Oct 05, 2021
/ /


An NFT is a unit of data that can be sold and exchanged that is kept on a digital ledger known as a blockchain. The NFT can be linked to a specific digital or physical asset (such as a file or a physical object) as well as a license to use the asset for a specific purpose.  On digital marketplaces, NFTs (and the related license to use, duplicate, or display the underlying asset) can be exchanged and sold.

NFTs work similarly to cryptographic tokens, but unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, they are not mutually interchangeable, and hence are not fungible. While all bitcoins are the same, each NFT represents a distinct underlying asset and so has a different value.  NFTs are formed when blockchains string records of cryptographic hash, a collection of characters identifying a piece of data, onto preceding records, resulting in the formation of a chain of identifiable data blocks. By establishing a digital signature that is used to monitor NFT ownership, this cryptographic transaction mechanism assures the authentication of each digital file.  However, data connections pointing to specifics such as where the work is housed might fail.


Kevin McCoy and Anil Dash developed the first one-off NFT on May 3, 2014, live at the Seven on Seven conference at the New Museum in New York City. This experiment is the first time a non-fungible, marketable blockchain marker has been expressly connected to a unique work of art using on-chain information (supported by Namecoin),[75] in sharp contrast to the multi-unit, fungible, metadata-less “hued coins” of other blockchains like Counterparty.

Etheria, the first fully-fledged NFT project, was released and presented live in October 2015 at DEVCON 1, Ethereum’s inaugural developer conference, in London, UK, barely three months after the Ethereum blockchain itself was established. The majority of Etheria’s 457 purchasable and tradeable hexagonal tiles sat unsold for more than 5 years until March 13, 2021, when increased interest in NFTs ignited a purchasing frenzy. Within 24 hours, all tiles from the current and previous versions, each hardcoded at 1 ETH ($0.43 cents at the time of launch), had been auctioned for a total of $1.4 million.

In 2017, the Ethereum blockchain began to gain popularity over bitcoin-based token systems, owing to the inclusion of token generation and storage inside its blockchain, which removed the need for third-party platforms such as Counterparty. Furthermore, the phrase “non-fungible token” was invented by the business. In addition, in 2017, the American company Larva Labs launched CryptoPunks, a project on the Ethereum blockchain that allows users to trade unique cartoon characters.  Another project called CryptoKitties, in which gamers adopt and trade virtual cats, was introduced in late 2017 and rapidly went popular, generating a $12.5 million investment with some kittens selling for more than $100,000.

As of September 2018, Decentraland, a blockchain-based virtual world, has raised $26 million in an initial coin offering and had a $20 million internal economy.

In 2019, Nike patented a system called CryptoKicks that would use NFTs to verify the authenticity of physical sneakers and give a virtual version of the shoe to the customer.

Dapper Labs, the developer of CryptoKitties, announced the beta version of NBA TopShot, a project to offer tokenized souvenirs of NBA highlights, in early 2020. The concept is based on Flow, a newer and more efficient blockchain than Ethereum. Later that year, the project was made public, and as of February 28, 2021, it has grossed over $230 million. 

The NFT market tripled in value to $250 million in 2020, owing to fast development.

 More than $200 million was spent on NFTs in the first three months of 2021.

Interest in NFTs is expected to rise in 2021. Blockchains like Ethereum, Flow, and Tezos have particular rules in place to ensure that the digital items represented are really unique. NFTs are currently being utilized to monetize digital assets like art, music, sports, and other popular entertainment, with the majority of NFTs being part of the Ethereum blockchain.

Other blockchains, on the other hand, can implement their own versions of NFTs.  Several high-profile sales occurred in the first few months of the year.  Grimes, a singer, sold around $6 million in tokens representing digital art on Nifty Gateway in February 2021. Later that month, an NFT depicting the viral cartoon Nyan Cat was auctioned for well under $600,000 on an Internet marketplace.  To honour the three-year anniversary of his Ultraviolet album, electronic dance musician 3LAU auctioned a collection of 33 NFTs for a total of $11.7 million on February 28, 2021.  Kings of Leon were the first band to sell a freshly released album on March 5, 2021.


NFTs distributed by CryptoKitties, a business established by Dapper Labs to offer ownership of unique cat avatars, became so popular in 2017 that a rush in demand took up considerable transaction space on the Ethereum blockchain and delayed the whole Ethereum network in December of that year.

NFTs were more popular in the early months of 2021 as a result of many high-profile purchases, including a $208,000 NBA Top Shot video clip of LeBron James, a $11.7 million 3LAU album, and a $69.3 million work by digital artist Beeple.   NFT sales surpassed $220 million in March 2021 alone, accounting for over half of total NFT sales at that period.  This revived interest in NFTs, particularly those in the arts, music, and sports, entered the public awareness, particularly among the younger population.  On the March 27, 2021 broadcast of Saturday Night Live, a comedy sketch satirized the popularity of NFTs; the skit was marketed as an NFT itself for $365,000.

How do NFTs function?

Most NFTs are, at a high level, part of the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum, like bitcoin or dogecoin, is a cryptocurrency, but its blockchain also enables these NFTs, which carry additional information that allows them to function differently from, say, an ETH coin. It should be noted that other blockchains can create their own versions of NFTs.

What is the purpose of NFTs?

That depends entirely on whether you are an artist or a customer.

I’m a painter.

First and foremost, I want to express my admiration for you. Congratulations. You might be interested in NFTs since they allow you to sell work that would otherwise be difficult to sell. What will you do if you come up with a very great digital sticker idea? Is it possible to sell it on the iMessage App Store? No way, no how.

Also, NFTs include a function that you can enable that will pay you a percentage every time the NFT is sold or transferred, ensuring that if your work becomes really famous and skyrockets in value, you will reap part of the benefits.

I’m a customer.

One of the most apparent advantages of purchasing art is that it allows you to financially support artists you admire, and this is also true for NFTs (which are way trendier than, like, Telegram stickers). Purchasing an NFT generally includes some basic usage rights, such as the ability to publish the image online or set it as your profile photo. Of course, there are bragging rights to owning the art, with a blockchain entry to prove it.

No, I meant to say I’m a collector.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yeah, yes NFTs can function similarly to any other speculative asset in that you acquire it and hope that the value of it rises one day so that you can sell it for a profit. But I feel a little dirty for bringing it up.


The blockchain ledger may be used to verify an NFT’s unique identification and ownership. Ownership of the NFT is frequently associated with a licence to use the underlying digital asset, but this does not generally confer copyright to the buyer: some agreements only grant a licence for personal, non-commercial use, whereas other licences allow commercial use of the underlying digital asset.

Digital artwork

Because of blockchain technology’s capacity to ensure the unique signature and ownership of NFTs, digital art was an early use case for NFTs.

[11] In 2021, artist Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple, sold a digital artwork named “Everydays – The First 5000 Days” for US$69.3 million. [5] [12] The acquisition resulted in the third-highest auction price for a living artist, after only Jeff Koons and David Hockney. Another Beeple work, “Crossroad,” which consists of a 10-second film of animated people passing through a Donald J. Trump figure, sold for US$6.6 million at Nifty Gateway, an online cryptocurrency marketplace for digital art.


NFTs can represent digital collectibles in the same way as physical card collections do, but in a totally digital manner. A LeBron James slam dunk NFT card sold for $208,000 on the NBA Top Shot platform in February 2021.

Tickets for any sort of event have been proposed as a usercase for NFTs.

 One such use is the prospect of artists receiving royalties on resales. Another possibility is a more personal interaction between fans and artists.

NFTs in games may also be used to represent in-game assets such as digital plots of land that are owned by the user rather than the game creator.

Community for Virtual Worlds Token holders of NFTs such as “Bored Ape Yacht Club” and “Pudgy Penguins” are entitled to perks such as membership admission to a secret Discord channel by confirming the NFT exists in the wallet against entry. 

Virtual worlds like as Decentraland, Sandbox, CryptoVoxels, and Somnium Space, dubbed the Metaverse, let users to construct galleries to display NFT art, clothing, real estate, and attend live events with friends online. They utilise NFTs to auction off scarce resources like virtual land. Because of the open standards, users may transact and move external NFT items onto their acquired property with ease.


Blockchain and the technology that powers the network have enabled artists to tokenize and distribute their work as non-fungible tokens. This has broadened the range of possibilities available to musicians and artists alike for monetizing and profiting from their music as well as other content related to the music and the artist’s public image. Furthermore, NFTs have enabled artists and touring musicians to recoup lost money as a result of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, which caused in a roughly 85 percent drop in music business earnings.


To promote the film, 20th Century Fox teamed with Atom Tickets and issued limited-edition Deadpool 2 digital posters in May 2018. They might be obtained through Opensea.io and the GFT exchange.  Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah, Adam Benzine’s 2015 documentary, became the first motion picture and documentary film to be auctioned as an NFT in March 2021.  through the Rarible platform


A number of online memes have been linked to NFTs, which were produced and sold by their creators or subjects.


NFTs have also been utilised in sports, with NBA player Spencer Dinwiddie tokenizing his contract in September 2019 so that others may invest in it.

So, each NFT is distinct?

In the dull, technical sense, each NFT is a distinct token on the blockchain. But, unlike van Gogh, where there is only one definitive genuine piece, it might also be like a trading card, with 50 or hundreds of numbered copies of the same artwork.

Who would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for something that is essentially a trading card? That is, after all, one of the reasons why NFTs are so complicated. Some regard them as the future of fine art collection while others regard them as Pokémon cards.

Author: Mehreen Khan, Cheif Financial Officer, Sherji Techmologies


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments