Trip to Non-Fungible-Token Land

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2 years ago

I have spent the past couple weeks wrapping my head around NFTs and how they work. At this point, I think I’m late to the party. But I just have to process the idea and function and possibilities of this non-fungible-token and how it can work into our lives. The news and updates on this market has kept me busy and the one question I am constantly left with is why? Why own a piece of digital data for millions of dollars, as in the case of CryptoPunks or shell out a bunch of ETH instead of HODLing it? 

Everywhere I research and learn more about the crypto space, NFTs were inevitably discussed. I read, listened and watched many speak about this bustlingly new enterprise. It just didn’t click in my head about why and what made them so special. 

Film/Entertainment Industry

The one way they can function that does make sense to me is as a film/video asset. As I’ve written about the entertainment industry entering the NFT and crypto space before here, it makes sense that they would want to get in on the blockchain and secure their properties. The latest to join in is Anthony Hopkins, who has a movie set to premiere on NFT platform Vuele, that would give purchasers the right to own the film and some extras not yet determined. 

It is a bold move for the filmmakers to move away from traditional distribution and bet it all on NFTs. Yet, thus is cryptocurrency, is it not? By breaking away from the big studios and large distribution deals and backend bonuses, they are chancing it on NFTs and trusting consumers with their art. The business model does have a royalty that is granted to the original owner which would make money on a resale, but what if it’s never sold again? It could be a huge threat to the traditional studios which may be why Warner Bros. has partnered with Nifty in a Space Jam and Disney-owned Marvel have just given in and join in on the action. 

My NFT Experiment

As a personal experiment, I found this opportunity with 8biticon to create my own NFT pixel avatar, buy it and then make money off the shared elements that other people use. It got addicting real fast and I soon found myself waiting for paydays to make another. Thankfully, I stopped at four. It was fun to make them and piece them together and now I’m hoping to make some money. At anytime, the owner of the avatars can also sell the avatar on or any other NFT marketplace, which will stop payments on the element payments though. So I am holding onto mine for a little while longer. 

The 8biticon experiment was my first taste into the NFT game. It was fun and I got hooked into the hope of possibly getting a great ROI for each NFT I minted. At this moment, I have made about 0.00165 ETH after buying about $160 worth of avatars. Is it worth it, we’ll see. But I do enjoy making them and may make more. 

Now I’m waiting to see how that experiment pans out and started to look further at other successes. Opensea marketplace was interesting. I wanted to see what others were bidding on and what was getting noticed. It was a lot of hodge podge to me. As I’m still getting a good grasp, it’s really a wide open field for anyone that can mint a visual or audio product or attach a special IRL item with their NFT. I noticed digital art or some semblance to it, gaming related NFTs, NFTs that marketed or introduced another product, photos, audio clips, adult XXX videos/photos and anything one desires to put into a digital file and on the ‘chain.

CryptoPunks Deep Dive

One project I knew I wanted to know more about was CryptoPunks. The name had whizzed by in the news, while reading the news and in podcasts so my interest was definitely piqued but I had no idea what they were about. After reading the Wiki and seeing a few headlines. Namely Jay-Z changing his social media avatar to a CP. This article by Tech Crunch helped me see the light - a little bit. The journey of the creators behind CryptoPunks is astonishing and the mainstream acceptance is encouraging. But one part of it really helped me to see that NFTs do function as true art. Spoiler alert here, but one investor who sold a female crypto punk for more than $1 million said that “I really liked her” and his regrets of selling others in the same NFT family. I can relate to this - not the selling art for millions of dollars but the emotional attachment. While my art collection is very meager, I am a fine art appreciator absolutely. There are pieces that I don’t own, but I am familiar with that I just like and feel attached to in some strange way. When I come upon one of these pieces by mere chance, it just feels good to see it, a familiarity and feeling of delight it gives.

Now when I look at my collection, I feel embarrassed to say, but I started trying to emulate the crypto punk look in my own pixel avatars. You could even go so far to say that one looks like the “zero trait” punk the investor got attached to. When I look at my creation, yeah I like her too. I might be regretting selling her one day as well. 

Here’s my poser CryptoPunk I made on 8biticon, I like her.

Anyone else into NFTs? What do you like about them? Explain to me the greatness and anything I may have missed in my understanding. If there’s more information you’d like to know, let me know in the comments. Also - if anyone knows of a site like 8biticon where one can create their own NFT, let me know.

Thanks for reading!

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