What on earth is an NFT?

 

OK, so after announcing that I had minted a few pieces of my art into NFTs, I have been asked but many people to explain this phenomenon. So..... this is a whole other world of extraordinary goings on; I will try to bring you up to speed to what I have learned in this very short space of time!

Evolution is about adapting and adopting the new, but not necessarily saying goodbye to the old. I often feel daunted by how fast technology is developing, keeping up to date just with new terminology makes me feel anxious as I worry about missing the next big thing. Cryptocurrencies is one such area, my husband and children seem to have taken an interest at an early stage and now talk about things like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Block Chains with a wealth of knowledge. Now, before you think that I am about to try to convince you about this world I am absolutely not, however you should be interested to know about the Crypto Art Phenomenon: Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT). You only have to Google NFT to see how big this is... 

 So here is my simplified explanation of what a Non- Fungible Token (NFT) is, and why I have decided to dip my toe into this digital world.

WHAT on earth is a Non- Fungible Token (NFT)?

An NFT is a collectible digital asset that exists (and is only tradeable) in the digital universe: you can't touch it, but you can own it!

An NFT can be any type of digital file: Artwork, Music, An Article or even a Meme.

Unlike normal digital files which can be reproduced downloaded and copied, an NFT cannot, that is because NFT items are bought and sold with a digital certificate, showing ownership of a unique virtual or physical asset that someone has produced and can only have one owner.

Put simply, it is an original and there will not be any copies

Why don’t you just make digital copies?

With NFTs, artists and art collectors are assured that the digital art they deal with is truly unique and they are the only true owner at that given time, unlike Digital copies which can be reproduced.

NFT’S are protected and made secure by blockchain technology (an incorruptible database that cannot be tampered with). An NFT includes a unique digital signature, which has information about who created the work, when it was create, and the conditions set for future sales.

How do you Buy and Sell NFTs? 

 

As I stated, NFTs are part of the Crypto Currency phenomena, and therefore are traded (bought and sold) with Crypto Currencies. Chances are you have heard of Bitcoin, but did you know there are thousands? The NFTs that I have minted are available for purchase using Ethereum which is the second most adopted Crypto, behind Bitcoin. Taking the step into opening an online Crypto wallet was a bit daunting but actually really easy - I wonder if in the future Crypto will replace case and money completely?

 Non-Fungible Token v a Fungible Token

Fungibility simply means that something is exchangeable. NFTs are 'minted' once created and therefore, as the name suggests are thereafter non-fungible. Technically, their value is in the rareness and fact that they are unique. It is this respect that an NFT is the same as a piece of original art. 

By minting a digital version of a piece of Art, this newly created NFT represents a digital original. It is represented as a digital picture secured by a unique set of code. 

 What about the physical original?

Producing an NFT does not devalue the original piece, they are different representations. Moreover, some may suggest that it raises the value, this is because if the NFT gains value in the future virtual space, it will inevitably drive interest in the physical original. 

See my NFT collection here on Open Sea: 

Nautical by Samantha Frances Art - Collection | OpenSea

Conclusion

An NFT, like original art is subjective and sales are not guaranteed- many pieces do not sell or sell for very little cryptocurrency.

However, with the ever-increasing developments in technology, art and artists have new spaces to adapt their work and embrace new and valuable technologies to provide solutions. For me, as an artist I'm committed to embracing change, but this does not mean that I want to leave behind what art is to me and why I paint.

I care deeply about our wildlife, our green and blue spaces. As I’ve quoted in the past from the late Steve Irwin “ If you can’t excite people about [wildlife], how can you convince them to love, cherish and protect it, and the environments that they live in?” So, for me this is simply an opportunity to reach a wider and different audience with my art, and to help get the next generation onboard and supporting the causes I care so much about.

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1 comment

Great Blog

Darryl Foster

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