It’s the holidays and that means people are buying gifts. A new option for this season are NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. These digital tokens linked to digital assets such as amay (or may not) be able to save someone a lot of money in the future (more below).
In short, NFTs offer a certificate of authenticity created by blockchain for a digital asset or work of art. You’ll find them everywhere, from the NFL toand Variety.
for you, it’s okay. We will explain what NFTs really are and how you can sell them (a 12 year old is on the right track to ). And we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about scams and blockchain before you buy.
What’s an NFT?Â
This is the part that takes a bit of open-mindedness. An NFT is a unique digital token, with most using the blockchain to digitally record transactions. It’s not a cryptocurrency like bitcoin or ether, because those are fungible — exchangeable for another bitcoin or cash. NFTs are recorded in a digital ledger in the same way as cryptocurrency, so there’s a listing of who owns each one.
What makes an NFT unique is the digital asset tied to the token. This can be an image, video, tweet or piece of music that’s uploaded to a marketplace, which creates the NFT to be sold.
What kind of NFTs can I buy?Â
NFTs can be tied to any digital asset. Anything you see online can be an NFT — music, social media posts, clip art and more. Here are some of the we found.Â
MLB x ToppsÂ
Major League Baseball is celebrating the 70th anniversary of Topps’ first set of baseball cards. The company recently launched new and classic baseball card designs of popular players as NFTs. Collectors can choose from standard or premium packs that will have eight cards each. The NFTs are available on ToppsNFTs.com.
The latest big news in NFTs is TikTok’s new video collection called TikTok Moments. The videos will celebrate the impact that artists have on TikTok. Proceeds from the collection will go to NFT artists and creators. The first collectionÂand be available starting Oct. 6.Â
And Fortune gave its readers a chance to get in on the NFT craze. The company sold 256 copies of the limited edition cover from the graphic artist Pplpleasr forÂ Fortune’s August/September magazineÂ on OpenSea. The copiesÂ sold out within five minutes starting at 1 ethereumÂ (estimated $3,000). But the NFTs were available for resale at three times the cost.Â
Sorare digital trading cardsÂ
But NFTs go beyond artists and music.Â SorareÂ released its “Super Rare” Lionel Messi digital trading card that’s currently bidding at 29,993 euros, equivalent to over $35,000. Sorare also announced that itÂ raised $680 millionÂ for its next-level sports fantasy game. The funding is currently led by SoftBank.Â
Tiger Woods’ Autograph collectiblesÂ
And in sports, Tiger Woods is currently selling thousands of digital collectibles onÂ AutographÂ on theÂ DraftKings marketplace. The collection starts at $250. Naomi Osaka, Derek Jeter and Tonk Hawk are also releasing digital collectibles on Autograph, which is co-founded by Tom Brady.Â
As the hype for NFTs grows, expect more digital assets to come up for sale and bring in some big money.Â
Where can I buy and sell NFTs?Â
While you may not want to jump right in bidding six figures, there are multiple NFT marketplaces out there to check out, withÂ OpenseaÂ being the biggest. Buyers can search forÂ art,Â domain namesÂ andÂ random collectiblesÂ to bid on without having to break the bank. And Woods’ digital collection is one of the many NFT collections available onÂ DraftKings marketplace, including Tony Hawk, Simone Biles and other athletes.Â
AndÂ Christie’sÂ recently auctioned Curio Cards, a set of 31 NFTs, for $1.2 million. Christie’s pointed out that the Curio Cards are the oldest pieces of art on the ethereum blockchain. The collection, Post-War to Present: The NFTs, was auctioned off on Oct. 1.Â
On the other hand, if you want to sell an NFT of your art, you can useÂ NFTify, the Shopify NFT store, to sell NFTs without creating your own store. You’ll also need aÂ MetaMaskÂ account to get going. AndÂ Burberry recently announced a partnership with Mythical GamesÂ to gamify buying, selling and collecting toys as NFTs through the Blankos Block Party game. CNET’s own Chris Parker also made a step-by-step guide on how to make and sell your own NFT, in the video below.Â
If I have an NFT, do I own the asset?
That’s the real kicker to understanding the whole concept. The person who buys the NFT doesn’t own the actual asset.Â
“NFTs challenge the idea of ownership: digital files can be reproduced infinitely and you do not (usually) buy the copyright or a license when purchasing an NFT,” said Jeffrey Thompson, associate professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.Â
For example, the creator of thesold an NFT of it for $590,000. The person who bought the token owns the token but doesn’t actually own the meme. That still belongs to the creator, who held onto intellectual and creative rights.Â
What the owner of the token has is a record and a hash code showing ownership of the unique token associated with the particular digital asset. People might download Nyan Cat and use it on social media if they want, but they won’t own the token. This also means they can’t sell the token as the owner can.Â
Why are NFTs so expensive?
As with physical collectibles like Beanie Babies, baseball cards, and toys, there is a market for NFTs. Buyers tend to be tech-savvy people who understand the idea of ââwanting to buy digital goods and who probably had a murder last year with cryptocurrencies. Ether, for example, has gone from $ 730 at the start of the year to a current price of around $ 4,100. In some cases, buyers are only flexing their digital wallets to show how much crypto they own, but for others, there is a deeper interest.
âEspecially for art-related NFTs, there is a huge increase in demand due to the novelty and creativity of early artists,â said Jason Lau, chief operating officer of the exchange. OKCoin crypto, in an email. Whether it’s a physical work with an NFT attached (think of it as a digital autograph and proof of veracity), or an entirely digital work (where NFT is art), this new medium opens up new avenues for collectors and artists to explore their relationship with the work of art itself. “
It’s also great for artists, says Lau. By selling digital art directly to interested people, an artist can begin to monetize their work without having to try and sell it to a gallery.
What are the pitfalls of NFTs?
One downside is the hundreds of dollars in fees required to create a DTV. If you are making your own token on the ethereum blockchain, you have to use ether, which as mentioned earlier is quite expensive. Then, after performing an NFT, there is a “gas” charge that pays for the labor required to manage the transaction and is also based on the price of the ether. Marketplace simplifies the process by handling everything for a fee when an NFT is sold.
There is also an environmental cost. Like bitcoin, ether requires computers to handle calculations, known as âmining,â and these computing tasks require a lot of energy. An analysis from the University of Cambridge found that mining Bitcoin consumes more energy than the entire country, Argentina. Ether is second in popularity after bitcoin, and its energy consumption is increasing and comparable to the amount of energy used by Libya.
On top of all this, NFT scammers are on the rise. Vice reported that NFT vendor “Evolved Apes” ran away with millions of dollars after promising a 10,000 NFT collection. The tokens were available for public sale last month, but the social media page and website randomly vanished. Buyers have not received their NFTs. Vice reported that the seller left clues on Etherscan that they ran away with more than $ 2.7 million. This is one of the many NFT scams that cost buyers a fortune.