By: Alec Abrams
Art is one of the strongest influences on human nature, dating back to cave wall drawings while humans were still inventing fire. That passion for art is yet to fade, and as of 2019 in the United States alone, the NASAA ( National Assembly of States Art Agencies) valued the industry at 920 billion dollars. When you think of some of the key contributors to the art industry, and as to why it is so incredibly valuable, one will probably think of da Vinci, who as of 2017, had a painting sell for a whopping record-breaking 450 million dollars. What if I were to tell you rather than paint and canvas, something that you cannot touch can be considered art, and would be more valuable than a van Gogh or da Vinci painting? Recently this November, a digital image of an 8 bit head with white hair and green eyes sold for 532 million dollars, almost 15% more than that of Leonardo da Vinci’s 450 million dollar art piece, Salvator Mundi. By now, I am sure that you are asking yourself what is this digital image called, and why is it more valuable than something that would be displayed in a museum? To answer this question, we bring you the new era of digital art, called Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs).
By now, I am sure you are asking, what’s the point of an NFT, or digital art? Can’t I simply screenshot it, and then I own a 500 million dollar image? To answer this, think of the Mona Lisa. There is only ever going to be one, even though many others will create replicas or reprint it. That is the precise idea when it comes to NFTs. What’s so special about NFTs is that an artist can express and sell their art online, but due to the technology behind cryptocurrency, it guarantees each art piece is unique, and that it is owned only by one person.
What’s the point of owning an NFT, if I cannot even display it on my wall? To answer this, ownership can act as a ticket to online communities that will offer benefits to the owners. This usually includes the ability to purchase other NFTs before they are released to the public and free cryptocurrency. On some projects, the benefits can be far more. For example, one of the most famous NFTs that grants owners insane benefits is the Bored Ape Yacht Club. The lowest available price to buy something in this collection is 200,000 dollars. Though, if you do decide to buy into this NFT, you will be joining a literal club. For example, owners of a Bored Ape will be granted access to exclusive concerts, parties, and yacht clubs, and other insane opportunities. Recently, at one of the exclusive concerts, the award winning rapper Lil Baby performed. Vast celebrities have bought into this NFT to gain access to its benefits, such as Steph Curry, Post Malone, Jimmy Fallon, and far more. Also, someone may buy this NFT for a chance to meet powerful people and build business connections at the exclusive parties.
There are many ways to get involved with NFTs. To buy and sell them, you will need to own crypto currency that is used to purchase them, the largest ones being Ethereum (ETH) and Solana (SOL). The largest market that you can buy Ethereum NFTs on is the website opensea.io. Some Ethereum NFTs include the ones listed above, such as the Crypto Punk and the Bored Apes. These NFTs usually gain immense value over a long-term period. Though, one downside of purchasing Ethereum NFTs, is that they are usually far more expensive, and come with vast fees for each transaction. If that is a problem, then you can turn to Solana NFTs, which have little to no transaction fees and are often good for a quick flip. The largest market that you can use to buy and sell Solana NFTs on is solanart.io. To buy cryptocurrencies needed to trade NFTs, the best place to go is the crypto exchange, coinbase.com. Next, download a crypto wallet like Metamask or Phantom to store your coins and start trading NFTs.
Many feel, NFTs are the future of art, and you could easily become rich off of them. All you have to do is to find that one hidden gem, such as a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT, which was selling for under 2000 dollars less than a year ago and now sells for 100x that price. It is important to know that not all NFTs will be successful, and there will always be a risk of losing money.