The non-fungible token (NFT) revolution is upon us, and whether you’re a devoted convert to the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, sitting on the DeFi fence, or reluctant to get involved (despite projections that NFTs will one day soon be a multi-billion dollar asset class), we want to give you a comprehensive overview of the NFT space.
For those already familiar with NFTs, we hope this guide offers some reinforcement and new insights on where the industry is (and where it’s going). Similarly, inside the SuperWorld Atlas, those uninitiated to NFTs will find all you need to know about how and why non-fungible tokens are paving the way toward a new economy, and a new paradigm of digital ownership in SuperWorld and beyond.
Let's start simple:
NFTs are digital tokens used to establish ownership of unique, collectible items. These items can range from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first Tweet, to the NFT art installation by Beeple, “Everydays,” which sold for $69 million at auction through Christie’s, music, including Kings of Leon’s latest studio album, “When You See Yourself,” and of course, plots of virtual real estate in SuperWorld.
Sold as an NFT for $2.9 million
Why, some may ask, can’t I just print out Jack Dorsey’s tweet, or download Beeple’s JPG file, or go and buy the Kings of Leon album from a store, or on Amazon.com? You can of course do all of those things, but what makes them special as NFTs are their digital scarcity and function as a kind of digital certificate of authenticity in the Internet marketplace. For some, the confusion arises between the notion of fungible and non-fungible assets.
In short, a fungible asset may be exchanged for itself without losing any value. Consider a US dollar, or a Bitcoin, or even oil, bonds, and precious metals. Assuming a uniform quantity is exchanged, there is no difference between one of these assets and the next.
On the other hand, a non-fungible asset is necessarily unique, and contains information specific to its one-of-a-kind property. For our purposes, think of a non-fungible asset as tantamount to your personal mobile phone; before you bought your iPhone 12 (for instance), the device was fungible, and could have been exchanged for any other unopened iPhone12 on Earth. However, because of the unique information and data added through its use, your device is wholly distinct from every other iPhone 12, and thus, non-fungible.
Here are few other examples to illustrate the difference between fungible and non-fungible assets:
NFTs are limited to one owner at a time, with ownership backed by smart contracts on (in most cases) the Ethereum blockchain, which allows for specific instructions and metadata to be written into their digital protocol. In this way, there is an active and living ledger on blockchain that documents all purchases, sales, and activity related to a specific NFT.
As far as NFTs and SuperWorld are concerned, every plot of virtual real estate uses the ERC-721 standard of tradable assets. Each 100m x100m property in SuperWorld is also manifested as an NFT (as no two locations on Earth are the same), and characterized by its digital scarcity as a collectible and wholly distinct asset to buy, sell, trade, or hold. So, when you buy a piece of SuperWorld, you acquire a unique and irreplicable block on Ethereum. In short, owning an NFT means owning lines of code represented as text, audio, video, imagery and more.
And while historically, NFTs have functioned as mere collectibles, satisfying a unique, although narrow, range of use, today, adoption has reached a tipping point, with NFTs offering revolutionary ways to monetize, move, authenticate and certify digital assets on the blockchain.
We’re partial to this one…#TeamSuperWorld🌍❤️️
From Decentraland to Sandbox to CryptoVoxels, buying, selling, or collecting digital real estate has been growing in popularity. However, it should be noted that SuperWorld is the ONLY virtual real estate platform to incorporate:
CryptoPunks Series of Collectible NFTs
Over the last year, the art world, especially the conventional art world, was put on notice. At the time of this writing, and according to cryptoart.io, the estimated value of all cryptoart sold was over $400 million, with over $300 million of that coming in March of this year alone. From the legendary Beeple drop, to the groundbreaking Vesa Luxor Project in SuperWorld, there’s little need to demonstrate the sea change in how people see and value art today, tomorrow, and beyond.
Collectible moments from NBA Top Shot are taking the novelty of trading cards to a new level, and inspiring a new kind of sports memorabilia. And as evidenced by the phenomenon of CryptoKitties and the parabolic rise of Cryptopunks, NFTs and blockchain tech are not only changing the what, how and where of collectibles, but perhaps most importantly, the why.
CryptoPunks Series of Collectible NFTs
Every day, new and established artists of all musical genres are jumping into the NFT fray. Decentralized record label DAO RECORDS uses blockchain to give power back to songwriters and musicians; Cryptoartist Sutu and deadmau5 dropped an audioreactive NFT late last year; EDM artist 3LAU recently sold $11.6 million in NFTs, while older artists ranging from Snoop Dogg, Lionel Richie, and Boy George have all recently stepped into the NFT space.
Blockchain technology offers security and an added measure of authenticity to vital records. We are beginning to see the tokenization of personal and financial documents, including tax, school, and immunization records, birth/death/marriage certificates, along with supply chain potential in minting invoices, purchase orders and transaction records as NFTs.
On a broader scale, NFTs are emblematic of the larger evolution in finance capital, wherein the need for trusted intermediaries in everything from asset-backed lending and securitization to investment brokers--and yes, even banks--becomes obsolete.
Krista Kim's "Mars House"
SuperWorld’s own global ambassador and artist-in-residence Krista Kim has demonstrated the ceiling shattering power of NFT and digital design: Her 3D modeled “Mars House” sold for over $500,000. Likewise, luxury watchmaker Jacob & Co. will auction off a 1/1 NFT timepiece created by their internal design team; Fashion labels including Gucci have begun to experiment with NFT releases, while The Fabricant, a digital fashion house, specializes in virtual couture.
From questions of ownership when it comes to medical information, to patents and even genomic data, NFTs can provide an authenticated resource for caregivers, patients, and families. This cuts down on medical fraud, as almost half of the 30 billion healthcare industry transactions that take place every year are eventually deemed fraudulent. Likewise, blockchain and NFT tech can help provide scientists, academics and researchers with a means to ensure their work is documented and wholly unique as a patent, scientific paper, or other innovation.
For other questions about NFTs, or to learn more about how SuperWorld can help you build a better world, check out our NFT Salon