Money Matters

NFTs: A New Way To Get Rich for Digital Artists

If you haven’t caught up with the latest trend called NFTs, then buckle-up! We’re about to dive into the world of non-fungible tokens!

NFTs are currently taking the digital art and collectables world by storm. Though they’ve been around since 2014, 2021 was the year this trend broke into the mainstream, disrupting the art world and industries beyond.

Let’s begin!

NFTs in simple terms

In its simplest of terms, NFTs or non-fungible tokens means it can neither be replaced nor interchanged because it has unique properties.

Did that made you scratch your head? Okay, let’s make it even simpler. If you bought an orange jacket from a certain brand, and you made memories with it, that jacket can never be replaced. Why? Because you developed an attachment to it. It now has sentimental value to you. It’s likeness will never be replaced by other orange jackets. That orange jacket is non-fungible to you.

If we say an asset is non-fungible by design, it implies that it cannot be easily traded for something else. For example, say an NFT of a particular painting is issued. It cannot be substituted or traded for another NFT since each NFT represents a unique and individual piece of content.

This is in stark contrast to popular cryptos like Ether, Litecoin, Bitcoin or Dogecoin where every token is the same as the next.

Think of NFTs as being cryptographic entities that have their value directly pegged to a real-world asset. Thanks to this unique ability, these tokens can serve as perfect mediums of ownership for things like art, music, collectibles, etc.

How far have NFTs come?

To really understand how huge this market has become, one need only look at how much money has made its way into this ever-evolving space. According to DappRadar, the sales of NFTs totalled $24.9 billion in 2021. Comparatively, it was just $94.9 million in 2019.

Some independent creators have also been able to sell their art for insanely high prices by turning them into an NFT. One good example of this is Beeple. He’s a digital designer and graphic artist who raked a whopping $69 million for one of his digital artworks in March 2021. What’s interesting to note here is that prior to the NFT boom, the most money Beeple was ever able to make by selling one of his physical prints was a measly $100. 

In the Philippines, there are also famous celebrities who already joined the NFT race. One such celebrity is Nadine Lustre. Lustre recently sold 1,000 editions of her new single that sells for over ₱1,500 apiece.

Another believer of this NFT craze is Filipino-American rapper Apl de Ap. A strong advocate for Filipino creatives, Apl was motivated to join the NFT space after he saw how cheaply Western corporations pay us for our work. In his eyes, NFTs will allow Filipinos to market themselves to direct buyers instead of relying on a middle man. It will help creatives dictate a higher price for their work.

For artists who have entered the NFT arena, the appeal of this new tech lies with how it democratizes artists to have more control over the sale of their work. It directly links them to a wider market beyond the control of traditional galleries and institutions. Simply put, a game changer.

NFTs role in the Metaverse

Now that you have an idea about NFTs, let’s talk about its role in the metaverse. For the uninitiated, the metaverse is a digital environment running on the blockchain, where technologies such as VR and AR could serve as visual component providers. Metaverse offers extremely versatile digital environments. Most important of all, it blends innovative technologies with models of interaction between participants from individual and enterprise perspectives. Think of the metaverse as “The Oasis” in the movie Ready Player One.

The metaverse is a massive new frontier, and NFTs can serve as a key concept in its broad ecosystem. NFTs are essentially deeds to virtual property, and grant exclusive access to endless metaverse offerings.

Still confused? This is the language of a transformative future. Best to learn speaking it now!

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