How to Use MetaMask

MetaMask was built and launched in 2016 by ConsenSys, a largely Ethereum-focused blockchain development studio as a means to interact with Ethereum blockchain. 

The wallet itself is non-custodial, meaning that the owner (you) doesn’t have to relinquish possession of their private keys to a third party. However, this comes with great responsibility, as we’ll get into below. 

Launched as a software cryptocurrency wallet, MetaMask makes it possible for users to store and manage their private and public keys, broadcast transactions to the network, send and receive Ethereum and Ethereum-based tokens, connect to decentralized exchanges, and buy and sell NFTs. 

MetaMask also aggregates multiple decentralized exchanges in a feature called MetaMask Swaps, where users can access the best exchange rate for ETH-based tokens at a service fee of 0.875% of the transaction amount. 

As of August 2021, the MetaMask browser extension has roughly 10.5 million monthly active users, many of which are using the wallet to interact with the burgeoning DeFi and NFT ecosystems. 

So, how do you get started with MetaMask?

It’s simpler than you might think, let’s get started.

Step 1: Understand

Before blasting off Ethereum to different addresses, it’s important to understand MetaMask is a non-custodial wallet. 

This means that keeping your wallet account password, private keys, and Secret Recovery Phrase safe is your responsibility. The probability of human error with these sorts of wallets is fairly high, so go into your non-custodial wallet adventures understanding that it’s likely that you may be the most probable point-of-failure, and do everything in your power to prevent that. 

Metamask provides a Secret Recovery Phrase of twelve words when you first make a wallet. Write this down and store it in a secure place offline–definitely not a Google Doc named “MetaMask Secret Recovery Phrase” or “Crypto passwords.” Don’t share this phrase with anyone. If you lose your phrase, you won’t be able to access your wallet and your cryptocurrency and tokens will be unrecoverable. 

MetaMask is also a software application, meaning it’s almost always connected to the Internet and comes with the ever-so-slight vulnerabilities that a hardware wallet like a Ledger Nano S typically doesn’t. 

Most people use something like MetaMask to utilize a small(er) percentage of their total cryptocurrency holdings to interact with the various dApps in the Ethereum ecosystem, not as a primary holding account.  

Step 2: Download

Download the official MetaMask browser extension at https://metamask.io/. It is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Brave, and Edge. 

Your browser will ask you to add the extension– allow it. 

MetaMask also has an iOS and Android app.

Step 3: Create Your Account

Next comes the typical account sign-up stuff– create your password and write down your recovery seed phrase. (see Step 1).  

Step 4: Make Sure You Wrote Your Seed Phrases Correctly

Don’t let one typo or misplaced word be the reason you can’t recover your account! 

Step 5: Send ETH to address

Click on the “Buy” option to pull up a few options to deposit ETH into the wallet. Scroll all the way down, and you’ll see the “Directly Deposit Ether” option, which will give you your wallet’s public key. 

Copy and paste your public key to the platform you plan on sending ETH from, select the amount of Ethereum to send, and click send. You’ll be able to monitor the transaction in EtherScan.

Step 8: Connect MetaMask to the dApp or Platform

Now, your MetaMask is ready to rock and roll– just find the dApp or site you want to interact with. Let’s say we want to connect our MetaMask to our OpenSea to buy our first NFT. 

On the account section in OpenSea, you’ll see a “Connect your wallet” section with a list of wallets that includes MetaMask. 

Click MetaMask, which will pull up a request from the MetaMask browser extension that asks you whether you want to connect with the site. 

Step 9: Sign the Signature

If you’re 100% certain you’re on a legitimate site and not some knock-off spam site (let’s say there is an “OponSee.io” or “0penSea.io” scammy clone replicate, which would likely be a malicious attempt to get you to sign over your MetaMask access.)

As you interact with the OpenSea ecosystem, you will be presented with multiple requests to sign a transaction with your MetaMask account.

Suppose we want to buy an NFT from The Heart Project. We find one we like, click “buy”, and view the subtotal. Upon clicking “confirm checkout”, our MetaMask extension would open up with the estimated gas fee for the transaction and price of the NFT. 

We now have one final chance to reject or confirm the transaction. 

Let’s say gas fees and transaction price looks good to us and we want to buy the NFT. We click confirm, and the transaction should go through, leading you to a “your purchase is processing” page, which shows the transaction hash number that can be traced to Etherscan.

Once the transaction finishes processing, your NFT will appear in your OpenSea profile. The NFT token itself, however, is held in your MetaMask wallet. 

Final Thoughts: Welcome to MetaMask

So, there you have it– how to use MetaMask from scratch and buy your first NFT on OpenSea. 

For now, MetaMask is one of the leading NFT wallets, and familiarizing yourself with it will make your NFT exploration process much more straightforward.

Since all ERC-20 and ETH-based tokens are compatible with MetaMask, you can utilize the wallet for a wide variety of Ethereum storage and interaction related purposes. Note that if you’re looking to interact with another blockchain ecosystem, such as the Solana ecosystem, MetaMask won’t work; you’ll need a different wallet (for example, Plasma for Solana.)

NFT Overview: The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC)

The Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is an Ethereum-based NFT collection of 10,000 unique Bored Apes. Each Bored Ape has a basket of traits programmatically generated from over 170 traits, including expression, clothing, headware, and more. 

Each Bored Ape doubles as a Yacht Club membership card, which grants the holder access to members-only benefits. The first released benefit is a collaborative graffiti board called THE BATHROOM, a digital board likened to a dive bar bathroom wall. 

BAYC holders get access to the BAYC Discord, a server where owners chat and hang out. 

Perhaps the most notable advantage of the BAYC is access to additional NFT collectibles such as Bored Ape Kennel Club dogs, which are usually airdropped for free to wallets holding a BAYC NFT. These new NFTs are often resold for decent chunks of change.

BAYC #8287

Future benefits plan to be unlocked as the project progresses along with its roadmap. 

Ape holders also have full commercial usage rights over their NFT.

Bored Apes became incredibly popular in the throes of an early-2021 NFT profile picture wave, and they have become particularly popular among NFT-savvy celebrities. 

About Bored Ape Yacht Club

The Bored Apes are ERC-721 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, and are hosted on IPFS. 

When the project launched in April 2021, an ape could be purchased for just 0.08 ETH. Thirty apes were withheld from the initial sale, and were earmarked to be used for giveaways, puzzle rewards, and the four creators. 

Today, Bored Apes regularly sell for six to seven figures; a collection of 101 Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs recently sold for a whopping $24.4 million at a Sotheby’s auction in September 2021. 

BAYC has generated upwards of $1 billion of trading volume for the original BAYC and its variant sets, like Mutant Ape Yacht Club and Bored Ape Kennel Club.

The BAYC project was created by Yuga Labs, a group of four friends under pseudonyms: 

  • GARGAMEL. 
  • GORDON GONER. 
  • EMPEROR TOMATO KETCHUP. 
  • NO SASS.

The official BAYC site can be found here.

Bored Ape Yacht Club Collaborations and Airdrops

The BAYC has seen two airdrops:

  1. Free Bored Ape Kennel Club dog NFTs
  2. A “mutant serum” NFT that generated a Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT. 

In August 2021, Bored Ape holders were given a “mutant serum” which allowed them to mint a free Mutant Ape in the likeness of their original form. 

 

Yuga Apes also listed 10,000 new Mutant Apes for sale that anyone could buy for 3 ETH, all of which sold out in under an hour, generating $96 million for the project. 

Notable Bored Ape Yacht Club Holders

One of the first athlete celebrities to buy a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT and use it as a social media avatar was three-time NBA champion Steph Curry, who purchased an Ape for $180,000 in Ethereum in August 2021.

Steph Curry’s Twitter with a BAYC profile picture.

The list of BAYC athlete celebrities includes the NBA’s Josh Hart and Tyrese Haliburton, the NFL’s Dez Bryant and Von Miller, and artists like The Chainsmokers, Waka Flocka Flame, and Jermaine Dupri.

Plenty of corporations and publications have aped into the BAYC, including Arizona Iced Tea. 

Final Thoughts: What’s Next for the Bored Ape Yacht Club

Among future NFT drops (unannounced), the BAYC plans to launch an ERC-20 token in Q1 2022. The mechanics and functionality of the token are currently being smoothed over, but some speculate it could work as a DAO governance token, or perhaps something to help the project expand into DeFi. 

The BAYC is regarded as the most valuable NFT project launched in 2021 in terms of its community and market volume, and it’s nestled into the rankings just behind Larva Labs’ CryptoPunks. 

Mutant Ape Yacht Club #26574 (source: OpenSea) – You’ll notice this one is a “mutant” version of the BAYC in the beginning of the article.

Perhaps the most notable metric for the BAYC success is its secondary market activity– the project has taken on a life of its own due to an active, and now increasingly more affluent, the base of users. The most popular BAYC secondary market is on OpenSea

As BAYC helps lead the charge for NFTs as profile pictures, NFT fans would be keen to observe how certain projects develop into status symbols– and how quickly a project can transition from a quiet launch of .08 ETH to selling for millions in just months.

Beyond JPEGs and GIFs: What to Expect of Future NFT Use Cases

With so much recent activity in the NFT art space, it may seem tricky to separate the concept of NFTs from the lucrative flipping of JPEGs and GIFs. 

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the topic of NFTs often brings up a few consistent data points: 

An NFT is simply just a token on a blockchain that identifies something unique; this “something” can be anything from a house to the legal rights of an idea. 

The following article explores how NFTs stand to revolutionize a few industries ripe for renovation. 

Why NFTs?

NFTs are unique digital tokens in that they can carry data stored in an immutable blockchain ledger; this data specifies a .JPEG, MP4, or .TXT of a contract. 

Every time a specific NFT token goes through a transaction, the blockchain adds a new block to the blockchain with the new owner’s information. This chain of transactions allows one to trace the ownership of digital assets throughout the entirety of its history. 

Keep the following features of NFTs in mind before we go through the top future NFT use cases:

Indivisible: The “non-fungibility” of NFTs means that they cannot be broken down into sub-assets– you technically can’t cut a CryptoPunk into a dozen pieces. However, there can be fractional ownership of a single NFT; multiple people can share a percentage of the NFT through other mechanisms. 

Verifiable: The blockchain gives anyone the ability to verify the authenticity of a digital asset, no matter how many times it has changed hands. 

Indestructible: Since an NFT exists solely on the blockchain, it cannot be destroyed. For example, let’s say you buy a Cool Cat NFT for the ETH equivalent of $15,000. You decide to buy a digital frame for $150 and put it on your wall. If a burglar breaks in and steals your frame, you only lose the frame; the NFT would still exist on the blockchain. 

#1: Real Estate

Real estate is an industry entrenched in traditional, inefficient processes. The actual ownership of physical real estate alone is a sub-sector of the industry exhausted by outdated practices. For example, in order to prove you own a property, you’d use a title deed document to prove so. If it’s misplaced, or its record cannot be found online, you could find yourself riled in legal disputes and complexities. 

All of this can be avoided by using NFTs. Since these tokens digitally represent assets, such as land, buildings, or even rooms, tracking the ownership and authenticity of a tokenized property would be possible from anywhere in the world. 

One such startup, Propy, is already utilizing NFTs for real-estate transactions. 

It’s worth noting that NFTs are also being used to represent virtual land ownership, as seen on projects like Decentraland

Decentraland

#2: Ticketing 

If you’ve ever bought a ticket to see a concert or sporting event online, you’d get a quick glance at one of the most visible ticket industry problems– the “convenience” fee that sometimes amounts to 20% to 30% of the transaction.

Even worse, the moment in-demand tickets go for sale online, the site is flooded by scalpers and bots trying to buy as many tickets as they can to flip them for higher prices in secondary markets. 

And in these secondary markets, one out of ten people is likely to get scammed; they frustratingly find out at the event gates– potentially hours of travel, waiting in lines, preparation, and excitement only to find out you got ripped off. 

NFTs solve most of these problems.

For one, NFTs play nice with other blockchain-based solutions, which tend to disintermediate the middle-man ticketing companies charging a third of the ticket price in convenience fees. 

Second, NFTs offer immediate authenticity verification and secure owner transfers. This is an incredibly valuable feature on secondary markets– NFTs make trust the default in a trustless environment. 

#3. Domain Name Ownership

Blockchain-based domains, usually represented by NFTs, play a very important role in domain ownership. 

For starters, NFT domains are owned by you, not rented. No one actually owns a domain, which is a tricky concept– you pay to register your domain with a domain name registrar, but not even registrars own the domain. These registrars are delegated the management of top-level domains like “.com” or “.uk” by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). 

Traditional domain name ownership is a rabbithole, but in a nutshell, the whole system only works because everyone in it agrees that it should. 

Modern domains can be incredibly valuable– the most expensive sale yet was $872 million for Cars.com.  

The problem NFTs solve is that domain name ownership is centralized and vulnerable to centralization. If someone (i.e. the government) wants a specific domain shut down, it can probably get it done with limited complications. 

Alternatively, NFT-based domain owners pay a one-time registration fee (compared to an annual renewal cost) and own the domain. 

The domain is stored in a wallet just like a cryptocurrency coin or token, and no one can take it from you unless your wallet is hacked. 

In practice, your NFT-based domain points to content stored on a decentralized storage network. 

NFT Domains can be purchased through retailers like UnstoppableDomains or on marketplaces like OpenSea.

#4: Intellectual Property and Patents

Some of the most valuable assets in the world don’t actually exist in the real world, which makes proving or splitting ownership among multiple parties a nebulous task. 

Intellectual property and patents are very illiquid, and disputes around ownership or sale can require mountains of paperwork and hundreds of billable legal hours. 

Not only can NFTs be used to represent ideas on the blockchain, they can also seamlessly fractionalize this ownership among multiple parties. 

The application of NFTs to IPs and patents is still in its nascent stages, but there are a few notable projects making rapid progress, and NFT licensing framework is setting the stage for future innovations. 

The most notable progress is by IBM’s collaboration with an IP ecosystem platform called IPwe; the organizations are attempting to tokenize patents so patent owners can enable their trading on safe and accessible marketplaces. 

Final Thoughts

While the above NFT applications are some of the hottest today, this list is by no means exhaustive. If this article is outdated by the time you read it– good, that means we were right. 

Any industry that needs verifiable authenticity will also benefit from the immediacy, finality, and transportability of NFTs. 

When updating this article in the future, you’ll see a heap of new use cases emerging from public, private, and government sectors, and hopefully with progressive policies regarding the NFT space. 

For now, we anticipate the NFT conversation will continue to be dominated by the most aesthetically consuming and appealing applications of NFTs, but we expect the popular “XYZ Art NFT sells for $50 Million” headlines of today to slowly start morphing to “$114 Million Bel Air Mansion Sells as NFT” or “Rare Metallica Back-Stage Pass Sells for $10M” to become commonplace. 

NFT Overview: How Cool is the Cool Cats NFT?

Cool Cats NFT is an Ethereum-based collection of 9,999 Cool Cats, each randomly generated and stylistically curated.

Members of the Cool Cat community, a membership that is as simple as holding a Cool Cat NFT, can participate in exclusive events such as raffles, community giveaways, and NFT claims. 

Outside of a super rare 66 cats, Gen 1 Cool Cats are all blue with a variety of attributes, running the gamut from pirate hats, monocles, mohawks, epaulettes, knight helmets, and so on. The first generation of Cool Cats (the only generation, currently) has over 300,000 potential options– and cats with completed outfits tend to be considered the coolest.

Holders of Cool Cats also have the freedom to do anything with their Cool Cats they please under a non-exclusive license.

About Cool Cats, the Community

The Cool Cats project was launched in July 2021. It claims and aims to be very community-driven, giving back 20% of all ETH raised back to the community through raffles and contests. 

Holders of Cool Cats can claim custom limited edition Cool Cat NFTs every month. 

The September 2021 airdrop to some Cool Cat Holders
The September 2021 airdrop to some Cool Cat Holders

Cool Cat holders also have a say in future features, such as breeding, next generations of Cool Cats, apps, and more. 

The Cool Cats project is run by a “team of 4 nerds” with passions in cryptocurrency and art; it is partially pseudonymous and consists of:

  1. Clon (The Catoonist (https://www.instagram.com/thecatoonist/) as the illustrator, credited as the originator. 
  2. Tom, who is responsible for smart contracts and other technical interfaces
  3. Lynq, who built and maintains the website
  4. ELU, who leads the creative direction and helps with marketing, project management, and leads who is on creative direction.
thecatoonist’s Instagram

The tokenomics of the project are straightforward: of the 9,999 cats, 100 cats were reserved to give away in competitions and holder airdrops. Each of the four staff members was also given a Cool Cat, not from the reserve stack. The site claims the bulk of the reserved cats will be distributed after the launch, and don’t occupy early token ids. All other cats were listed for sale. 

Cool Cats have been traded over 21,100 times in secondary markets. The vast majority of holders have 1 Cool Cat, and about 37 wallets have 11-15. 

Source: Dune Analytics

The Cool Cat team’s primary means of communication is via Town Halls on Discord, as well as its Twitter (@coolcatsnft).

What’s Cooler Than Being Cool?

The Cool Cat team created a point-based system for how cool a cat is. Points are determined by the items each Cool Cat NFT has. For example, a green bucket hat is worth fewer points than a rare item like a gold crown, and the market tends to price the cats accordingly: as of writing, the green bucket hat floor is 6.4 ETH and the gold crown is 29 ETH.

The majority of cats are worth between 3 to 6 points. The coolness breakdown is as follows:

  1. 4,599 cats are between 3 to 4 points and considered Cool.
  2. 3,000 cats are between 5 to 6 points and considered Wild.
  3. 1,750 cats are between 7 to 8 points and considered Classy.
  4. 650 cats are between 9 to 10 points and considered Exotic.

The majority of Cool Cats fats fall into the Cool and Wild Range, and the price floor contains many common attributes you’d find throughout: green shirts, beanies, berets, beards, and so on. 

The rarest cats of the bunch are 1/1000; the exotics feature a completely different style without any repeated attributes.

Cool Cats Collabs

On August 13th, 2021, Cool Cats announced a collaboration with TIME magazine.

The collaboration was catalyzed when TIME President Keith Grossman expressed his admiration for the project on Twitter. 

There were 400 total pieces minted:

  • 100 x Elu’s cat
  • 100 x Clons’ cat
  • 100 x Xtremetom’s cat
  • 100 x Lynoid’s cat

8 collaboration Cool Cats were awarded to the 8 best meme creators, whereas the remaining 392 cats were raffled off to Cool Cat holders. 

The Future of Cool Cats

One of the most anticipated features by the Cool Cat community is the introduction of breeding, which the Cool Cat team plans to introduce in Generation 2. 

Although there is limited information on how this breeding will take form, it’s not a stretch to assume that holders of at least two Cool Cats will have the option to “breed” them on the Cool Cat site or third-party platform by connecting their MetaMask. 

Final Thoughts: We Like the Cats

Cool Cat NFTs have experienced a rapid rise in adoption, the number of wallets holding cats, floor prices, mid-range prices, and ceiling prices since its launch in July 2021. 

The Cool Cats OpenSea description urges us to consider, “remember, all cats are cool, but some are cooler than others.”

Rare Cats

The Cool Cat NFTs are designed in a way to foster a community of Cool Cat holders, and the rarer the attribute, the more admirable the Cat. However, the Discord conversation doesn’t seem to be elitist or preferential of rare Cool Cat Holders. Check out Cool Cats on its website and OpenSea.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs): The Complete Guide

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are blockchain-based tokens representing unique digital items such as digital art, collectibles, video game items, domain names, and more. 

The concept of NFTs is somewhat polarizing: one end of the spectrum raves about the creation of a financial infrastructure to trade and collect digital assets, and the other tends to view the value of NFTs and digital assets as dubious compared to their tangible real-world counterparts. 

Much of the static in the antagonist argument comes from a misunderstanding of how valuable the digital economy has grown to be. Understandably, the notion that completely digital items are being sold for thousands to millions of dollars sounds preposterous to a community used to buying physical art and trading cards. 

Epic Games, the creator of the popular video game Fortnite, sold $2.4 billion worth of costumes in 2018. Now, if the average person doesn’t know what Fortnite is, let alone why people are buying costumes for their character on it, they may be ideological odds with NFTs. 

Fortnite is a great example because, although none of the costumes or items are blockchain-based NFTs, it provides a great perspective of market value for purely digital assets. However, since those costumes aren’t NFTs, their value is entirely limited to existing within the NFT ecosystem. If one wants to buy a Fortnite skin (costume) from someone, they would have to go to a marketplace like eBay, pay money through the platform, and trust that the seller doesn’t scam them or that eBay is a fair intermediary if a dispute arises. 

Fortnite skins on eBay

NFT technology allows the owners of NFT-based digital assets to transact peer-to-peer and seamlessly trade NFTs for cryptocurrency. 

The benefits of the technology, however, don’t stop there. NFTs have enabled a deep variety of use-cases, from digital trading cards to video games to the representation of assets in the real world. 

Welcome to the complete guide on Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). This article isn’t investment advice. NFTs and all digital assets have very volatile prices and can be risky to own. 

What is “Fungibility”

Fungible (adjective): an item that can replace or be replaced by another identical item. Fungible items are mutually interchangeable.

For example, Bitcoin is a “fungible” asset because 1 BTC will always equal 1 BTC. A $20 bill is valued the same as another $20 bill, regardless of its serial number. You can replace a $20 bill with another $20 bill and still be completely whole. 

A non-fungible token is a representation of a digital asset that is unlike other assets. An NBA Top Shot highlight with a serial number of 1/1000 has a different value of the same highlight but with a serial number of, let’s say, 893/1000. 

Note: if you’re unfamiliar with NBA Top Shot, check out our guide. A “serial number” basically refers to the order assigned to each NFT moment. If there are 1000 “prints” of a moment, the serial number for an individual number will be X/1000.

Fungibility is a relative concept that tends to reflect on the market value of an item. For example, some assets are semi-fungible within a class. Two parties can swap tickets for NBA Finals nose-bleed seats without too sharp a change in value, but they can’t be swapped for courtside seats. 

NFTs and Digital Assets: A Dynamic Duo

Non-fungible assets precede the invention and popularization of the blockchain; domain names, social media handles, tickets to events, and in-game items are all examples of non-fungible digital assets. 

Traditional assets generally lack the ability to sell or trade outside of a particular ecosystem. For example, the popular MMORPG Runescape has an in-game economy with some rare items, such as Party Hats, attracting upwards of $5,000 in USD. However, trading this asset requires an enormous amount of trust between two parties, or the use of a third-party “escrow” intermediary. 

screenshot by Pavel Sorkin 04/feb/2020 from https://www.playerauctions.com/runescape-items/

The blockchain provides a “coordination layer” for digital assets. With blockchain-based assets, users get full ownership and management permission over their property. 

A blockchain allows developers to build and collaborate with common and reusable standards, allowing them to specify ownership criteria, transferability, and access. This is comparable to other facets of the digital space, such as PNG or JPEG image file formats, or HTML & CSS formats for displaying visual content on a website. 

In less techy words, think of the blockchain as the concrete foundation and plumbing for a house structure, and developers as the builders. 

The NFT token standard, introduced in late-2017, essentially dictates how digital assets can leverage a blockchain, provided they meet the standard criteria set out by the developers. 

NFTs standardized the trading, interoperability, liquidity, and ability to prove proprietorship across all digital asset classes. 

Since NFTs are interoperable, meaning they can exist in the same ecosystem together (unlike, let’s say, digital plane tickets and a RuneScape party hat), they can also be traded in open marketplaces.  

For the first time in digital history, people can list their digital assets in global 24-7 open marketplaces, creating liquidity. Think of NFTs as an evolution from a primitive inefficient bartering ecosystem to an eBay-like marketplace. 

However, unlike eBay, many of these marketplaces are completely decentralized. There is no need for escrow, and since the blockchain can automatically prove the legitimacy and ownership of an item, it’s almost impossible to scam or be scammed. 

The first NFT token standard,  ERC721, was launched by Dapper Labs in CryptoKitties. The ERC721 standard maps unique identifiers to address; these identifiers correspond to single assets. It also allows for a permission means of transferring those assets using the transferFrom method.

ERC-20 vs ERC-721 via ERC721.org

Another NFT token standard, ERC1155, was launched by Enjin, which brings the concept of semi-fungibility to the blockchain world. ERC1155 IDs can represent classes of assets, rather than single individual assets. 

The ERC-998 standard hasn’t been used much, but is still worth mentioning; it allows for a way for people to own both non-fungible and fungible assets.

To dive further into the technicalities of NFTs, we recommend browsing through popular NFT marketplace OpenSea

Common NFT Questions (and Answers!)

What’s stopping an NFT creator from just making more of the same NFT?

Through smart contracts, another innovation is made possible by the blockchain; developers can create “hard caps” on the supply of NFTs. If a smart contract says there will only be 10 of an asset, there is no way to reverse it. Further, these smart contracts can prevent NFTs from being modified after they have been released. 

In practice, a developer can specify that only 10 copies of a “rare” item can ever be created, while keeping the supply of common items infinite. 

What was the first NFT?

CryptoKitties launched in November 2017 and was an enormous driver of attention into the NFT and digital collectible ecosystem, but it was preceded by a few notable projects. 

Launched in June 2017, CryptoPunks by Larva Labs was the first NFT experiment on Ethereum: 10,000 unique collectible punks with unique characteristics were sold. These punks could be used with non-custodial wallets like MetaMask, making it easier for the average crypto-savvy individual to get involved with NFTs. 

CryptoPunks

Since there are only 10,000 collectible punks without any further creations, CryptoPunks are a glance at the role scarcity plays with digital collectibles. Some CryptoPunks have sold for over $5,000,000.

Prior to 2017, early NFTs include Rare Pepes (built on the Bitcoin counterparty system) and colored coins (on the Bitcoin network.) 

Where Can I Make NFTs?

A handful of NFT minting platforms do a great job at bridging the world of creatives with that of the blockchain. 

Popular platforms include OpenSea, Digital Art Chain (mint any digital image into an NFT), Marble Cards (create unique digital cards), Mintbase, Mintable, Kred platform (create business cards, coupons, and collectibles), Rarible, and Cargo.

What are the Most Exciting Uses of NFTs?

Traditional IP owners have jumped into the NFT space to better connect with their audiences and monetize their products. For example, there is MLB Crypto (on-chain baseball game for the MLB), F1DeltaTime (Formula 1 racing game on the blockchain),  CryptoSpaceCommanders (StarTrek ships inside the Lucid Sight game), Stryking and Sorare (soccer trading cards), and NBA Top Shot (NBA trading card NFTs).

Entire virtual worlds are being built on the blockchain, where NFTs represent characters and items. Decentraland, for example, is a virtual reality metaverse. Enjin has a “multiverse” platform. 

Naming services (think “.com” domain names on the blockchain) are also trendy. Unstoppable Domains, built initially on the Zilliqa blockchain released .crypto domains, each of which is an ERC721 asset. The Ethereum Name Service is also worth mentioning. 

Final Thoughts: Why are NFTs Valuable?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. NFTs have a market value because the market deems them so. 

However, beyond the pricing of an average NFT asset, the NFT technology itself is an enormous evolution in collecting and owning property, whether digital or not. 

Beyond the already great value proposition of utility, liquidity, and provenance, NFTs are based on decentralized technology. They can accomplish peer-to-peer and prove true, unrestricted ownership of a digital asset while also achieving centralized organizations’ primary value (trust, escrow, etc.).