29 November 2021
As children, most of us dabbled in sports trading cards at some point. Well, at the very least, we knew about them and probably knew someone who had a few. The origin of these collectibles, though, may come as a surprise to some.
Around the middle of the 19th century, tobacco companies began inserting advertising cards into cigarette packets. This helped stiffen the pack and was meant to protect the cigarettes inside. Then, in the 1860s, when baseball turned professional, baseball cards emerged. These were sold in packs of candy or tobacco.
The advent of color printing boosted the popularity of these cards. People began to collect them and also traded the cards in order to make up complete sets. As with so many other aspects of our lives, it was probably inevitable that trading cards would, someday, go digital.
So, without further ado, let's meet the Non-Fungible Token, or NFT. We will also look at what you need to know about creating an NFT and selling it, and who you can call on to help.
Before we look into the origin of NFTs, let's see what they are. The term non-fungible refers to something that cannot be replicated, exchanged, or replaced. Well, not on a like-for-like basis, anyway. Sure, you can copy them, but you can never pass a copy off as an original. The concept of non-fungible tokens emerged in 2012. The then president of the Israeli Bitcoin Association advanced the idea that Bitcoins could be used for special purposes beyond their function as a digital currency. The underlying blockchain technology allows data to be added to a block to mark it with a special property. This data is unique. Any attempt to change the data will create a new derivative block. The original remains intact.
These “enhanced” bitcoins would be referred to as colored coins, thanks to their different characteristics. The additional data bestows a specific purpose upon these coins. That purpose would usually be to represent a specific asset, such as, for example, real estate, stocks and bonds or commodities. NFTs did not explode onto the market. On the contrary, the interest in colored coins waned somewhat. In 2014, digital artist Kevin McCoy minted “Quantum”, believed to be the first NFT. Slowly but surely NFTs found increasing use in various forms of digital art. More and more people launched a digital art portfolio by creating an NFT.
Although NFTs were slow to take off, there is no doubt that it is the newest big thing. According to nonfungible.com, anywhere between 15,000 and 50,000 NFTs are sold each week. It’s safe to assume, therefore, that somewhere in the world, someone is creating an NFT every 20 seconds or so.
There is a multitude of exchanges and projects, and the number grows every day. With so much on offer, investing in an NFT or in a project doesn’t come with any guarantee of success. Creating an NFT is also unlikely to bring instant fame and fortune. Let’s look at some of the most popular projects.
There are a host of other popular projects out there. This is just a peek at some of the top projects, but it will give you a good idea of what NFT projects are all about and the opportunities that exist in this space.
Creating an NFT is actually quite simple. All you need is a digital wallet and an account on a platform such as Rarible or OpenSea. Once you’re logged in to your account, let’s say with OpenSea, you click the Create button and follow the prompts. There are some costs associated with creating an NFT. The Ethereum blockchain charges a network fee called gas for tokenizing a piece of art. Fortunately, this gas can be postponed until the NFT is sold. In effect, the buyer will pay the gas as it would be included in the price of the NFT.
For those of us that are not particularly artistic, the market is teeming with freelance designers that will help in creating an NFT. A search on any of the popular freelancer portals such as Fiverr or Upwork will yield dozens of options. Filters enable you to specify characteristics that you’re looking for, and you can also browse a freelancer’s portfolio of previous work. Once you engage a designer, it is advisable to verify that you will own all the relevant rights to the NFT once it has been minted or created.
NextHash hosts the NexInter exchange, a platform for buying, selling and trading various types of digital assets. Apart from cryptocurrencies, NexInter also facilitates the trading and creation of NFTs. The beauty of listing your NFTs with NextHash is that they’re geared to accept payment in a basket of cryptocurrencies as well as credit cards and wire transfers.
With NextHash, you can create a customized portfolio of NFTs and never miss out on a sale because the buyer was unable to pay for the purchase using his preferred payment method. NFTs are here to stay. And the opportunities are golden.