The valuation and perception of intangible commodities like NFT art and collectibles have definitely evolved over the past couple of years because of the success of the market, which, in 2021 alone, had a sales volume reaching $24 billion. NFTs have given artists and content creators unquestionable ownership and power to sell their products directly to interested parties.
NFT stands for non-fungible tokens—unique assets with proven ownership, which include digital artwork, music files, tweets, virtual wear, video clips, written word, and memes. The information of each digital product is minted or recorded on the blockchain which makes ownership immutable. And because NFTs live on the blockchain, every transaction is transparent and verifiable.
Cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin are also tokens on the blockchain called fungibles, but as opposed to NFTs, they are interchangeable and may be used as money. NFTs, on the other hand, cannot be exchanged for another because of their unique properties.
There are many NFT marketplaces a creator may look at when considering selling their work, whether the item is for fashion, sports, gaming, or music. The beautiful thing about putting one’s NFT collection of art on the market is that there is already a community of supporters ready to check out and purchase these digital products.
NFT marketplaces do have their particular focus. For example, some platforms may prioritize auctions for charity and donation, some may only sell gaming NFTs, and others may sell a variety of NFT collectibles.
NBA Top Shot, for one, is a closed marketplace run by DapperLabs with a licensing agreement with the National Basketball Association and its player’s union. On this particular site, fans may purchase digital sports collectible artwork and moments like LeBron James’ dunk. This NFT platform alone has generated $230 million in sales, so just imagine the number of transactions taking place on several platforms per week.
These NFT marketplaces are also where one may mint their digital assets before selling. Minting is the process of recording a digital asset on the blockchain and essentially converting them into NFTs. Minting fees may vary, and this process usually requires having a digital wallet and cryptocurrency, though credit cards may also be used depending on the platform’s guidelines.
While NFT collectibles and art are usually sold through these marketplaces, highly-respected auction houses have also plunged into the NFT business. Christie’s, for instance, sold more than $100 million worth of NFTs, while Sotheby’s sold $65 million in 2021.
Since time immemorial, artists and creators have seen their work forged, copied, and pirated, but the emergence of NFTs has given them immutable ownership and control when it comes to monetizing their digital products.
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Of course, though ownership records on the blockchain are deemed immutable and the technology unhackable, one may still wonder about the risks in owning digital assets, and there is also the matter of the environmental impact of minting for those who are concerned about carbon footprint.
These concerns must be weighed with the pros of getting into the NFT market, which has lessened fraud and has opened up a world of possibilities to creators, a new avenue to earn and donate to worthy causes, and also to give additional perks and build a stronger connection with their loyal supporters and patrons.