What is an NFT?
NFTs prove ownership of a unique digital asset like art, music, collectibles, videos or anything else with blockchain technology.
NFT stands for non-fungible token.
That sounds like an intimidating technical term (no more nerd talk, promise!). But NFTs are just digital certificates of authenticity.
If you buy a physical painting, you know it’s real because you see the artist’s signature on the canvas. Somebody can photocopy the painting, but they don’t own it — you do. Before NFTs, digital assets were like photocopies:
You can see who posted something, but you can’t see who owns an Instagram post, Pinterest Pin or Reddit meme.
NFTs are like a signature for digital items: They authenticate ownership of digital assets like art, collectibles, music, videos, in-game assets, and more. Just like physical certificates, they document:
- Who created it
- When it was created
- Who bought it (and when)
- The price(s) it solds for
- Who owns it now
(Technically, NFTs can contain any data the creator wants to include, but the above are most relevant.)
All of this is public via a blockchain, so anyone can trace each of your NFTs from the original creator all the way to your wallet—and verify its authenticity (even the friends who call you crazy for buying a profile picture 😉).
But owning digital assets is more than “nice to have”, a fun hobby or a digital stamp collection:
Some NFTs unlock digital (or physical) experiences, grant access to exclusive communities, let you contribute to projects, grant premium access to software products… We could keep listing awesome features, but that list would be endless and our writer needs to get this done before tomorrow’s meeting. Tbh, this technology is so new, we probably haven’t even seen 4.20% of the use cases.
What is a blockchain?
A blockchain is a network of computers that track transactions in their network and generate a giant ledger of who owns what (and how much of it). That’s a lot of beep boop action!
So if you ignore your friends’ well-meaning advice and spend six figures on a CryptoPunk, computers around the world confirm you as the NFTs new owner—and ensure it stays in your wallet.
Blockchains that host NFTs include:
…and many more
Rarible currently enables selling and buying digital assets on the Ethereum and Flow blockchains, with more to come..