In the past several weeks, NFTs have gained popularity and their sales have skyrocketed. Creators like JN Silva of the Alpha Collective have jumped on the NFT movement. Silva released his first NFT with fine artist ThankYouX at the end of 2020 and will drop a second called Thank You Miami today, March 11 at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. They have been spreading the word about NFTs and their potential to the creator community. We’ve rounded up some of the basics to help you understand what NFTs are and what they mean for creators. Learn more about them below and be sure to catch Silva's newest NFT drop HERE.
What are NFTs and what do they mean for creators? Here are some basics and more about Alpha Collective member JN Silva’s NFT release March 11 at 7PM ET.
What Is An NFT?
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. Non-fungible means you aren’t able to exchange it for something else of the same value, making it one-of-a-kind. The token is a unit of currency on the blockchain – the technology that powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
An NFT can be anything digital, but the growing movement for digital photo/video/art NFTs could be a huge deal for those in the creative space.
Why Should Creators Care About NFTs?
NFTs allow creators to establish provenance for their pieces of work. When your work has provenance, it gives it that special, collectible significance because it’s authenticated. Creators can list their NFT and offer it to fans of their work as a fully verifiable and unique digital asset.
When someone purchases the NFT, that doesn’t mean they own the digital work through copyright or trademark. Instead, they own the property rights to that instance of the work which is a piece of code in a blockchain. Owning a piece of code in a blockchain has become incredibly valuable with the rising popularity of cryptocurrency and could be the new way for digital collectibles around the world.
Creators can also build a royalty into their NFT sales, allowing them to continue to keep the proceeds from its future sales. It’s a possible new avenue for creators to make money by selling their digital work directly to the public and retaining royalty value from any subsequent sales.
How Do You Purchase & Sell NFTs?
To purchase and sell NFTs, you first typically have to buy cryptocurrency to use in an NFT marketplace. There are several popular NFT marketplaces like Nifty Gateway, Rarible, Known Origin and OpenSea.
Creators can “mint” their NFT by signing into one of the NFT marketplaces, uploading their digital file and choosing if it’s a one-of-a-kind piece, part of a collection of pieces or if there are multiple of that same piece. After completing the prompted questions and minting your NFT, the work is posted and collectors can begin bidding.
In a world where photographers lament being the victims of ubiquitous unauthorized and largely identical digital "forgeries," NFTs are a more than just a bright spot on the horizon. They represent a genuine tool for reclaiming recognition and remuneration for copyrighted intellectual property. There are early and heady days to be sure, but the possibilities are real.