NFTs are here to stay, and they’re changing the art, fashion and music worlds forever. It won’t be long before they start to change e-commerce and retail too, and believe it or not, I can even see a world in the future where you can’t get access to that ultra-cool new restaurant or bar without having their exclusive NFT.
But if you’re still wondering what exactly an NFT is and why they are so potentially valuable, we need to start at the beginning. An NFT is, in essence, a certificate of authentication, but the way it ultimately works means that the buyer can exclusively access, see or use something. When you buy an NFT, it’s linked to a digital wallet; only you can access that NFT through your wallet, and those who just ‘right-click, save as…’ can’t.
You are collecting something; whether that’s art, access to an event, a magazine, it really could be anything. For those who argue that you can just save the artwork or gif to your computer, well, just like a trading card, physical art, or high-end sneakers, you might have the print, but do you have the original work?
To some, it might seem confusing as to why suddenly there is so much value put on NFTs, with mainstream media reporting NFTs of memes, gifs and art selling for millions of dollars. The truth is, though, in the past, there hasn’t been much tangible value put on digital art, but the skills needed to create epic work in 3D is exceptionally high. Artists like Baka Arts, Equinoz, Beeple and Bulgarov have incredible 3D modelling skills and could frankly create CGI for blockbuster movies (and some do).
The time it takes to create these works of art can take months. With our own CYBR Magazine NFT, we made the whole magazine as a 3D model. We placed every single page within the print and digital magazine into this model, creating a perfect replica of each issue immortalised forever on the blockchain.
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NFTs are giving value to these skills and this artistic medium. Large NFT collectors known as ‘whales’ are buying NFTs en masse because they value the skills and time it takes to produce these works of art.
NFTs have changed the game of art buying forever. One of the fantastic developments about NFTs is royalties. Before NFTs, how artists earned money was very different. Let’s say photorealistic artist Robert Longo sells a piece of artwork for $500,000, and then the collector resells that work five years later for $750,000; Longo gets nothing from the resale. All the artist ever gets is the original selling price minus the gallery’s commission.
Now with NFTs, there are royalties built-in, forever. The artist can choose a percentage always to be paid on any future resale. It’s absolutely game-changing for artists, especially emerging artists who might sell a work for $5,000 today, which may resell for $500,000 in the future.
I’d encourage anyone interested in art, collectables or technology to get involved, try it out and have some fun. The NFT community is incredibly welcoming, with artists, collectors and creatives all helping each other build this new world.
Some NFTs unlock one of a kind physical sneakers, magazine subscriptions, or even an augmented reality house. You don’t have to be spending a fortune either; CryptoKitties – essentially Pokemon but with cute cats – can be as cheap as $40, and one of my personal favourites, R66 by Nikita Replyanski, are digital collectable figurines that eventually will be physically 3D printed and go for around $150, and of course CYBR Magazine’s own NFT gets you a three-year print subscription included for about $150. NFTs are at the forefront of a cultural renaissance that is building an exciting vision of the future.
Written by James Joseph, Founder and Editor at CYBR: the world’s first NFT magazine!