Benjamin Turner, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint
NFT’s, also known as Non-Fungible Tokens, have blown up in popularity in just a year, with millionaires and celebrities getting in on the craze.
Even though they have grown in popularity, many people still misunderstand what exactly they are and what their purpose is.
Firstly, context needs to be given before explaining the rise of NFT’s. NFTs are crypto tokens that use blockchain technology to prove their authenticity and ownership of a digital asset in an NFT.
An asset is fungible, meaning it is interchangeable with another identical asset. Similarly, digital products like Pictures, Ebooks, etc., are also fungible, meaning they can be copied multiple times and don’t change.
As a result of NFTs being fungible, intermediaries like contracts or platforms are used to signify ownership of a digital asset and transfer it to another person.
NFTs solve this problem by embedding a unique ID into a token, representing the asset. When an NFT is minted (posted), its ID is registered to the blockchain and becomes its own passport of sorts, enabling other users to see and verify its history of information like ownership, creator, and price without needing an intermediary.
With the everlasting presence of social media allowing people to advertise their products and spread the word easily, this makes now the perfect time for NFT’s to boom in popularity.
Despite NFT’s becoming today’s new trend of making money, these tokens have been a thing for a while now. While many different sources point the finger at the creator of these tokens, one of the first people to create a line of NFT is Kevin McCoy.
According to a Portion article, The token “Quantum” was minted on May 3rd, 2014, being a pixelated image of an octagon filled with a multitude of shapes like circles and arcs of different shapes and sizes. Today, the Quantum art piece is a one-and is currently on sale for seven million dollars.
Although this was the first NFT, a few years later, Canadian software developers Matt Hall and John Watkinson created CryptoPunks.
Collections of this NFT release in June of 2017 pushed NFT’s into the mainstream media. CryptoPunks made other people intrigued into NFT’s and influenced many others to create their own NFT’s.
Eventually, celebrities and other influencers started to pick up on this craze, significantly since virtual currencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin boosted in popularity. People could buy these tokens, which further shows the exponential growth in NFT’s.