A few years back, when I was researching all the different blockchains projects that were being built, I came across a very interesting one called “Cryptokitties.” At first, I did not pay much attention to it because, first, I am not a cat person, I am actually allergic to them. And second, Im not into cartoons or animated characters too much either, so for me it was not very attractive. But since it was built on a blockchain which was definitely of my interest, I decide to read on and learn more about it. Basically, for those who do not know; Cryptokitties is a game centered around breedable, collectible, and oh-so-adorable creatures we call CryptoKitties! Each cat is one-of-a-kind and 100% owned by you; it cannot be replicated, taken away, or destroyed. You can actually “collect and breed furrever friends.” Being digital friends of course….
Anyone can join the network, buy digital cats, breed them, make better cats and sell them, this created a never-seen before, complete unexpected enormous market. A few years ago (circa 2017), so many enthusiasts were rushing to trade cats on this platform that it created a jam on the ethereum network, slowing down financial transactions and other very important life changing blockchain transactions. This definitely made my head go crazy and made think of so many variables that dapps (decentralized applications) like cryptokitties can become.
Fast forward four years and the revolution is here and running wild. This revolution is known as Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are unique tokens by their characteristics so they are interchangeable. You can see them as the digitalized version of the real-world asset. NFTs are now being developed across multiple industries. The first applications are across the Gaming, Artwork, and Collectibles industries, however, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Real Estate, Event Ticketing, Brand Licensing, and Tokenizing of real world assets are also showing promise. Nike even applied for an NFT patent back in 2019.
In other words anything can become an NFT if applied correctly (no programming experience necessary). Any painting, collectible, asset, picture, sports card, your home, pictures of celebrities, ANYTHING can be digitized and monetize in the form of an NFT. I recently heard that an NFT of a Lebron James sports cards was sold for over $100k. NFTs are unique in their form, not mutually interchangeable by their individual specification in the way that crypto assets are and contain distinguishing information that makes it both distinct from any other NFT and easily verifiable making the creation and circulation of fake collectibles pointless because each item can be traced back to the original issuer.
As Mr. Ollie Leech from coindesk puts it, “NFTs cannot be directly exchanged with one another. This is because no two NFTs are identical – even those that exist on the same platform, game or in the same collection. Think of them as festival tickets. Each ticket contains specific information including the purchaser’s name, the date of the event and the venue. This data makes it impossible for festival tickets to be traded with one another.”
Once you digest that and let your imagination fly, you realized that, the way cryptocurrencies are for ever changing the financial landscape, NFTs may well be under way to changing the way we think ownership is all about. You can own a piece of a Picasso (unthinkable for most of us a few years back), a piece of hundreds or real estate assets, you can assign your kids or grand kids the ownership of small pieces of multiple assets and create a smart contract that reads exactly when the can take over these assets.
There is a possibility of digitizing this article and any exotic pictures i have taken, (if anyone wants to pay for them which i doubt, lol, you get the point), even your kid’s art can be tokenized… (check https://app.rarible.com/create/erc721 to upload your art as an NFT). There is no limit to it, and the beauty is that this technology makes the world more democratic, valuable assets are more accessible for purchase and a few clicks away and it is easier to find someone (or thousands of people) that can appreciate your art and put their money where their mouth is.
I am certain that this will not be the end of the evolution of this revolutionary way to tokenize assets and democratize ownership, but Im sure that the world will never be the same anymore and will continue to “cryptoevolve.”