Updated: Apr 7, 2022
The hype with non-fungible tokens has skyrocketed recently. NFTS has emerged as a channel that gave creators the space to monetize their work by effectively licensing and selling their digital art prints. The market of people looking to buy original art online has boomed dramatically.
Although NFTs might have gained major e spotlight in 2021, their history actually traces back to 2012.
The Birth of Blockchain
The 2008 financial crisis spawned the development of blockchain. It serves as an engine or system upon which cryptocurrencies and NFTs are built. The first blockchain developed was Bitcoin, which was also the first global digital currency.
The next blockchain use case that followed was Ethereum. In addition to being a cryptocurrency, the platform also allows users how to develop and implement smart contracts, also. defined as a packet of code linked to a digital asset.
The existence of the smart contract confirms the fact that the asset is uniquely verified and traceable individually. Today all NFTs are attached to smart contracts, which makes them completely transparent and traceable.
Blockchain technology was developed with the goal of securing and democratizing transactions and payments.
NFTS is closely associated with the ethereum blockchain today; however, the concept of digital art prints has been prevalent for a long time before the existence of Ethereum. Kevin McCoy minted the first known NFT in 2014. It was called "Quantum."
Quantum is best described as a pixellated Octagon. It resonates hypnotically, and it's filled with various shapes. Quantum sold for over $1.4 million on November 28th, 2021.
Role of Ethereum
From 2014 to 2016, several platforms saw significant development that has become verified outlets for users to buy digital art prints online. Ethereum's added support created a new standard for NFTs and became the platform for them.
A set of standard tokens were presented by the Ethereum blockchain, which allowed developers to create tokens. The token standard served as a subsidiary of the smart contract standard. The token standard guides people on creating, issuing, and deploying new tokens for the blockchain that backs the smart contract.
The Emergence of NFT Projects
In 2017, after the notable success of their NFTs, Rare Pepes, John Watkinson, and Matt hall created a generative project on the Ethereum blockchain where it was limited to 10,000 pieces where no two characters generated were similar.
As the NFT culture surged in 2021 with celebrities jumping in, the number of fans looking to buy digital art online increased significantly. The hip and popular trends with digital art led to a massive boom in the prices of some of the NFT projects, notably the Cryptopunks.
NFT in Games
From 2018 to 2020, NFT made a lot of buzzes in gaming, and with the growing attention on metaverse. Decentraland was the first VR-based platform to enter this space.
Decentraland allows gamers to do more than just gaming on their platform. Users are able to explore, build and collect items on the platform.
Multiple platforms and games emerged following a similar model, notably with Enjin coin (ENJ) and the introduction of Axie Infinity (AXS). This game is blockchain-based and involves trading and battling that are partially owned and operated by the players.
The Future of NFTs
There is a lot of development happening with NFT and many brands, such as Nike, Louis Vuitton, and Facebook, have started their own NFT marketplaces and invested in their own NFTs.This space is poised for massive growth and exciting development over the coming decade.