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89 Comments

What do you think about NFTs?

I don't know a ton about NFTs. Someone enlighten me?

I think the basic gist of the idea is that people are creating and selling one-of-a-kind goods. Digital goods. So I can create an album, an image, a video, whatever, and attach it to some sort of proof that it's the original. Then I can sell the original to some buyer, who might resell it or hold onto it.

Unlike other digital stuff, even if lots of people copy a non-fungible token (NFT), the owner can still prove they have the original.

And this all works via Ethereum, which I suppose is creating some sort of unique ID or address or something that represents each NFT.

If this is the gist of it, I feel a bit… unimpressed?

It's already possible to put a unique row in a database, and lock down access to it. For example I have @csallen on Twitter, and nobody else can have it. This has worked well for years. Hell, I even sold my one-of-a-kind World of Warcraft character in 2006.

What am I missing?

  1. 18

    If you’re unimpressed, it’s probably because you don’t value the status of owning something other people want.

    Like, why is an original Mondrian worth so much more money than a near-identical print of it? Because Mondrian is a famous artist, and people go “I really want to be able to say I own this," and those people are rich. People see it as a status symbol, and they’re willing to pay for that.

    It’s the same story with NFTs. Even though digitization makes the difference between original and replicas nonexistent, people still see possessing the token as a status symbol.

    Personally, I’m in your camp. I couldn’t care less. But you also won’t catch me paying out the ears for an original painting by a famous artist. Ultimately, people like what they like ¯\(ツ)

    (Although I wish they would like something that’s not destroying the planet)

  2. 13

    You only have @csallen on Twitter because Twitter lets you. They could take it from you if they liked; i.e. they own the key to unlock the row in the database.

    When you buy an NFT you are essentially buying a token on the blockchain. The artist (let's assume it's an artist) releases a limited number of tokens for their original digital artwork. You buy and sell those tokens.

    I can make a perfect copy of the digital art you bought and hang it on my desktop but it will not have value because it will not have the associated token.

    Yeah, mad.

    1. 7

      I hear this and understand the technicalities of it. But I still don’t get it.

      You have the original new movie from Steven Spielberg. Great.

      I have an identical digital copy. So.... what? Why does it matter that you have the “original”.

      I honestly don’t get it.

      1. 6

        Look at it like artwork. I know I'm pushing it here, but you have an exact replica of the Mona Lisa, it looks exaaaactly the same, but then it still doesn't make it as valuable as the real thing.
        Value in NFTs, like art, I think is what people make of it.

        1. 3

          I don't think you're pushing it at all- check out the artist Beeple, who is doing exactly this: (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/arts/design/christies-beeple-auction-blockchain-art.html)

          As you mention, anyone could view images of all the works at the Louvre on the internet if they wanted, but people still go to see the real thing.

          1. 1

            Physical art and digital art are oranges and lemons, if an artist is working in the digital realm and is fighting the core truth that @jakelazaroff points out - (digital makes) the difference between original and replicas nonexistent -

            Artists should leverage the medium to express concepts, not force historical or impractical limitations of other mediums on the digital realm.

            NFT's have their place in asset management but if you think digital art is an asset you can stop other people from sharing , well then your concepts need a blockchain.

        2. 1

          Ok I guess this is the best analogy yet but with digital assets does the original really matter?

          I guess to some fools with too much money it will.

          1. 3

            Being digital definitely makes the analogy harder to hold on to. If you buy [famous art piece] you're at least paying for the original brush strokes of [famous artist].

            1. 1

              I agree and even the original artist couldn’t replicate exactly the same painting to the brush stokes

          2. 1

            calling them "fools" is shallow and ignorant, a mental shortcut b/c you don't (seek to) understand.

            the digital art example is a great example because it mirrors the principle (and practice) of what happens with physical art.

            the reason people buy (and pay a lot) for original physical art is because there's a real objectivity about it's uniqueness... there's only one original.

            in the virtual world, we don't have that... but, now with a nft, it brings the ability to assign unique ownership of a whole (or even a smaller part) and authenticate that on a visible, public ledger that is incorruptible and verifiable.

            ... this brings the same type of enthusiast to the market... which clearly you are not, which is fine... i don't say that negatively.

            but, this as a technology is also very, very fascinating and as a technologist and software engineer... i telling everyone to pay good and close attention.

            good reading too:

            https://a16z.com/2021/02/27/nfts-and-a-thousand-true-fans/

      2. 6

        When you have more money than sense Mick (I know SongBox is on the up) you may decide to:

        1. Exchange some of your dollars for bragging rights ("Hey, you know you love 'Highway to Hell', well I have 1 of only 10 minted tokens in my digital wallet").
        2. Invest in a token for a new song as you think it's going to become a classic and hence the token will increase in value.
        3. Launder some of your dirty money.

        Beyond that. No I don't get it either. It's just one of those things that has value only because people say it has value and a bubble that may well grow rapidly due to the swarm behaviour we see these days chasing a quick buck.

        1. 1

          Hmm yeah I kinda get it when you put it like that. Still think it's a bit silly.

          1. 1

            You ever collect baseball cards?
            It's like that, but on the computer.

            1. 2

              Well I don’t think it is because you can’t copy baseball cards. It seems like you can have copies of the “thing” but only one person has the “original”.

              With digital assets who cares about the original!l?

              1. 2

                I think the answer to your question is, with physical assets who cares about the original?!

                Like, how much would you pay for an original Babe Ruth rookie baseball card? If the answer is "not very much" (or maybe "a lot, but only because I can sell it for more") then you feel the exact same about baseball cards as you do about NFTs! And so on for artwork, sneakers, etc.

                1. 1

                  Very valid point. Maybe that’s true with baseball cards as they ultimately mass produced by a machine. I think it’s a better analogy art as obviously the original is very special and copies are... mass produced copies.

                  1. 1

                    I think any analogy to the physical world won't line up exactly, since technically every physical item is slightly different, and there's a limited number of them. As opposed to the digital world where copies are identical, infinite and essentially free.

                    Obviously, though, some people still care about NFTs despite all that. And in that sense, they're exactly like any given thing that you think is pointless but other people are into.

      3. 4

        It's literally to flex. You can say that you're the owner. It's literally only to sell later for a bigger fool. Same as the high art world. Not that that's a bad thing but let's call it what it is.

        1. 1

          Yeah agreed, it seems just like another way of managing IP - potentially a very good way. It also lends itself to a licensing model.

      4. 1

        Let's say there is an NFT associated with a piece of art. It isn't really the art which makes it valuable, while it does but not as much. It is the record on the blockchain which is more valuable and is what people want.

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        This comment was deleted 2 months ago.

    2. 4

      You only have @csallen on Twitter because Twitter lets you. They could take it from you if they liked; i.e. they own the key to unlock the row in the database.

      This has happened before! Twitter employees and insiders for some time were able to take over long-inactive handles without the owner's permission. There is only one twitter database (yes yes ignoring redundancy, backups etc.), over which twitter has complete control.

    3. 4

      If the used blockchain goes EOL (end of life) eventually (and yes, it will), that token is meaningless. Art on the wall, not so much.

      I don't get the hype about NFTs.

      1. 3

        Surely any Blockchain EOL would include transfer / enshrinement of existing tokens to replacement system due to their value.

  3. 3

    In theory, it's speculation on cultural significance. If you think Nyan Cat is going to be in the public discourse 50 years from now then maybe you think $458,730 for it is a good deal (https://foundation.app/NyanCat/nyan-cat-219). The problem is that most buyers right now are either in it for the quick flip or think that any piece of art thats impressible is going to maintain it's value of $2k.. yeah that's not going to happen.

  4. 3

    I believe that you should think of them as art pieces and not just digital art pieces. Once you look at them from this lens you would not be baffled so much by the prices. Actual paintings are valued so much because of the unique properties like being one of kind, attached to a famous name, aesthetic value, etc. It is a big status symbol as well, it indicates that you have the ability to spend a lot of money which doesn’t have a utility other than being a status symbol. (People do buy it for other reasons as well)
    Prices are high at the moment because of FOMO involved. Being in an easily tradable format is further contributing to the price rise.

    NFT digitizes a lot of properties which makes traditional art valuable and more. Here are a few of the important things that I believe NFT has been able to achieve:

    1. Very easy to verify authenticity & rareability. (If you think buying art is expensive, look into the cost that goes behind authenticating them)
    2. Very easy to own. (Traditional art pieces are difficult to preserve. One of the reasons the rich lend their art to museums)
    3. Very easy to trade. Makes it more likely that pieces you own would appreciate more, you can liquidate at convenience. (You can trade NFTs from your mobile, try doing that for traditional art pieces)
    4. Secure
    5. Very easy to show-off
    1. 1

      Re 1.
      I could take your post and mint it. I could take a Prince song and mint it. So the act of creating an NFT itself doesn’t provide any authentication.

      Let’s say I’ve got a song, send it around to a few people. One of them mints it before I do it myself.

      So it still requires old school trust in the seller, just like in the “old world”.

  5. 2

    I worked for Microsoft when we were making the first versions of Internet Explorer for the new WWW. People said, "why on Earth would I want a website?". At that time you could buy any domain name you wanted but people said, "there are so many words in the English language". Same thing for mobile apps when people said, "it won't work on such a little screen". Call me an idiot for listening to the doubters as I watched a lot of it go by without seizing those moments.
    Blockchain is a concept that enables DAPPs (distributed applications) to use programmatic "contracts" that are independent of any third-party companies (like banks) to oversee transactions. There is no question that this democratization of free marketplaces (a loosly defined term for contracts) is emerging in a huge way. It's a new paradigm that few experts doubt will become a new world for interaction. Personally, I believe that it will become bigger than the current world of commerce enabled by existing monolithic financial institutions (who will fight it tooth and nail and speak poorly of it in the press until they find a way to retake their position of advantage within Blockchain).
    NFTs are digital representations of things you can own. They are as real as Bitcoin and Ether on Ethereum. They are as real as a hundred dollar bill or a baseball card. Why would anyone assign value to something virtual and "made up" like Bitcoin? The answer is a simple as why people assign value to dollar bills. Why is my photocopy of a baseball card not as valuable as the $5,000,000 rookie Mickey Mantle card just sold? They both look the same. I can even print it on the same paper so it's indistinguishable. But it IS different and I don't own the original. The difference is my position as owner. Prestige. Exclusivity. And the amount someone else would pay me for it. Perhaps it's hard to explain why a baseball card is worth so much but we "kinda" get it if we don't ask too many hard questions.
    Are digital goods real? Cartoons? Videos? Digital Art? I recently waited in line on NBA Top Shot for the chance to purchase a video clip of a basketball play. While I waited I could watch the clip play and so could everyone else. In fact anyone, anywhere, at anytime could watch the clip on YouTube. But there I was, in line waiting to buy the NFT of the video clip, along with over 200,000 other people who also wanted a chance to give their money to own the NFT of the clip. 190,000 of us lost out when the clip sold out. Now, the owner of that clip can sell it to anyone who wants it for a much higher price. Or they can just hold it and experience the prestige and exclusivity as they speculate that the value will go up and up as it seems to be doing. As we speak some cards are selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    There is a small leap of belief that takes place with NFTs. Imagine someone from long ago watching a movie for the first time. They'd look at the screen and say, "is that real?". After a moment they forget it's just light flickering on a wall and just enjoy the story. That's what it's like with NFTs. For a moment you'll ask youself, "is that real", and then once you are past that moment you will never ask the question again. I encourage everyone to get past that moment as fast as you can.
    NFTs, Blockchain, and an entirely new paradagm is emerging. Whatever company becomes the store for virtual items may surpass Amazon some day. If you don't believe me take a look at OpenSea.io. If you want to see NFTs flying off the virtual shelves take a look at NBATopShot.com or their maker DapperLabs.com.
    Hope this helps all of you fellow IndieHackers out there and good luck!

  6. 2

    I didn't get this at first either but I've been getting really deep into crypto lately so I think I can explain how an NFT works at the technical level.

    At the fundamental level the blockchain solves one problem really well. Transfer of ownership. In other words it's a way to prove that something has changed hands from one "wallet" to another.

    This concept is key, a crypto wallet is nothing more than an ID and a private key. If you hold the private key, you own the wallet. By itself, at wallet is useless, but the moment a transaction occurs on the blockchain between two wallets you now have verifiable proof that some amount of crypto has changed hands.

    Some cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have a limited supply. There will only ever be a finite supply of about 21 million in existence. Some of the other cryptos like Dogecoin are inflationary. In other words, new tokens are issued all the time and dilute the supply. Kind of like the US dollar :) This scarcity is one of the reasons why the value of Bitcoin tends to go up and Dogecoin doesn't (among other reasons).

    NFT's are cryptos that take the scarcity idea to the next level. An NFT is essentially a crypto coin with a supply of just one (or very few).

    390bc8dc-8a4f-44a9-8c6d-af83a9e0297c

    For illustration purposes, imagine the above GUID was an NFT. This GUID is unique. There'll never be another one generated exactly like it in the world. I created this GUID and it's mine.

    Of course, it's just a piece of text. A small amount of data inside a computer. Anyone can make a copy of it and keep a copy of it for themselves to look at and ponder.

    But if I take this GUID and put it on the blockchain as an NFT I've now got verifiable proof in my crypto wallet that I own it. (which, btw costs a little bit of Etherium to process the transaction). I can keep this virtual certificate of authenticity in my wallet or I can sell it.

    Of course, just putting a random bit of data on the blockchain doesn't automatically give it value. It does however prove that it originated in my wallet that can't be disputed.

    Now, imagine somebody more famous creates a unique piece of digital art. By putting it on the blockchain they are essentially "signing" it with their crypto wallet. Whenever the "ownership" changes hands, being able to verify that it started it's life in the original artists wallet is enough proof to give it real world value.

  7. 2

    I've also had trouble understanding the NFT space, but I've found it easier to understand by comparing them to physical-world equivalents.

    I wrote a thread that I think helps break them down in terms of what they are and what they are not: https://twitter.com/stephsmithio/status/1366854372571848704

    Honestly, every time I learn more about crypto, I find that I'm not only learning about crypto, but moreso the oddities in the "real world" (AKA non-digital world).

  8. 2

    Another hyped product for people to buy. Someone is manipulating trends and it's always to make people buy in a panic.

  9. 2

    Another fad, scam crap, NFT is a digital signature stored on a block chain.

  10. 2

    Atm, it looks like digital-art NFTs are:

    1. status seeking
    2. huge experiment
    3. not rational to invest in

    Strengths of (current versions') NFTs are elsewhere.

    NFTs being trustless protocol:

    • imagine NFT platform which presents certificates of genuinity of luxury goods or art (real-world),
    • another use case is supply-chain (you buy from a grocery store which shows that has potatoes from farmer X),
    • in general - any kind of certification is use case here,
    • or just testimonials for your product (how often you see a product which testimonials cannot be verified?)

    Tech looks disappointing, yet its strength is being trustless

    1. 2

      I've been thinking about the same use case for NFTs as proof of customer testimonials in the future. Not just for product, but for services or even companies. It's not as glamorous as digital art etc but has significantly more practical value. Amazon reviews has been most reliable until late (https://www.theverge.com/2020/10/2/21497416/amazon-crack-down-fraudulent-reviews-facebook-wechat-groups)
      Issues with faking reviews create demand for review authentication. Could be a great biz idea ;)

      1. 1

        Definitely! :)

        Any opinions or news auth could be huuge nowadays

        Interesting article, btw
        It's most often race between "guards" and "abusers" of (any) system

  11. 2

    About NFT

    • Manage the title/certificate for a digital thing via an open, append-only database that someone else runs is the base layer.
      +Once people agree that this is the title for some IP, developers can write contracts that deal with intellectual property in Js rather than legalese. (Huge, empty space that very few folks are building on) you couldn't write a futures contract for a WoW character.

    • All the recent hype is people chasing greater fools.

    • Lowering the floor - imagine every contract creator has the same access to IP protection and DRM that Beyonce has, enforced programmatically. Creates massive avenues for value creation. Ignore tokens here.
      +Lifting the ceiling - people want to gamble, why shouldn't people be able to build complex financial tools based on IP? All the token stuff goes here

  12. 2

    I think it is good for artists to sell their work as original and the NFT is the authenticity verification. Sure you can copy the original, but if you don’t have an NFT then you don’t own it. It is also useful for game collectibles which could then be traded.

    Now where it becomes interesting is what the Cardano blockchain wants to implement: cross chain exchange of tokens transparently. Imagine you go to buy a coffee and you want to pay with a WoW item you got. You pay with it to the coffee store and the store gets USD or EUR or a token they prefer. In the middle of the payment, your collectible token was sold to someone that was willing to buy it and exchanged for the currency that the store was accepting. All transparently handled by the blockchain.

  13. 1

    They are a lot more fragile than most people realise, see Jonty Wareing's thread on NFT references to works https://twitter.com/jonty/status/1372163423446917122

    one chilling comment in the replies:
    _ I've already in my very limited search found some NFTs with IPFS resources that are no longer hosted anywhere._

    Nothing about an NFT guarantees there will not be a copy of the original artwork nor is there a guarantee someone won't fake the NFT - how are you querying those items on the blockchain? One of my big peeves with people talking up blockchain in general as owning your data is that in most cases it's only accessed through a proprietary app and you'd have no idea if there is SQL behind it or a chain.

    (insert obligatory climate rant)

    I have some self-interest here as I'm proposing an alternative structure to this in Touchgram. Because the digital work is only played back within our app, we have more control over having associated logic and signing travel with it.

  14. 1

    I see no value in this whatsoever. We can't start comparing real physical art with the visible strokes of the artist to pixels. There is absolutely no way to imitate the former no matter how precise the replica. It suffers the passage of time, you can't back it up. It'll burn with your house and drown with your boat.

    Sounds like some people want to make an easy buck placing value on something that doesn't have it. Complete scam.

    1. 1

      Here's an alternative: IP sharing. Divide the digital good into x fixed ownership slots and sell them. When someone pays rights to use, all parties get their share. So if the IP really holds any value, it'll be reflected in the price and it will raise the value of the slot. The slot can be bought/sold by its owner.

  15. 1

    Hey Allen I guess you didn't quite understood the idea behind nft. So one analogy is that as in physical world one asset like a painting can belong to single person that way we can't do in digital as you can just replicate .BUT nfts provide a way that this token or Id can only be owned by one person at a time and you can prove this to anybody.
    Also this is not a central thing where someone can take control of system and can do fraud with this token as blockchains are decentralized and extremly secure.
    Hope this help

  16. 1

    On the face of it, a few thousand creators swapping tokens for their art is not going to make a big splash. However the concepts behind it might have a big impact on the world of work. The issue of NFTs enables a more direct relationship between buyer and seller, reducing the need for intermediaries. Of course new intermediaries will pop-up to replace the old ones, but using tokens to allocate equity in creative and other projects is promising in my view.

    I think Mirror.xyz is interesting, a community-owned publishing platform. The community votes for writers to be invited to the platform, who then hold $Write tokens, making them co-owners.

  17. 1

    NFTs may very well be the tipping point to mass adoption that blockchain has been waiting for. As Indie Hackers we should start thinking in terms of business opportunities. I'm sure we all know this parable by now but during a gold rush sell shovels.

  18. 1

    It points to the original, much like a Canonical link, and that database of original links is decentralized versus one company owning it.

    Canonical link element:
    A canonical link element is an HTML element that helps webmasters prevent duplicate content issues in search engine optimization

  19. 1

    It's already possible to put a unique row in a database, and lock down access to it.

    This same argument can be used with respect to dollars (or yen, pesos, drachma or dinars.) vs Bitcoin (or other crypto currency). The former group is a row in a database and the latter is part of a decentralized global ledger.

    Depending on how much you trust the database owner and how much you value decentralization, you could see a the 2nd group as having a tremendous advantage or none at all.

  20. 1

    What’s the difference between an NFT and regular etherium transaction?

  21. 1

    I bought my first NFT piece about 3 weeks ago on Nifty Gateway and now found myself swallowed in the deep end with 15 pieces in my collection after a lot of buying and selling.

    The first thing is to realize that not all NFTs are equal, and >90% of the stuff that's being minted now will be worthless in years if not months. A lot of people are jumping on the NFT train as a cash grab, and comparisons have been made with baseball cards in the 90s, where so many new cards were printed to the point where the cards were not even worth the cardboard they're printed on.

    With that in mind, NFTs given birth to a new economy of digital and music artists, allowing them to bypass layers of management and middlemen to directly access a new revenue stream. Forbes has recently written about 3Lau (a DJ and an early adopter in the NFT space) generated 11.7M in his recent NFT auction, setting records left and right: https://www.forbes.com/sites/abrambrown/2021/03/03/3lau-nft-nonfungible-tokens-justin-blau/?sh=1844ae624643

    There's also a lot of innovation with how NFTs are being released. Here I wrote about how the latest drop from little-known artist toomuchlag was able to net 1.2M in sales in just 5 minutes: https://twitter.com/Wagomon/status/1367913772224901122

    Why are some people willing to pay tens of thousands, if not millions, for a NFT piece? Seeing NFTs as a store-of-value with a potentially high ROI is definitely a part of it, but it's also the same reason why people would pay millions for a ripped up piece of work from Banksy: the value of art and collectibles are subjective, and people (esp. those with high net worth) simply buy what they like.

    I highly suggest checking out Nifty Gateway, which is the easiest way for non-crypto folks to dive into the world of digital art NFTs. Prices on the platform have recently skyrocketed to the point where most new collectors are now prices out and/or losing money(!), but the platform has a great community of collectors, and you'll find yourself trying to catch every new drop once you've made an investment in your first piece.

    1. 1

      With that in mind, NFTs given birth to a new economy of digital and music artists, allowing them to bypass layers of management and middlemen to directly access a new revenue stream.<

      This is something I hear a lot but isn’t actually a problem that needed solving because it was already solved.

      You can upload your Song to Spotify for 10$ without a record label taking a cut.

      You can upload your track to Bandcamp and charge any price you want. You can sell one “original” for 1m$ and send the buyer a handwritten certificate in the Post.

      You can set up a Shopify shop for your art, charge whatever you want and pay no more than the credit card fees.

      You can run an eBay auction for your art.

      The reason people bother with “middlemen” is not for pure distribution reasons, it’s for marketing/visibility reasons.

      These will continue to apply for NFTs.

  22. 1

    It's hard to get it without hanging a $100K painting on your wall, as others mentioned "sign of status and wealth", if it's not a painting $100K watch.

    For all those digital copiers, we soon may have digital displays that only shows the original pieces. They are already unique and this way you can prove the ownership to gain bragging rights. If that doesn't make sense, print the mona lisa and slam it to your wall.

    Also a new market to exchange digital money instead of letting it sleep. Other than that, how cryptokitties brought more attention to ethereum in the first place, this is the second phase.

    For me it's about "Look we don't need governments, we don't needs authorities. Ditch the USD and come to us."

  23. 1

    My take: They are an interesting new primitive, but the current mainstream use cases are level 0. The real potential is in gaming and other digital experiences.

    At its core, what the blockchain provides is a certified timestamp. Because each NFT is uniquely identified, this enables them to have immutable properties and traceable history of ownership. The combination of unique ID, timestamps, and immutable attributes provide a foundation to build on.

    Having an NFT allows you to send it to another wallet, enter it into a contract, or interact with a digital experience that affords you functionality/utility because you have it.

    When a digital experience assigns functionality to an NFT, what it's really doing is assigning utility to the NFT's contract. That contract specifies the quantity that can be minted & its various attributes. The digital experience can "trustlessly" design (game) mechanics that rely on these properties. This is important because value in any economy is a combination of scarcity and utility. An NFT's scarcity-related attributes are in its immutable contract, so complementary utility can be designed & granted by third-parties.

    The biggest challenge here is designing digital economies that can take advantage of these properties. It's a different paradigm, and you can't just slap NFT onto an existing economy that wasn't built for them. I mean, you can, but it would be a gimmick.

    The use case of owning an image or video is fairly weak in comparison. FWIW, the most compelling arguments I've heard there are:

    1. Street cred among an in-group for actually having the certificate
    2. Someone could theoretically incorporate that asset into a digital experience in the future
    3. Speculative value

    An example of media ownership that is fairly compelling is in something like music. In the music industry, artists take 6–8 months to receive the cash for their streams. They could instead, sell the rights to their music as NFTs, receive cash now from their fans, and the fans would be routed the funds for the streams when they come in. The royalty payer could deposit funds in a wallet, and the contract would automatically distribute it to all owners—without an intermediary. If you sold your NFT share of the music, the new owner would automatically receive the next distribution of funds. You are supporting your favorite artist, and speculating on the value of the music long-term, like a stock.

    Source: I spent about 18 months pretty deep in this space from 2019–2020. I worked with professional game designers from companies like Disney and Magic The Gathering, who were deeply immersed in the challenges of designing a game that truly harnessed NFTs.

  24. 1

    I think you have the gist of Courtland.

    Reasons they're catching fire:

    Unique - one of a kind token verified by blockchain
    Copyright - if you choose to, the token can be verified on the block chain and you'd have complete copyright to use the 'thing'
    Rare - in terms of a limited amount
    Collectible - price will rise, because of scarcity, and the item itself hard to dilute
    Downloadable - owner of the NFT can download the content
    Immutable - can't change the metadata of the token. Will never change.
    Forever - data doesn't change on the blockchain. Hold or sell it in the future.
    Re-sellable - like any other collectable, it can always be re-sold.

    People can still copy and download it - why is it still valuable?
    Because if I own that image, I hold the true value, everyone else who copies it doesn't, but they are contributing to sharing the image, hopefully making it viral.. but remember "I" hold its true value.

  25. 1

    Some of the comments are getting a little off topic here and distracted by the various players involved in the art and collectibles world (ie., why having the "original" matters is probably a conversation about the nature of art itself, not NFTs). If you can get past that, I think this quote from the new york times pretty much sums it up:

    NFTs cleverly respond to the art world’s need for authentication and provenance in an increasingly digital world, permanently linking a digital file to its creator. It makes digital artworks unique, and therefore, sellable.

    So, I don't know if NFTs are a totally world changing concept, but at the very least they do appear to be a good solution to this one problem.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/arts/design/christies-beeple-auction-blockchain-art.html

  26. 1

    Building a discord where we chat about nft. Bunch of people joined

    If you want to check it here’s a link https://discord.gg/zjmrF8qj

  27. 1

    I think there are a few uses for NFTs:

    1. Collectible
    2. Investment
    3. Flex (status signal)

    NFTs expand the possibilities for each of those uses. If you don't already collect pokemon cards, invest in alternative assets, or wear designer clothes, then yeah you probably won't use the digital equivalents.

    For some creators, NFTs could make a huge difference. Digital artists are the obvious example, but let's focus on musicians since it's a bigger market. Musicians could release their songs as NFTs, which might allow them to survive with less true fans. Currently, record labels buy the master rights to musicians songs and pay the musicians a cash advance. This is a terrible deal for the musician if they become popular. Instead of the record label capturing that value, NFTs could give it to the musician and their top fans. Imagine if I was an OG Taylor Swift fan and I paid her to have the only NFT of "Love Story".

    That being said... most people right now seem to be buying NFTs as a short term investment, which is significantly less interesting.

  28. 1

    The key insight for me is that yes NFT's are ridiculous...but the art market is itself ridiculous if you think about it. Yeah I own this jpg image which you can just copy so why is mine valuable? It shouldn't be. It's stupid.
    But the original Mona Lisa will sell for a much bigger price than even an exact replica. For me this too is ridiculous and is only normalized because people have been doing it for eons.
    tldr: It's dumb but there are lots of dumb ppl willing to pay and have been throughout history. So ask yourself how you can benefit from it either by making an NFT, trading/investing in an NFT, or building tools around this growing ecosystem :)

  29. 1

    I liken it to a certificate of authenticity often used in memorabilia collection. I have a Michael Jordan autographed basketball that is valued as having his signature because I have a certificate to verify that he actually signed it. This certificate separates it from just a regular basketball with his signature stamped on it. NFTs are the digital interpretation of this concept.

  30. 1

    I think they are an interesting concept for artists and collectibles. Traditional artist are able to create unique paintings that sell for larger sums, while selling prints of the original works. This is much more difficult to "sell" for digital arts. With an NFT, it's theoretically possible then attribute a value to the original works (or even a single edition print-out of the work) that allows them to participate in creating things of value that others can own, collect and resell for profit.

    I've started looking into NFTs personally in the last month, listed my first collection on OpenSea (waiting for it to be approve >:[ ) and I have to say it's going to go through an explosive period of being a fad, followed by a crash. My hope is that after the hype cycle it yield some interesting new means of valuing digital works.

  31. 1

    NTFS (New Technology File System) is a proprietary journaling file system developed by Microsoft. Starting with Windows NT 3.1, it is the default file system of the Windows NT family.

    1. 7

      I think you're missing something.

  32. 1

    Good intro guide to NFTs
    https://justincone.com/posts/nft-skeptics-guide/
    I recommend this article about NFT art. It's well written from the perspective of an open minded skeptic. He explains the technology a bit, and the psychology of why people value the NFTs.

    Historical Analogy
    I think there is an analogy from history that may help some people understand how these imaginary digital tokens have monetary value. There was this society that used giant stone discs as their money.

    The ownership of a large stone, which would be too difficult to move, was established by its history as recorded in oral tradition, rather than by its location. Thus a change of ownership was effected by appending the transfer to the oral history of the stone
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rai_stones

    The oral tradition of the stones is analogous to the blockchain records of the NFTs.

    There is this NPR story about the stones https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2011/02/15/131934618/the-island-of-stone-money

    Like the stones, the NFTs have value because the everyone agrees that they have value. It's the same psychology that gives our paper money value. If people stop believing in the value of the NFTs, they will be worthless.

    For a recent example of people losing faith in the value of an item, look at Beanie Babies.

    Environmental Cost of Blockchain Technology

    There have been concerns raised about the environmental costs of blockchain tech. It consumes a lot of electricity which creates CO2. And it creates eWaste via discarded mining equipment (old/slower computers being thrown in the trash).

    There are various parties trying to develop more energy efficient blockchain tech, but from what I have seen it's all "coming soon".

    There are also people who have raised counter-arguments against the electricity usage. The arguments that I have read are along the lines of:

    • Mining can be done using electricity which would have otherwise gone to waste. The example being: at nighttime, a hydro-plant creates more energy than the local consumers use. This excess energy can sold to crypto-miners.
    • Miners will move their equipment to where ever the electricity is cheapest, which will incentivize producers to find ways to lower their production costs.

    I only read one counter-argument, but I smelled some BS. The author was highly speculative and rosey-eyed in his conclusions. The largest offense was when he argued that crypto will accelerate the invention of a fusion power generator.

    My Take on NFTs

    I would like to participate in the market, but at the same time I don't want to. I like the concept of being able to create and sell digital art. But I'm concerned about the environmental costs.

  33. 1

    Personally, I think this is the future for wide spread adoption of blockchain, not cryptocurrency.

    "Digital goods" are becoming "digital assets". People increasingly see digital goods as just as valuable as real life goods, and they can appreciate in value. The best example of this I can think of is a domain name. In respect to existing NFTs, if Grimes passed away tomorrow, the value of the NFT art she created would sky rocket. NFTs will be the basis for a growing class of "digital investment assets."

  34. 1

    The main thing about NFTs is the ability to make art accessible for everyone. Most people today feel completely detached from the art/fine art world and this new space provides opportunity for graphic designers, digital illustrators, programmers etc to add value to their work.

    It's okay to be unimpressed, some things just aren't for everyone but people obsessing over money are missing the point to be quite frank.

  35. 1

    It's going to make digital scarcity possible, so far people have spent billions in art and now there's proof attached to it. It's going to make everyone want to be an artist.

  36. 1

    From my novice-level understanding of it, NFTs enable:

    1. Scarcity, because you can prove that a file is the "original".
    2. Proof of authorship, because there's a record of who the author is in the blockchain.

    And in turn, they allow original digital artwork to grow in value with every resale (because of scarcity) and allow the original author to be compensated with EVERY resale. (because there's proof of authorship).

    The hype seems to be mainly around original digital art, and art here can be in any format, e.g. audio, video, image, etc. For simplicity, let's assume they're all files. So...

    Before NFT:

    • The concept of an "original" file doesn't exist, because anything can be copied.
    • So it's not possible to "collect" original digital art.
    • Once a file is created and sold, it can be copied and resold to infinity, without the artist seeing any profit beyond the first sale.

    With NFT:

    • You can identify the original file because blockchain can prove it.
    • So collectors can collect original digital art because now there's scarcity, and that art can be resold at a profit (just like non-digital collectibles).
    • And now, EVERY TIME it is resold, the original artist gets a % of the sale because there's a record of who the original artist is.
    1. 1

      Scarcity isn’t the right word. Every file is an identical copy, even the NFT owner’s. Unless you have, like, the physical hard drive to which it was first written.

      1. 2

        From what I understand, once you "mint" an NFT, there is only one copy of that NFT. You can copy the image/video/whatever, but there's only one copy of the NFT, which gives it the scarcity.

        Unless I'm wrong about how NFT works?

        1. 1

          The phrases "copy" and "original" might be more confusing than revealing here. Every file on your computer is a copy. When you move something to a flash drive, you're creating a copy. When you visit a webpage, you're getting a copy. The "original" doesn't really exist in any meaningful sense.

          My specific knowledge of crypto is shakier, so take with a grain of salt, but here's my understanding:

          Blockchains are distributed, so it doesn't really make sense to talk about "copies" of individual NFTs. I like to think of the blockchain instead as a giant spreadsheet, of which lots of people have copies. For Bitcoin, there might be a row for each person and the amount of money they have. For NFTs, there might be a row for each file (identified by its hash or whatever) and the person that owns it. When you buy an NFT, what really happens is a lot of people agree "okay, we'll put your name in this file's owner column on this gigantic spreadsheet we all share."

          So in the sense that the blockchain will let you verify which owner controls a given token, you're correct — there is scarcity. But it's not related to an "original" file.

          1. 2

            Ok, let's not use the word copy but the term "unique" instead.

            Each NFT is unique. There are no two NFTs with the same token number on the same blockchain.

            So an NFT's scarcity comes from the fact that it is unique. There is only one such token. And only one person can own that token.

            If an NFT becomes highly desirable, then that's when it can fetch a high price during trade.

  37. 1

    I know someone made 5 grand in their first month with an NFT price alert checker

  38. 1

    I would like to create one ( as NFT art) just to get the gist of it, but I haven't thought straight about how to achieve that. I like the fact of the unique side of them.
    I think it's a valuable thing. I only can imagine that can be the end of fake music tickets for example. Am I wrong?

    1. 1

      I did just this - I'm selling a 1x1 pixel (in Arctic white). Cost me about $50 to list it in Gas fees (hot air): A Pixel in Arctic White

  39. 1

    I like this article that puts a bit of context around NFTs. Also, you should take a look at Showtime which is for me the most exciting and ambitious project in the NFTs space (basically they are trying to replace Facebook & Instagram).

  40. 1

    I think it’s something like this:

    In the same way that a $10 bill separates the value from the work, so you can earn money doing one thing and spend it doing another thing...quite useful.

    An NFT separates the value from the creation of a digital file. So it’s a bit like money, except it can change in value independent if other items.

    But I’m still confused about it .

  41. 1

    Good question. The big difference is that you can get paid part of the selling price every time the item sells on the market again.

  42. 1

    I was asking similar questions a few days ago. I’m also trying to figure out the NFT mechanics. I still think they are weird.

    You have the gist of it but you might have a few details incorrect. For instance it’s the NFT that you sell not the original file, at least that’s my impression. From the other thread:

    There’s not really such a thing as “the original file”

  43. 1

    While the seller can go on to sell the original item to someone else, the original owner can still gain commission. Say I create a graphic, and I want to sell it for 1 eth but I want to put 10% revenue on the item. The item is then sold to someone, and they own all the rights but they want to resell it. They resell for 1.5 eth. The original creator would then get a 10% commission on that sale. Then, the new buyer wants to sell and sells for 2 eth. Again, the original creator will get 10% of that sale as well.

    It will basically snowball, and the creator can keep on earning while the sellers keep on selling.

    1. 1

      That's a good point about the original owner / creator getting paid backwards. Not mandatory to be like that (afaik ) but have heard it as an option. Each owner in the chain could likewise add their own cut (not heard that yet, but why not) on future sales.

  44. 1

    I think it's a collectors item like most art. If you can tell a cool story about an image to your friends, you get status, justifying whatever you paid for it. You can say you own it, which also makes you feel good. You also get social creds for being a patron, and being part of the "NFT movement."

    The artists are heavily incentivized to use the system, so that's why it might continue to be a thing into the future.

  45. 1

    Feeling the same about NFT's lately @csallen! I am trying so hard to read and understand about it.

    Just last week I started reading about crypto, somehow managed to learn technical jargons like pullback and invested into Cardano and Ethereum through investing app.

    Now, the market is off into NFT's. Funny how market equilibrium just keeps shifting lol.

    If anyone has good understanding of the same, please share it down below! I am trying to learn how to invest into NFT's too.

    1. 1

      Are you looking to collect or sell? No clear answer for either but it's important to note the current circumstance of high fees and the fact ETH was half the price it is now just before Christmas. Don't get sucked in and make sure to do research if you do decide to go ahead - the space is already starting to seem extremely saturated with people looking to make a quick coin. People who have been in the game for a while now are wise to this.

      1. 1

        I'm actually new to this but mostly looking to collect. But thanks for the advice!

  46. 0

    You're not missing anything.

    NFTs are exactly like how collected art is a proxy for fungible currency. Like money, it's worth what someone will pay for it.

    People collecting art won't pay unless you can prove the provinance of your object. And you won't accept fiat currency like USD for your objects unless you believe other people still believe that USD is valuable. It's the collective willingness to hallucinate this value that keeps world trade moving, for better or worse.

    The difference with NFTs is that you're swapping out something you can hold in your hands for something you have to destroy the world to create.

    To which I say: fuck NFTs.

    Even if they aren't just the next ICO scheme frenzy, do you really want blood on your hands?

  47. 0

    That's just a repackaging of Ethereum vaporware to get more retail money to pour in so Consensys can make some cash selling blockchain consultancy to a bunch of companies that want in on the NFT fad.

    it was called ERC-721 (or some other close number).

    Really there's nothing new except that it is now running in "blockchains" that are even more centralized than Ethereum.

    It is mostly a PR stunt bringing it back, as the initial issues are all there plus more, but there is some money to be made from naive retail investors as well as VCs and others who might not have a proper due dilligence. So if you know some javascript, go write some ERC-721 contracts, put some gas in it and make a buck. But it won't be around for more than a year (in 2017 there were ICOs like that too, nowhere to be found)

    The idea does sound good on paper and has been around for multiple years, starting with the colored coins idea.

    Don't even waste your time on that, digital scarcity already exists and it's called bitcoin. For all other usecases you're much better off using proper applied cryptography in clever ways than some shiny blockchain that has 3 nodes.

  48. 2

    This comment was deleted 2 months ago.

    1. 1

      If company A sells you a pen saying it's 1 in a 100 copies made, you just have to take their word for it and trust them. However, company A is in control here, not you. At any given moment they can decide to make more than 100 pens and sell them. Heck, they could even have been lying to you from the start about only having made 100 pens. You can't verify that.
      The value of anything comes from the market. It's all supply vs demand. Until now, we didn't have any sure fire way of proving that supply, so the value of something was determined by what people believe to be true about that something, not what is actually true.

      NFTs still require the exact same trust as in your pen company example. I can mint an edition of 100 of my song. And nothing can stop me from minting another 100, just like the pen company can make another 100 pens.

      Yes it will be easier to identify bad players, but as such nothing changes from a trust perspective. You still have to believe that I won’t mint another batch.

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