple’s recent ones.
In an interview with The Verge, Beeple explained that he was inspired to try selling digital art after reading about people making absurd amounts of money on Cryptoart through NFTs. He told The Verge: “I’m like, ‘Well, shit — I guess I better read up on this.'”
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The original James Bond made his way to the NFT market with the sale of a one-of-a-kind “time capsule” that contains 22 clips from film history. In a first-of-its-kind deal, MPC Film and DNEG will release their iconic moments from the James Bond franchise as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), made possible by Blockchain.com’s OpenSea marketplace. The collection became available for purchase on May 20th, 2021, at 12:00 pm ET.
It’s not just a random assortment of clips; each moment has been carefully selected to make up an official time capsule for some of the most memorable scenes in pop culture history. A few highlights include Sean Connery’s debut appearance in Dr. No, George Lazenby firing his gun in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Roger Moore drinking a martini in Live and Let Die, and Daniel Craig shooting a gun in Skyfall.
It’s yet another high-profile entry into the digital collectibles space–and also an early example of how entertainment studios might generate new revenue streams as they seek to sell off rights to their IP rather than lock themselves into long-term deals with platforms like Netflix or Hulu.
NFTs are limited digital assets that can be used to represent anything from a house mortgage to collectibles like art, sports memorabilia, and even a tweet. They are non-fungible because each one is unique; fungible means that two items are interchangeable. For example, you can trade in a dollar bill for another dollar bill because they have the same value. One bitcoin can also be traded for another bitcoin because they have the same value and functionality, and you can “spend” them on goods and services in the same way you would use cash or credit cards.
On the other hand, two NFTs are not interchangeable; they maintain their status as unique assets even when traded with someone else. This means that one person may trade their copy of Michael Jordan’s rookie card for another person’s XRP token; both parties will get something of value to them without losing any of its original value within the exchange (i.e., there isn’t any degradation).