This article heavily relies on the previous one, “What is NFT”, where we gave a broader definition of NFTs. Check that one out first if you are completely new to all this terminology.
Let us walk through the definitions once again:
NFT means “non-fungible token”.
Most of the cryptocurrencies you have heard about function as regular money. Each coin has the same value and no individual features that would help distinguish it from another coin at all. Developers have quickly figured out that any kind of record can be stored on blockchain and avail of the benefits: no double-spending, immutability, decentralized storage, peer-to-peer transactions, etc. So, the unique blockchain records that differ from each other, unlike coins, are NFTs, roughly speaking.
What is NFT art? It fits the broader definition.
What is an NFT art piece data-wise?
An artwork you see on display at one of the NTF art marketplaces is basically like a computer file. Every file has a certain extension, which defines how the data is arranged inside a file, what applications can open it, etc. Tokens, too, have their “extensions” that define their properties. There can be lots of different files with the same extension; likewise, there can be lots of different tokens with the same standard (commonly, ERC-721).
What is an NFT art piece’s value?
The prices of tangible real-world art pieces vary wildly, and NTF art is not different in this regard. One could buy a painting of an aspiring artist immediately at an exhibition or monitor auctions to pick extremely popular and desired pieces.
Some buyers prefer to own a hard copy. The others acknowledge the advantages of owning a digital one:
“Unlike the traditional version, the Digital Collectible lasts longer and is always in mint condition. For collectors, we take out the need for maintenance for their collectibles. We ensure that their collectibles will not wear out through time. We remove the barrier by giving more access to the market. With the help of NEAR, we manage to reduce the cost for artists to sell their collectibles” — Paras.id Whitepaper.
To each, their own!
NFT crypto art
Selling rock images is all the rage these days. Is it a postmodernist joke or successful startup? Although the rocks themselves look like they were done in MS Paint in half an hour, it took some skill to launch a website and write a smart contract.
You have to admit that being able to publish your digital art on an existing, free-to-use service is a luxury. Let’s review some of them!
However, the shortcomings of Ethereum have been a pain to users and investors for a while. While the next major update is rolling out as we write, Ethereum competitors develop the tools to port data to their own blockchains. As fresh projects, blockchains like NEAR do not yet suffer the scalability issues and are, therefore, faster and cheaper.
The closest rival of Ethereum at the moment is Binance Smart Chain (BSC) with BNB native token. Exhibit and sell you art for BNB at AirNFTs or NTFTB.io. BSC is stepping on Ethereum’s toes and grows in price day by day, so using it is somewhat more advantageous: you lose exposure but get lower transaction fees and higher investment potential.
Tryshowtime is the less known and not yet fully functional NFT marketplace, built on Polygon. Their catchphrase is, ‘You can now create for free (no gas)’ which, again, hits the sore spot of former Ethereum users.
Tezos blockchain marketplaces win the competition of the weirdest domain names: hicetnunc and kalamint. There is an opinion that Tezos blockchain and its coins (XTZ) are a questionable investment but it’s not unusual that a seeming outsider becomes the next market capitalization monster, so we’ll keep an eye on it. Let’s not forget that Ethereum had its own issues, the DAO hardfork being the most memorable of them.
Finally, we found an interesting NEAR protocol-based marketplace: Paras.id. Low entry barrier for newcoming artists, cheap NFTs for collectors – just as they say in the whitepaper. Let’s hope that NEAR coin price surges in future.
It might seem that we intend to describe Ethereum as hopelessly expensive and slow. The risk is always there: you can mint $100-worth of assets and get nothing in return.
Think of NTF publishing as pay-to-earn. Any resource-hungry venture may start out loss-making, like Amazon or Tesla. After all, NFT publishing was hardly ever meant to be a single source of income for artists. It appears that visual art professionals use these platforms as a side occupation or as a portfolio.
NFT art formats
We don’t want to get too technical here, so have one quick note before the conclusion: what is the difference between ERC-721 and ERC-1155 token formats?
What is NFT art ERC-721
Most of the NFTs you observe on the web are ERC-721 standard compliant. Once created, it is impossible to destroy them (which is the definition of immutability). As official documentation describes it, there is a unique 256-bit unsigned ID number assigned to each such token: once properly interpreted it turns into an image. This is how uniqueness is ensured. There can be no two identical IDs.
What is NFT art ERC-1155
This standard, originally introduced by Enjin developers, enables one to melt NTFs.
Upon creation, a user locks a set amount of ENJ in their asset. The said asset may change hands and travel through a multiverse, costing as much as people are willing to give for it, but any moment its owner can retrieve the coins initially locked in it, destroying the asset.
Crypto art NFT revolution
People who make less than $120,000 a year find it hard to understand why some NFT crypto art pieces that took almost zero effort to make are sold for millions of dollars. How come that the creator of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, who is definitively not in the state of financial scarcity, sold a digital copy of his first tweet for $2.9M? Neither that tweet was useful or aesthetically satisfying to cost that much. Some see it as social injustice.
Let us look at it from another angle because growing angry and envious won’t be of much practical use. The fact that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is only problematic if a person willingly identifies as poor.
Anyone can mint their own NFT with a bit of dedication and get above-average returns for that too. How about this poem? The author got 0.01 ETH for it, which is worth roughly $30 right now, and the majority of the Amazon books and Steam games cost around $10.
So does it feel unfair now that you know your crude NFT crypto art could be sold for a pretty penny one day?