Beginners Guide

Everything You Need To Know About The Fascinating World Of NFTs

Author: Qadir AK

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Qadir Ak is the founder of Coinpedia. He has over a decade of experience writing about technology and has been covering the blockchain and cryptocurrency space since 2010. He has also interviewed a few prominent experts within the cryptocurrency space.

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If you have been keeping up with the latest news, you’ve probably heard of the hype surrounding Non-Fungible Tokens, i.e., NFTs.

The NFT market has gained tremendous popularity among investors and collectors. Moreover, it is now one of the biggest emerging trends amongst youths and celebs across the globe.

Back in 2017, American company Larva Labs initiated CryptoPunks, a set of collectible digital characters traded using NFTs- a perfect beginning point for understanding the concept.

After that, in 2021, public attention toward NFTs exploded, and an increase in cryptocurrency prices may have contributed to its tremendous rise. We believe that the excitement around various cryptocurrencies, particularly the digital currency with great market capitalizations, has boosted NFT markets too.

But, back to the basics. What is an NFT in the first place? Join us as we delve deep into this exciting concept. Read on!

What is an NFT? 

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. They are data units representing a unique digital asset authenticated and stored on the blockchain.  

As the name suggests, ‘Non-Fungible’ refers to non-interchangeable, i.e., no two NFTs are the same but can be sold and traded. Hence, each token is identified uniquely. 

The Non-fungible tokens digitally represent any item, including online assets like digital artwork or real-world assets like real estate. These are primarily used to sell and buy digital artworks- GIFs, tweets, virtual trading cards, photographs of tangible goods, video game skins, and virtual real estate are just a few examples.

NFTs provide ownership characteristics that make it easy to identify and transfer tokens between holders. In NFTs, owners can add metadata or attributes related to the asset.

  • The NFT ERC-721 standard spawned and defined the basic interface—ownership details, security, and metadata—required to exchange and distribute gaming tokens. 
  • It was developed by some of the same people that created the ERC-20 smart contract. 
  • The ERC-1155 standard expands on the notion by lowering transaction and storage costs for non-fungible tokens and batching many non-fungible tokens into a single contract.

NFT markets are decentralized exchanges that leverage a blockchain to allow users to build and trade with one another.

NFT Collectibles are valuable items that collectors seek and purchase. Collectors might range from short-term traders to crypto billionaires who enjoy accumulating unique items such as art, music, video, sport, and games.

What are ERC-721 and ERC-1155?

ERC-721

The ERC-721 establishes a standard for NFT, i.e., this form of token is unique from others in the same Smart Contract and can have a different value and cannot be interchanged. 

Each ERC-721 token has its contract values, such as a finely designed work of art or the ownership and identity information of a tokenized real-world commodity like a house. 

ERC-721s are robust in terms of immutability, ownership transparency, and security, despite their complete flexibility in creating a token. ERC-721 tokens are referred to as “non-fungible” because they are unique. 

ERC-1155

ERC-721 is excellent for creating unique assets but is transferred only one at a time, which slows down the efficiency. 

Here, HERC-1155 comes in, with its unique digital NFTs that allow for batch transfers of several tokens at once, at a faster rate than ERC-721.

 ERC-1155 tokens are commonly referred to as a “next-generation multi-token standard.” The technique here is “multi-token.” Enjin created the ERC-1155 protocol, which supports both non-fungible and fungible tokens.

With ERC1155, one can send multiple types of tokens in a single transaction, saving time and money. On top of the ERC1155 standard, it is also possible to create exchanges in the form of atomic swaps and escrows of several tokens. Now, the system no longer needs to authorize token contracts separately.

While NFTs seem to have appeared out of nowhere, they date back to 2012 and have a rich history associated with them. 

History of NFT

The year 2021 was the Year of NFTs in several aspects. A meteoric rise allowed producers to readily commercialize their work while also providing collectors with a convenient option to buy and store value. 

2012 

Meni Rosenfeld published a paper on December 4, 2012, establishing the idea of “Colored Coins,” issued on the blockchain. 

Colored Coins are a set of ways for representing and maintaining real-world assets on the blockchain, which can be used to prove asset ownership. They’re just regular Bitcoins with a mark determining what they can be used for.

Even though the concept of Colored Coins was never fulfilled due to Bitcoin’s restrictions, it laid the framework for future NFT experiments. 

2014

Kevin McCoy, a digital artist, minted the first-known NFT “Quantum” on May 3, 2014. Quantum is a pixelated octagon with a variety of shapes that pulse fascinatingly.

 The one-of-a-kind Quantum art sculpture sold for almost $1.4 million at a Sotheby’s auction on November 28, 2021.

2015

The Ethereum blockchain was introduced in 2014, and its platform went live on July 30, 2015, ushering in a new era for NFTs. The Ethereum network introduced a set of token specifications that enabled developers to create their tokens.

2016 

It was the beginning of Ethereum’s dominance over NFTs and had pioneered the issuance of game assets through their platform. 

Finally, the meme era began in 2016 with the Counterparty platform’s release of Rare Pepe NFTs.  

It was never meant to serve as storage for these alternative tokens. However, many Bitcoin users objected to using valuable block space to store tokens that indicated image ownership. This effectively marked the start of NFTs migrating to the Ethereum blockchain.

2017

The Larva Labs studio, a two-person firm consisting of Canadian software developers Matt Hall and John Watkinson, launched a project in June 2017 known as Cryptopunk. 

It was the only one that used the ERC-20 to launch (ERC-721 hadn’t been introduced yet), yet many in the NFT sector refer to it as a combination of the ERC-20 and ERC-721 standards.

CryptoKitties, a 2017 online game, was monetized by selling transferable cat NFTs, and its popularity raised awareness of NFTs.

2019-2020

Decentraland was the first to enter this field with its decentralized Ethereum-based VR platform (MANA). Gamers could explore, develop, play games, acquire objects, and more in Decentraland. 

Three trademark applications for NFTs were filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2020. 

2021

The Future of NFTs unfolded this year. Other Blockchains, like Cardano, Solana, Tezos, Flow, and others, entered the play with their own versions of NFTs. In addition, new rules were introduced to assure people that the digital assets represented are genuinely unique. 

The buying spree at the start of the second quarter of 2021 was so incredible that the mainstream media frequently predicted a massive bubble set to collapse. Similarly, the fourth quarter saw a considerable increase in NFT demand, particularly in the Metaverse field.  

Characteristics of NFTs

  • Limited: The scarcity of NFTs adds to their value. Creators can generate a finite number of non-fungible tokens, and they frequently alter the tokens to promote interest.
  • Indivisible: Unlike Cryptocurrencies, NFTs can’t be broken down into smaller units. Unless you pay the full price of a digital item, you will not be able to use it.
  • Unique: NFTs include a strong information tab that discusses what makes them special. This data is highly genuine and authentic.
  • Ownership: The ownership of the asset transmitted is guaranteed by these tokens
  • Fraud Proof: They are easily transferable and unaffected by fraud.

How Does An NFT Work? 

NFTs are stored on a blockchain, a decentralized public ledger that keeps track of every transaction. 

It allows for the transfer or claim of ownership of any unique piece of digital data, which can be tracked using Ethereum’s blockchain as a public ledger. Minting of an NFT is simply done by digital objects assigned for representing digital or non-digital assets such as below,

  • Digital Art: GIFs, Collectibles, Music, Videos.
  • Real-World Items: Deeds to a car, Tickets to a real-world event, Tokenized invoices, Legal documents, Signatures
  • Lots and lots more options to get creative with

At a time, an NFT can only have one owner. The unique ID and metadata that no other token can replicate are used to manage ownership. Smart contracts that assign ownership and govern the transferability of NFTs are used to create them.

When someone generates or mints an NFT, they execute a code from smart contracts that follow various standards, such as ERC-721. 

The minting process includes the following steps:

  • Adding a new block to the game
  • Information verification
  • Incorporating data onto the blockchain

How Can You Create Your Own NFT? 

More and more people are creating NFTs in the hopes of earning from the current fad.

Here’s a step-by-step method of making (or minting) an NFT. 

  1. Pick your item 

You’ll need to figure out what kind of unique digital item you’d like to convert into an NFT. It might be a bespoke painting, photograph, song, collectible video game, meme, GIF, or even a tweet.

  1. Choose your Blockchain

After you’ve chosen your one-of-a-kind digital asset, you can begin minting it into an NFT. The first step is to decide the blockchain technology you’ll employ for your NFT. Ethereum is the most popular among NFT artists and creators. However, Tezos, Polkadot, Cosmos, and Binance Smart Chain are also prominent alternatives.

  1. Set up your digital wallet

Your digital assets will be accessible through the wallet. Metamask, Math Wallet, AlphaWallet, Trust Wallet, and Coinbase Wallet are among the most popular NFT wallets.


You’ll want to buy some cryptocurrencies once you’ve set up your digital wallet. For example, most NFT sites accept Ether. If you already have cryptocurrency, you’ll want to link it to your digital wallet so that you may create and trade NFTs with it.

  1. Select Your NFT Marketplace

It’s time to start making your NFT after you have a digital wallet and enough cryptocurrency. You’ll need to choose an NFT marketplace for this. OpenSea, Axie Marketplace, Larva Labs/CryptoPunks, NBA Top Shot Marketplace, Raible, SuperRare, Foundation, Nifty Gateway, Mintable, and ThetaDrop are some of the most popular NFT markets.

  1. Upload your profile

You’re now ready to begin the actual minting of a new NFT. Select New Item, upload your artwork, and include as many details as you wish. Click create when you’re ready to fire the trigger.

Congratulations, you’ve just finished creating a token! You can proceed to set up the sale process.

What is an NFT Marketplace?

The NFT marketplace is a digital marketplace similar to any eCommerce platform, where a token holder can store, sell, buy, and trade the token. 

The NFT Business Model is based on purchasing and selling unique non-fungible tokens relating to art, video, audio, and other forms on NFT marketplaces. 

A crypto wallet is required to transact at an NFT marketplace, as all transactions, including buying, selling, and storing NFTs, will be done through that crypto wallet.

The following are the five most renowned NFT marketplaces for Collectibles 

  • OpenSea– Huge NFT Marketplace that Accepts 150 more Coins
  • Rarible– Best NFT Platform to Discover New Creators
  •  NFT LaunchPad – Exclusive Home of Lucky Block Platinum Rollers Club
  • Crypto. Com – No Fees for Buying NFTs
  • Binance– Purchase NFT Mystery Boxes

Top exchanges that enable NFT token trading are: 

  • Binance – Best Bitcoin Exchange with Huge Asset Selection
  • Coinbase – Respected Cryptocurrency Exchange featuring Free Crypto Wallet
  • Kraken – Best Crypto Exchange for Staking
  • eToro – Overall Best Crypto Exchange with Low Trading Fees
  • Webull – Cheapest Crypto Exchange for Casual Investors

NFT usecases beyond Digital Artwork

Ensuring Authencity of Products

NFTs can be used to verify that the item you’re buying is genuine. Because the blockchain can keep information about a product forever, tangible objects will soon be able to be checked for uniqueness and validity. NFTs can also be used to keep track of information regarding the production process, ensuring that everything is done fairly.

Real Estate

Timestamped NFTs might be used to transfer land documents, offer ownership confirmation, and even track changes in property value over time. 

Medical Records and identity verification 

NFT ledgers can store an individual’s medical records without jeopardizing confidentiality or risking tampering with outside sources. This ensures that every record is accurate and secure from malicious attempts at manipulation. 

NFT Birth Certificates, for example, are a type of certificate that healthcare providers can give to newborns. Providing one of these NFTs to each child can be a quick and easy way to establish a lifelong identity on the blockchain linked to their birth certificate and then validated with NFT verification. 

Supply Chain

NFTs can also help organizations track their products from manufacturing to shipping and delivery. This lets customers see what they spend their money on while ensuring transparency in the supply chain. 

Gaming Industry

NFTs and the gaming business are a perfect combination. By permitting NFT cross-platform gameplay, NFTs may be integrated into the gaming world. In addition, NFTs provide game producers with a new method to spread their brand and generate cash, while players are more likely to continue playing a game if they already own characters or goods.

NFTs also make it easier to trade in games, which can boost their worth because NFT objects in games might vary in rarity. 

Metaverse 

The avatar in the Metaverse is an NFT. It can’t be taken from you, and it’s your true identity in the space. NFTs can also be used to acquire other folk’s NFT avatars. 

Benefits of NFTs 

There are numerous reasons why investors might wish to purchase assets that have been tokenized into NFTs.

  • Ownership: NFTs provide proof of ownership. Because NFTs are linked to a blockchain network, they can aid in identifying ownership. 
  • Authenticity: Non-fungible tokens’ value is primarily dependent on their uniqueness. The blockchain on which NFTs are placed is immutable, which ensures their authenticity.
  • Transferability: Because NFTs are built on smart contracts, adding the usage of smart contracts makes ownership transfers simple. Smart contracts set certain requirements between the buyer and seller that must be met before ownership transfers may be accomplished. 
  • Boost Inclusive Growth: Most significant, the creators’ chances for future royalty payments with NFTs imply phenomenal consequences for future growth. 

Future of NFT

NFTs are a fascinating invention that is gaining much attention as their usage grows. The attention-grabbing price tags on certain NFTs are adding fuel to the flames. 

While most of what we’ve seen in the NFT area so far has been tied to artwork, we’re sure to see many more applications in the following years.

The possibilities are endless, from obvious use cases like gaming and anything involving the metaverse to others like real estate, healthcare, and insurance. 

It’s evident that many major corporations are spending extensively on technology, and there’s a definite sense among some extraordinarily clever and well-resourced individuals that it will play a part in our future.

Conclusion

Go for it if you want to join the blockchain revolution and view NFT ownership as a viable option. However, do so in a responsible manner. For example, don’t invest much money in NFTs and always go for low-cost positions. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a difficult financial and emotional situation.

FAQ

How secure is an ERC721 NFT?

The smart contract you write to mint and transact determines the token’s security of the dApps that you create using ERC721 NFT.

How do NFT marketplaces work?

NFT markets are blockchain-based platforms where artists and designers may exhibit their work. Enthusiasts can bid on these NFTs in a time frame set by the seller, with the highest bidder receiving the artwork.

Why are some NFTs are worth million?

The answer is ownership. The scarcity of NFTs, as well as the strong demand for them among collectors and investors, has fueled a lot of interest in tokens.

What is Ethereum and how does it relate to NFTs?

Ethereum is the blockchain on which NFTs are supported such as the ERC-721 token standard. It allows NFT creators to store digital artifacts and tokens on this blockchain.

How can you earn royalties from NFT?

When your NFT creation is sold on a marketplace, you’ll get a percentage of the sale price as royalties. The payments for NFT royalties are made indefinitely and are carried out automatically through smart contracts.  

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