NFTs are one of the most notable examples of blockchain and crypto-based technologies. However, as with any technology, implementation often matters as much as the initial design. NFTs are notable for the technologies used to create them. But as you’ll soon see, they’re also an impressive example of how technology can make the world a better and more interesting place.
What Is a Non-Fungible Token (NFT)?
Learning about the place of NFTs in the modern world should always begin with a proper definition. People often discuss NFTs while bringing along a lot of misconceptions. For example, many people simply think of NFTs as images. But the term NFT refers to any non-fungible token. And a token refers to what’s essentially a single digital item within a larger digital record. This record is known as the blockchain.
It’s true that image files are the most common form of NFT. But the broader NFT meaning simply comes down to the concept of a unique value. An NFT is a way of proving an item’s state as a unique entity. In fact, almost anything can be linked to the blockchain to become an NFT. This process is known as tokenizing. It essentially lets digital items have the same unique qualities as physical items. Tokenizing also allows for true ownership.
What Is The Difference Between an NFT and Cryptocurrency?
The term blockchain might have caught your attention if you’ve ever used cryptocurrency. Both NFTs and cryptocurrency are linked to the blockchain. And they can both be stored within the same digital wallet systems. But there is one big difference between the two – fungibility. Cryptocurrency is fungible while NFTs are, by definition, non-fungible. This means that every instance of the same cryptocurrency will have the same value. It’s similar to how art and money behave in the physical world. One dollar is always worth 100 pennies. But one painting’s value can differ tremendously from the value of another painting.
What Are Some Types of NFT?
Almost anything can be tokenized into an NFT. But at this point, it’s clear that some types of NFT are vastly more popular than others. The following classifications encompass the vast majority of NFTs within popular markets.
Digital Art & Music
Digital art and music are easily the breakaway stars of the NFT world. Even people who don’t fully understand what an NFT is will often associate it with digital images. Though in reality, NFT art encompasses everything from still images to full video files. And audio is covered under that banner as well. The fact that NFTs allow for unique digital content has essentially brought art collecting to the online world. And NFTs have also made music streaming fairer to artists. NFTs allow for true ownership. This means that artists can sell their work while retaining 100% of the profit.
Digital & Sports Collectibles
The fact that NFTs can make a digital item unique has made it a boon for any type of collecting. This of course holds true for art collectors. But sports collectors have also been exploring how NFT techniques can enrich their hobby. Branded memorabilia is one of the more common forms of NFT sports collectibles. And many sports agencies are getting into NFTs in a very big way. But it’s probable that utility-based NFTs will become popular in the sports world too. For example, officially branded NFTs might also have a secondary function as a ticket to get into games.
Digital Real Estate
You might have heard about digital real estate within the metaverse that sells for $10,000 or more. NFTs are part of what makes digital real estate possible. People can buy real estate because it’s a unique entity. And that’s made possible by tying those properties into the blockchain as NFTs.
What Is an NFT Marketplace?
Metaverse-related items often work in an analogous way to physical entities. For example, you can store cryptocurrency in a digital wallet. And you can buy NFTs by essentially going into a digital store called an NFT marketplace. NFT markets make it easy to buy, sell, and even tokenized NFTs. Many of them even accept credit card payments. Whether directly or to provide various forms of cryptocurrency. Sales within NFT marketplaces are typically fixed-price. But many marketplaces also offer auctions that are quite similar to the art auctions found in standard offline galleries. Like galleries, different markets specialize in different NFTs.
Image attribution: OpenSea
What Is an NFT Crypto Project?
The similarities between NFTs and physical art continue beyond galleries. For example, you might be familiar with the idea of art collectives and their projects. NFT crypto projects are also quite common. You’ll often find multiple NFT projects under the banner of a single art collective. And NFT crypto projects often come about in a similar way to collectible trading cards. Trading cards typically have large batches with differing levels of scarcity. And the same can be done with NFTs too. AI can even be used to create unique batches. Rare collectibles have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
7 Most Famous NFT Crypto Projects
Now that you’ve seen what NFTs are capable of you might wonder how people are using them in real-world situations. Saying that there are a lot of NFT superstars in the world right now would be a dramatic understatement. But the following examples are some of the best of the best in the world of NFT projects.
In 2017 two men, Matt Hall and John Watkinson, launched what would become an extraordinarily important experiment. They wanted to combine cutting-edge technology with creative artistic expression. The end result was 10,000 unique digital images called CryptoPunks. The images typically consisted of men and women with a range of different accessories. But about 1,000 other subjects were also depicted. This ranged from aliens and zombies to apes. At the time even the rarest example sold for only $34. But today they’re fully recognized as pioneering examples of NFT creation. And those $34 rare cards can now sell for literal millions of dollars.
Image attribution: CryptoPunks
Bored Ape Yacht Club
The Bored Ape Yacht Club is one of the rare examples of an NFT crypto project so famous that even people unfamiliar with NFTs might know about it. Various images of apes with a variety of distinct accessories and expressions caught the world by storm. The initial run of 10,000 tokenized images was distinct, different, and easily recognizable. The notable look and interesting name helped to cement the concept of NFTs within the larger culture. The fact that the images could be used as a keycard for special services helped as well. Today their trading value can top $750 million.
Image attribution: Bored Ape Yacht Club
NBA Top Shots
Sports and NFTs might not seem to have a lot in common. But keep in mind that collectibles have a huge place in the sports world. Everything from sports merch to baseball cards can be collected. And once the blockchain made unique digital ownership possible the same happened online. The NBA has even officially entered into the world of NFTs by teaming up with Dapper Labs to make NBA Top Shots. The NBA licenses images and videos to Dapper Labs which can then mint them as NFTs. The NFTs are packed together as collections in much the same way as physical packs of baseball cards.
Image attribution: NBA Top Shots
World of Women
It’s quite common for physical art to be driven by individuals with a powerful passion. People have always used art to change minds and draw attention to important causes. So it’s little surprise that artists like Yam are using NFTs for the same purpose. Yam is the artist behind “Women by Yam – Females in the spotlight”. And she continued her mission to celebrate inspiring women in her “World of Women” NFT project. World of Women is made up of 10,000 different NFTs. Each of these unique items highlights the equally unique strengths of women in the world of technology.
Image attribution: World of Women
Almost everyone has doodled in the margins of their school notebooks or even textbooks. It’s one of those often-rueful memories that never ceases to bring a smile to people’s faces. People seldom talk about their distracted doodlings on a day-to-day basis. But it’s one of those universals that most people can appreciate. And creative forces Evan Keast, Scott Martin, and Jordan Castro have banded together to bring doodle-inspired NFTs called Doodles to the world. Keast and Castro are particularly significant in this respect due to their prior success with CryptoKitties. And while Martin’s new to the scene, his style is undeniable.
Image attribution: Doodles
NFT projects as a whole are known for their unique take on culture, art, and technology. But CloneX is especially notable for those traits even when compared to other NFTs. On the surface, CloneX can be defined as a collection of 20,000 NFTs. But the NFTs can be further classified into eight different categories called DNA sequences. Some of the rarest CloneX NFTs feature strange entities like aliens, angels, and robots. But the vast majority of the CloneX NFTs were designed to put a spotlight on inclusivity. This NFT project attempts to have enough variety to represent everyone on earth.
Azuki has a lot to distinguish itself from other NFT projects. But most people are initially struck by Azuki’s strong anime aesthetic. Other NFT projects have gone down that route but Azuki was the first to do so. In fact, Azuki was an artistic community even before moving into NFTs. This early attention to an anime style essentially cemented Azuki as the definition of anime-NFT. And in doing so it also marked one of the earlier NFT projects to become popular in Asian countries. Azuki’s 10,000 NFT set highlights a wide variety of models and accessories with notable emotional tones.
Image attribution: Azuki
The Full Guide to NFTs
You’ve seen some of the most famous NFT crypto projects. But it’s important to keep in mind that NFTs are essentially a medium and a technology rolled into one. Just as there’s always more to learn about art, there’s always more to learn about NFTs. And NFTs are often at the center of cultural and legal discussions. For example, the role of copyright and intellectual rights with NFT distribution is a rapidly evolving subject. NFTs are a fascinating new cultural innovation. You can continue learning more about NFTs in the article “NFT Guide; Everything You Need To Know About NFTs”.
Where the NFT Journey Goes From Here
Now that you have a solid grasp of what NFTs are and what they can do there should only be one question left. What’s your role in the story of NFTs? It’s time to jump into that world for yourself.