WHAT IS A NFT ? HOW TO START A NFT?
WHAT IS A NFT ? HOW TO START A NFT? If you have read the news about Vodafone set to sell the world’s first-ever SMS as NFT then there are good chances that you are browsing to know what NFT is and why there is a sudden hype around it.
If today is the day you’ve decided to enlighten yourself on NFT, then here’s a possible picture of what could happen with you in the next few hours from when you start reading. You get online, you start reading about it, scratch your head a few times, sip a cup or maybe a few cups of coffee in between but all you get in the end is that NFT STANDS FOR Non-Fungible Tokens. No intentions to judge or belittle anyone’s intelligence here but this is what happened to me after I started reading about it.
Blockchain news is a rage these days. Any information related to this technology is straight away making headlines and who doesn’t like to ride the wave. If not ride, then at least know what the wave is all about. With this intention (and pot full of coffee), I began reading, researching and asking people about NFT and its working. Here is how my effort panned out. Before you start reading, I want to tell you that if you have zero idea about NFT then I hope that after reading this you can at least discuss NFT over a cup of tea with your dad and if you already know all about it then congratulations for the extra knowledge you’ve gained after reading this. So here we go.First things first: what on earth is NFT?
NFT stands for Non-fungible tokens, fungible being the keyword here. Cambridge Dictionary defines fungible as something that is easy to exchange or trade for something else of the same type and value. In simpler words, fungible means anything that is replaceable. Therefore, Non-fungible means something that cannot be interchanged. It is unique.
Non-fungible tokens exist in the digital world.
31-year-old Sachin Jain, co-founder of Amesten Asset, a crypto asset management investment fund service, tries to explain to me what NFT is.
“To put it in simple words it is a collectible. Only one of them exists. There can be multiple copies also but then it will be marketed as a limited edition of 5 copies or something like that,” he explains.
Not enough. So, I asked some more.
Piyush Gupta, founder of PolyTrade, has his own definition of NFTs which is rather simple to understand. “A digital asset that depicts real-world elements like art, music, in-game items, and films is known as a Non-fungible token (NFT). They’re bought and traded online, often using cryptocurrency, and they’re usually encoded with the same software as many other cryptos,” he explains.
Gupta’s company is a decentralized finance lending platform providing working capitals to SMEs in the real-world using crypto liquidity. So, he does tend to keep a track of this stuff.
“Imagine you’re drinking milk. You can drink half glass, a quarter of a glass, or whatever fraction of the bottle that you want to drink. Milk here could be a cryptocurrency. Fractional consumption is possible. But let’s say you want a baby shark toy. You either have it or you don’t. That’s an NFT,” Gupta explains using an example.
The ownership is apparently a key part about NFTs.
Debashish Kashyap, a part-time crypto investor, defines NFT as a model piggybank for art. Once you own it, it is going to be yours forever unless you sell it off. He believes that NFTs are good for digital artists.
“Until now only those with paint brushes and colours were called artists. Digital artists were not recognised for their work. NFT gives them a chance to showcase their work and make money from it,” Kashyap says as tries to convince me that NFT is a boon for digital artists.
But there is more to NFTs than art. Sameer K Singh, a 26-year-old entrepreneur who has bought 5 NFTs says NFTSs are more than digital art.
“NFT basically defines ownership. You can question what is needed of NFTs when cryptocurrencies are already there. Answer is that NFTs are non-divisible tokens. You can break down cryptocurrencies but not NFTs. NFT has a token ID. You can add ownership of anything you put into it and not just arts,” says Sameer. “You can also expect house ownership NFTs in future.”The NFT craze
What would you do if you knew that someone famous just sold the sound of farts as NFTs and made money from it? You will stop what you are doing and look up the web to know how is that even possible. Alex Ramírez-Mallis, a 36-year-old Brooklyn-based film director, has recorded sounds of farts since March 2020, compiled it and sold it on an NFT marketplace for 85 dollars. Are there any other shortcuts to make money than this one?
No wonder there is a NFT craze all around us.
You can also thank (blame) celebrities for all this NFT noise. Hollywood star Lindsay Lohan in a paid partnership with the Canine Cartel announced to sell her fursona NFT (basically a furry avatar) and there are buyers for it!
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet as an NFT in March 2021 for more than $2.9 million. Bollywood is not far behind. Superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan have announced plans to launch their own line of NFTs soon. This trend has caught on and this is the main reason why NFT is in the news so much.
First-ever text message auctioned off as NFT/ Image: Reuters
The second reason for the buzz, as Sameer explains, is that it is a way to flaunt your wealth in the digital world. “People buy Rolex or antique artifacts to flaunt their luxurious lifestyle. Blockchain is the new web world and it is the future. You can consider NFTs as means to flaunt your wealth in the digital world,” he says.
On the contrary, Sachin, who is an investor in NFT marketplace believes that there is a hype around NFT and this hype will eventually fade out one day. Sachin is an investor in NFT marketplace called Kalamint.
“There is an overhype about NFT. If someone tells you this isn’t true it means that person is living in some bubble,” he says.Who are buying these NFTS?
Good question. NFT is a unique digital asset and people who believe that Blockchain is the future are buying it.
Investors like Sachin feel that this is an opportunity to make money so why not be a part of it. “People are ready to spend millions for this thing. Also, I feel that this will soon become a real-world asset. I mean one day you could sell your jacket or pen as NFT,” he says.
Sameer owns 5 NFTs and the most expensive one cost him $1000. “I was offered $3000 in the next few minutes but I did not sell it. I am waiting for a better offer to sell it.”
Sameer also wants to be a part of a community by buying NFTs. “When you buy NFTs, you are part of a community where there are other NFT buyers like you. You can interact with them. It’s like being part of a future,” he says.
People like Debashish are waiting for that extra money in their pocket which can buy them NFT one day. “I will buy it if I have extra money. It is a smart way to hold digital wealth and simultaneously encourage our digital artists,” he says.Is India ready for something like NFT?
A quick yes comes from Piyush Gupta. He feels that India’s cultural inclination is a key factor why NFT will be a hit in the country.
“NFTs as you have already got an idea by now, are unique assets that can be owned by individuals- simply put. And therefore, application in art and culture is immense. India has always been a culturally rich country with a heritage of fine art. From Bollywood stars to maestros in art; from sports personalities to mesmerizing musicians, everyone is looking to leave their own digital signatures and legacy for generations to come,” says Gupta.
Sachin says that Kalamint has users in 180 countries today. India has a group of people who are into digital collectibles and the popularity of Kalamint testifies to this. “Kalamint was started back in 2020 only. You tell me a project that in just one year has reached people in 180 countries. This Bengaluru-based company is today providing millions of digital artists so you see how NFT is also opening gates of opportunities for people,” he says.
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