NFTs’ short history and concept
The concept of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) can be traced back to the idea of digital ownership and scarcity, which has been discussed for decades in the context of digital art, music, and other digital assets. The term “non-fungible” refers to the fact that each NFT is unique and cannot be exchanged for another token on a one-to-one basis, unlike fungible tokens such as cryptocurrencies.
The first NFT standard, ERC-721, was introduced to the Ethereum blockchain in 2017, paving the way for the creation and trading of unique, indivisible digital assets. This standard allowed developers to create smart contracts that could define and manage ownership of NFTs, making it possible to verify ownership and transfer them between parties.
The concept of digital ownership and scarcity has been discussed for decades, and the first NFT-like projects, such as Rare Pepes, were created in the early 2010s. NFTs gained mainstream attention in 2021 when the digital artist Beeple sold his NFT artwork for $69 million at Christie’s auction house.
The rise of NFTs in recent years has been driven by factors including the increasing popularity of blockchain technology, the desire for digital creators to monetize their work, and the growing interest in digital collectibles. NFTs have been used to represent a wide range of digital assets, including artwork, music, videos, tweets, and even virtual real estate in video games. The ability to prove ownership and scarcity has made NFTs a valuable asset for collectors and investors, with some NFTs selling for millions of dollars at auction.
Read also: The NFT impact: conventional and digital art
Types of non-fungible tokens
- Physical NFTs.
- Phygital NFTs.
- Ticketing NFTs.
- Membership NFTs.
- Time-based NFTs.
- Metaverse NFTs
- Fractional NFTs
Different types of NFTs highlight the versatility and potential of this emerging technology. As the NFT market continues to grow and evolve, we can expect to see even more creative and innovative use cases for NFTs.
- Physical NFTs: Physical NFTs are physical objects with an attached NFT to verify ownership and authenticity. These physical objects have an attached NFT to verify ownership and authenticity. For example, a physical artwork can have an NFT associated with it to prove that the owner is the rightful owner of the original piece. Examples include:
- CryptoKickers: A limited edition sneaker line that comes with an attached NFT to verify ownership and authenticity.
- CryptoStamp: A physical postage stamp with a QR code representing a unique NFT.
- Phygital NFTs: Phygital NFTs are physical objects that come with a digital counterpart in the form of an NFT. These physical objects come with a digital counterpart in the form of an NFT. For example, a limited-edition vinyl record could come with an NFT representing ownership of a digital album version. Examples include:
- The Kings of Leon album: The rock band Kings of Leon released their latest album as an NFT, with a limited edition vinyl pressing that came with an attached NFT.
- CryptoArt: Some digital artists sell physical prints of their digital art with an attached NFT to verify ownership and authenticity.
- Ticketing NFTs: Ticketing NFTs are NFTs that represent a ticket to an event or experience. They can be used to verify ownership and to prevent fraud or scalping. Examples include:
- NBA Top Shot: A platform that sells NFTs representing NBA game highlights and moments, including rare limited edition packs and tickets to special events.
- Tomorrowland festival: The electronic music festival Tomorrowland sold NFT tickets for their 2021 edition, providing access to the festival as well as exclusive digital content.
- Membership NFTs: Membership NFTs are NFTs that represent membership in a club, organization, or community. They can provide exclusive access to events, content, or other benefits. Examples include:
- Bored Ape Yacht Club: An exclusive members-only club for holders of the Bored Ape NFTs, which provides access to exclusive events, merchandise, and community resources.
- Decentraland: A metaverse platform where users can purchase virtual real estate and participate in an exclusive community, with ownership represented by NFTs.
- Time-based NFTs: Time-based NFTs are NFTs that represent ownership of a digital asset for a specific period of time. For example, a fan could own an NFT that gives them exclusive access to a live stream of a concert for a limited time. Examples include:
- Async Art’s “Dynamic Art”: Async Art is a platform that allows artists to create NFTs that change over time, based on different inputs such as the time of day, weather conditions, or even the price of Bitcoin. These NFTs are designed to be dynamic and evolve, making them unique and valuable.
- CryptoPunks “Time Capsule”: In August 2021, the creators of CryptoPunks announced plans to create a “time capsule” NFT that would be sealed for 50 years and then opened in 2071. The NFT would be a snapshot of the current CryptoPunks ecosystem, including all 10,000 original punks and their current owners.
- Metaverse NFTs: Metaverse NFTs are NFTs that represent ownership of virtual assets in a metaverse, such as virtual real estate, avatars, or digital goods. Examples include:
- Decentraland: NFTs representing ownership of the virtual real estate in the Decentraland metaverse, which can be used for various purposes, including gaming, socializing, and commerce.
- Axie Infinity: NFTs that represent ownership of virtual creatures called Axies, which can be used for gameplay and breeding in the Axie Infinity metaverse.
- Fractional NFTs: Fractional NFTs are NFTs that represent partial ownership of a digital or physical asset (virtual assets in a metaverse, such as virtual real estate, avatars, or digital goods). Examples include:
- Autoglyphs: Autoglyphs is another early and popular NFT project featuring 512 unique 8-bit glyphs created algorithmically on the Ethereum blockchain. Some Autoglyphs have sold for significant amounts, but fractional NFT platforms like Fractional.art allow investors to own a fraction of these rare assets.
- Art Blocks: Art Blocks is an NFT platform that allows artists to create generative art projects, where the artwork is created algorithmically using code. Some Art Blocks projects have sold for significant amounts, but fractional NFT platforms like Fractional.art and NIFTEX allow investors to own a fraction of these artworks.