Editorial

NFTs Explained: Why Are People Spending Millions On Things We Get For Free?

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Just when you think you’ve understood tech and finance to a point where it couldn’t change anymore, the industry is quick to remind you that you know nothing. For instance, over the past few weeks, the term NFT has surfaced on almost all social media platforms and it’s about time we fully understand a few things. What NFT’s they are, why they are, who they are for and what it means to have one.

NFT- What Does It Mean

If we walk down to the bare minimum, NFT in full stands for Non-Fungible Tokens. If that still doesn’t make sense, let’s break that down further. “Non-fungible” more or less means that it’s unique and can’t be replaced/traded with something else.

Say for example I give you a KES 1,000 shilling note. Should you give me 10 KES 100 notes or something similar, then it deems the note Fungible.

Non-Fungible items include one of a kind shoes, cards, phones etc. Essentially, digital items that are unique and none other can compare to them. Ultimately,

“Like an autograph on a baseball card, the NFT itself is the creator’s autograph on the content, making it scarce, unique, and valuable.”

How do NFTs work?

For lack of a better explanation, NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain. This is a cryptocurrency, like bitcoin or dogecoin stored in digital wallets, but its blockchain also supports these NFTs. They store extra information that makes them work differently from other coins.

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Now I know what you will ask next. Why NFT’s? Well, according to auction platform Valuables, “owning any digital content can be a financial investment, hold sentimental value, and create a relationship between collector and creator.”

Should You Be Interested in NFT’s?

Many are using them to buy art, trading cards, baseball cards and most recently Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, going for a whopping KES 250 Million. The market for They are earning artists, musicians, video editors, and meme-makers loads of cash.

For example,

Buyers of these works get the privilege of “owning” a piece of digital art. A lot of the conversation is about NFTs as an evolution of fine art collecting, only with digital art. They live by the fact that it’s cool to have the only piece of art in its existence.

As an artist, this is a great avenue to sell your artwork. I mean what’s the harm in trying. As a collector, this is your chance to own a piece of digital history. Not too many people can say that.

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But Can’t I just Screenshot or Download These Artworks?

Well, yes you can, but as we said earlier, buying via NFT’s gives you the sole ownership of the property. Imagine if you could buy the Mona Lisa or the First Apple Macintosh as a digital piece of art. Yes, people have the pictures but it’s way cooler to be known as the owner.

However, should you dive deeper, a few of the creations are ‘Mona Lisa’ quality. Take a look at this ‘Gucci Ghost’. Guess how much it sold for…

GucciGhost (1)

It was bought for KES 390,000. Now, the owner is asking for KES 1.6 million. Crazy the world we live in, right?

Where Can You Buy NFT’S?

There are several marketplaces that have popped up around NFTs, which allow people to buy and sell. These include OpenSea, Rarible, and Grimes’ choice, Nifty Gateway, but there are plenty of others.

What do I think Of This?

I think its insane. It’s not a problem that people are spending millions on art but the valuations are crazy. For someone to buy a Gif at KES 2M and a Tweet at KES 200M makes no sense to me when I can just Google and see it too.

Honestly, It would be cool if only I owned the meme or if I was getting royalties for its usage. Anyways, kudos to those selling their pieces and condolences to the buyers.

WELCOME TO AFRICA’S FIRST VIFAA TECH FESTIVAL

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