When thinking about some of the biggest technological advances of the last decade, many people instantly think of cryptocurrencies and the potential that blockchain has to disrupt the way we think of ownership. The internet is expanding into virtual currencies, virtual land, and virtual items that can be owned through blockchain.
The acronym NFT, or non-fungible token, a buzzword that has taken the internet by storm over the last year, but many people don’t fully understand what it is or what it means for the future. Shurooq, an artist from Kuwait, has developed a line of virtual art through NFTs that showcase a great example of how this technology can be used. Still, in the future, you can expect to see NFTs in our daily lives, and the blockchain technology that supports the radical idea of virtual ownership.
What is an NFT?
As mentioned, an NFT is a non-fungible token. But what is that? The essence of non-fungible is irreplaceable and induplicatable. When you purchase an NFT, you are obtaining a unique part of the blockchain that supports the NFT; most NFTs are run on the Ethereum blockchain.
A great example of understanding how NFTs work is comparing them to collectibles, like trading cards. Many trading cards are only made in batches, and many are completely unique and one of a kind. Some popular NFTs, like Bored Apes, are made in collections but are limited by a specific number; they cannot be reproduced and are completely unique.
The blockchain technology also allows the user to verify who owns a certain NFT on the blockchain; it makes it impossible for someone to fake ownership of an NFT as the ability to verify the ownership is decentralized and cannot be faked. As you can see, the potential for a secure, decentralized way to own virtual assets could have huge implications to how we own items today.
How can I buy or sell NFTs?
When it comes to buying and selling NFTs, it can be intimidating to jump into a world that you aren’t familiar with. Luckily, the process of obtaining NFTs is actually easier than many would assume, and those who are familiar with cryptocurrency will have no problem buying and selling NFTs. Making NFTs is a process that takes a little bit more time; however, with a little bit of patience, you’ll be minting NFTs in no time.
While there are a variety of different NFT marketplaces out there, the most prominent is called OpenSea. You’ll need to make an OpenSea account in order to transact on the site. You’ll also need a cryptocurrency wallet, and you’ll need to own some Ethereum for your transactions if you intend to buy NFTs. Two common NFT wallets are Metamask and Coinbase Wallet.
Once you have your account and wallet open, you’ll be able to browse through the available NFTs and purchase or make an offer on whatever is available. You’ll also be able to view your NFTs once you own some and sell them directly on OpenSea; just be aware that OpenSea takes 2.5% of every transaction. Transactions also have a gas fee for anything that takes place on the Ethereum blockchain.
Shurooq’s Experience with NFTs
Understanding what NFTs are is the first step to seeing how they have the potential to change the world. Shurooq, an artist from Kuwait, experienced the power of NFTs first-hand. Shurooq was creating art for her art exhibition in Kuwait when she faced difficulties with authorities in Kuwait who falsely labeled her art as “blasphemous”, “pornographic”, and “immoral”. As a result of these accusations, Shurooq was forced to close her art exhibition for the second time; she had experienced similar persecution in 2012.
After the closure of her art exhibition, Shurooq began looking for more opportunities to share her art with the world. After staying home and being online throughout 2020, she discovered NFTs.
Like many people, the world of cryptocurrencies and NFTs was foreign to her at first, but she gained an understanding of the technology and began to develop her brand in the NFT space. By the beginning of 2021, she was ready to begin minting NFTs. Her first collection, called “They Wanted Camels, I Gave Them Camels”, was a sarcastic response to haters she’s had over her years as an artist. She then created a collection called “Popcornographics” which included her art that she had created over her 12 years as an artist. She sold her NFT collections on Foundation and then eventually OpenSea.
She is now an active member of the NFT community and donates half of her earnings from her NFT sales to charity through Give Kuwait. Overall, NFTs have given her the freedom to sell her art to the world and to support good causes.
Future Possibilities for NFTs
Seeing Shurooq’s success story with NFTs is just one example of how NFTs could change the world as they develop into a more mainstream technology in the future. Her virtual art collections allowed her to sell her art to people all over the world, and their ownership of the art is confirmed and verified through the blockchain. Her originals cannot be replicated as they are all unique parts of the Ethereum network.
In the future, NFT and blockchain technology could be used to verify ownership for a variety of different technologies. Cars could be started through NFTs and their ownership verified through the same; your driver’s license could be created as an NFT and then could be digitally verified to vote from home. All important documents could be stored as NFTs which provide digital security to your assets. The possibilities are endless, and it seems like the technology will continue to become more and more mainstream as more people adopt NFTs around the world.
Shurooq shows us a great example of how the NFT would brought her great success. This technology will only continue to grow, which means that early adopters will be those who benefit the most. If you have any questions about NFTs, don’t hesitate to reach out!