Cydney Tune recently joined host Joel Simon on the Industry outlook podcast to discuss the NFT trend, its vast industry reach, and some of its interesting pop culture manifestations.
Joel Simon: Our discussion today is going to touch on a number of things that are a mystery to many people. We will be focusing on non-fungible tokens, called NFTs, and in the process we can only mention blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Cydney, I read recently that the technology for an NFT has been around since 2010. It became widespread in 2017, and this year NFTs have already generated over $ 2 billion in sales. So this is definitely a topic that people should get acquainted with. Let’s start with the most basic question: what is an NFT?
Adjust: Essentially, an NFT is a digital asset that represents something of unique value. If you can scan it, you can turn it into NFT.
Simon: Since NFTs are digital assets, how do people keep track of who owns them?
Adjust: An NFT is stored on a digital ledger known as a blockchain. This gives it the option of keeping a record of ownership and also acts as a certificate of authenticity.
Simon: I think I know just enough to present what comes next and then hand it to you. People buy and sell NFTs in NFT markets using cryptocurrency and then transactions are done on platforms which are on the blockchain. Without going down a rabbit hole, for listeners who might never have encountered this before, can you quickly explain to us what this means.
Adjust: Sure. You will need to know a bit more about blockchains, cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency chain platforms, and the online marketplace where people buy and sell NFTs in order to put it in context. In its simplest terms, a blockchain is a system for recording information in a way that makes it difficult for the system to be modified, hacked, or cheated because it is essentially a system in which there is a digital record of transactions duplicated and distributed across a network. computer systems on the blockchain. It is a form of peer-to-peer file sharing network, but focused on cryptocurrency exchanges. As for a cryptocurrency exchange platform, it is a platform that facilitates the exchange of cryptocurrencies against other assets, in particular digital currencies such as bitcoin for example and fiat money. This is because the cryptocurrency exchange acts as an intermediary between the buyer and the seller and makes money through commissions and transactions. Now listeners may be wondering what “fiat money” is. It is a government issued currency that is not backed by a commodity such as gold. Fiat currencies have been in the United States since 1971, and modern paper currencies are fiat currencies. For NFTs, Ethereum is the most used exchange platform. (There’s also Coinbase, Ripple, and others.)
Simon: To clarify, the US dollar became a fiat currency in 1971 when it came off the gold standard?
Adjust: That’s right.
Simon: Great, thank you. Thanks for all that Cydney on the merits. Now we come to the good part of the discussion which is transactions and markets.
Adjust: Yeah, a lot of things happened, a lot of excitement, and like always when the money gets big people start to notice it. As you mentioned earlier, Joel, NFT sales topped $ 2 billion. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, according to nonfungible.com. And while sales and prices have fallen from their February highs, $ 2 billion in a quarter is a lot of money. In fact, it is more than 20 times more than what was achieved in the previous quarter. Regarding motivation, the CEO of SuperRare said buyers are motivated because NFTs provide a unique connection to the creator that is not found in other art forms.
Simon: What industries in particular have been involved in NFTs so far?
Adjust: Let’s start with visual art. There was a recent sale at Christie’s. Beeple is the name of the digital artist. He sold an NFT called Daily: the first 5,000 days for $ 69 million. This was a one-of-a-kind auction at Christie’s. On the other hand, it’s a lot of work, it’s a collage of, as the title suggests, 5,000 days of work.
There’s José Delbo, an artist who started selling NFT Wonder Woman. He was a comic book illustrator in the ’70s and’ 80s and recently sold Wonder Woman NFT for $ 1.85 million. NFTs have also been very popular in music. The estate of MF Doom, who passed away in October 2020, recently sold unique editions of augmented reality versions of his signature mask. (MF Doom was an early adopter of NFTs.) And they sold for between $ 18,000 and $ 857,000 each. Shawn Mendes has a collection of NFT geniuses. Geniuses are actually official avatars of the world’s greatest icons, and they use them to bring “real world utilities” to NFTs – you can purchase Genie clothes that you can use to adorn your genies. You could get a genie from Shawn Mendes and then you can buy NFTs that allow you to provide him with outfits and the like. The group Kings of Leon recently made a very interesting NFT offer in March, where they offered their latest album as NFT and they gave up three different types of tokens as part of that effort. One of them was a special album package, so it has some additional visuals and so on. The second was a golden ticket. They sold two of them with the perks of the live show that came with the purchase of the album, including guaranteed front row seats for one show from every flagship tour for life. A week after their offer, they had generated $ 2 million.
Simon: I know that there has also been activity in the world of sport. Maybe you could give some examples there?
Adjust: Sports is another area where it has really exploded. LeBron James is in the action. NBA Top Shots is digital, like a collectible digital sports card, but it’s actually a small video clip of a particularly memorable shot in an NBA game. LeBron sold one of his Top Shots – a dunk where he mimicked Kobe Bryant’s reverse windmill dunk – for almost $ 400,000. Tops, a major supplier of baseball cards, will start selling official blockchain-based versions of classic Tops baseball cards, which of course is relevant to some mainstream collectors. And then one of my favorites, there are digital horses, we talk about the world of crypto. Horse racing meets NFT mania. There is a digital horse racing platform. Owners pay a modest fee to enter their NFT horses for competition, and they participate in an event hourly all the time, seven days a week. It’s really interesting to me because it’s what they call a breathable NFT. By this, they mean that each NFT has its own unique DNA. It can reproduce itself, it has a life of its own, it runs, it has genes that it transmits. It lives in an algorithm so no two horses are the same and owners can breed their NFT horses on the hosted stud farm.
Simon: Wow, that looks like the NFT version of the Sims video game. Really interesting.
Adjust: Yeah, so there are some “odd NFTs” (my categorization). It’s not necessarily a specific industry, but they’re quite interesting. Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter sold his first tweet as NFT for over $ 2.9 million. His prime said and I quote, “I just set up my Twitter. There is a guy in San Francisco who is considering offering NFT leases for rooms in his cohabitation community, starting at $ 300,000. There was a couple in California that I know in March who traded virtual rings on their smartphones. There was a cat meme called Mayan Cat meme, I don’t know if you’ve seen Joel before, he looks very primitive, pixelated. It has now become an NFT which the creator sold for $ 580,000 in February. And then finally, one of the most interesting, when the lockdown began last March, there was a filmmaker from Brooklyn and four of his friends who were a little bored. So, they decided to send each other audio recordings of their farts. A year later, the filmmaker decided to auction 52 Minutes of Audio Gas as an NFT called “A Calendar Year of Saved Farts” by later selling it for $ 500.
Simon: I guess that last point shows that no matter how advanced the technology is, there will always be a low end of the market to contrast with the high end products. Thank you Cydney for this truly informative discussion on a topic that is sure to continue to make headlines in the world of digital assets and finance. It was great to have you on the podcast today.
Adjust: Thanks Joël. It has been fun talking to you today, and it really is a very interesting topic to watch.[View source.]