What are NFTs and why you should care about them
It’s 8:06 AM on a Tuesday Monday. I have barely slept, squeezing my head over & over, trying to find a solution to this question: How do I let my friends know they should be in on NFTs?
But thinking isn’t working. Too much stress and nothing to show for it. My best friend always says writing helps you come up with ideas. So fuck it. I’m gonna write.
A bit of background
I’ve been in the NFT Space since January 2020. It wasn’t love at first sight, but over time I’ve come to believe it’s the next big thing. Like REALLY BIG.
So it’s obvious I’d want to tell my friends about it. And I did. But it’s hard. So conversations always follow one of two directions:
- I send them to L’Atelier’s “Virtual Economy” report, which I still think is the best resource available now. It’s 60 pages long, tho, so no one gets back to me, no one has time to read that.
- I try to explain it with examples and rationality. And, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in Blockchain since 2017, so I’m used to putting the 🙂 face when people ask me “What do you do?”. But it’s odd. It’s awkward and it doesn’t work.
Bottom line is, NFTs arehard to explain, and hard to understand. This “article” is born from that frustration. Hopefully, it helps someone. Hopefully, it changes your life.
What are NFTs?
- Imagine you buy a ticket to a Coldplay concert. You really want to go but you get sick. You want to sell the ticket online. How do you do it? You can’t. You can sell the Ticket’s PDF, but that’s not the ACTUAL ticket. If you go to the concert, you’ll still be able to get in. With NFTs you can.
- Imagine you buy a very expensive, 1 of 1 edition of digital art in .jpg format. You want to prove you are the only owner. How do you do it? You can’t. You could have copied the image from the Internet. With NFTs you can.
- Imagine you spend 50$ on Fortnite skins. You stop playing and want to sell your skins back to recover your money. How do you do it? You can’t. With NFTs you can.
To me, NFTs are a way to create and transfer ownership of digital goods, digitally.
And it creates a lot of possibilities. Think Gaming, think Collectibles, think Art, and think much more. Would you like to own the rights for your grandma’s Paella recipe? With NFTs you can.
Why should you care about it?
This is all very good but, in my experience, if you want people to understand you have to get practical. I recognize the value of AI but I don’t give a fuck about it, probably because no one has ever shown me why I should. So Imma try to do that, but with NFTs: Why should you get involved?
1. You are early
Let’s face it: You are not gonna be a Bitcoin millionaire. We’ve all dreamt about that (and some still do), but it’s just too late. But, what if you could go back to 2012 with what you know now, and invest in BTC? I think we are in a similar situation with NFTs.
It’s super early. The NFT Market just reached 100M$ last month (to give you a comparison, 100M$ worth of Bitcoin are traded every ~10min), and the biggest NFT Marketplace, OpenSea, only has ~20,000 accounts (vs 50M Bitcoin wallets).
This means it’s early but there’s also a lot of opportunities. A lot of smart people are very enthusiastically building the pipelines of this whole new virtual economy. You can be a part of it. No matter your background, no matter your interests, the NFT space will have something for you:
- Do you like Art? Become one of history’s first Blockchain art collectors on Makersplace or SuperRare
- Do you like Gaming? Set yourself as one of the top AXIE owners for when the masses arrive, and make money playing while you are at it
- Are you an ecologist? Help save wildlife while getting 1st on the Wildcards leaderboard
2. Big guys are investing in it
When I was trying to sell Blockchain and Crypto to my friends in 2017 I always used the “X and Y are investing on this. X and Y are big & powerful corporations, so they must be right.”
That argument turned out to be quite right, though, so I now pay attention when smart people and corporations allocate resources to new technology. And that’s definitely happening with NFTs.
Gaming is huge. Digital game spending is going to be 129$ Billion in 2021 and there’s reason to believe a lot of that is gonna move to NFTs. The biggest gaming companies are on it. Ubisoft is partnering up with NFT Gaming companies and launching their own NFT to support UNICEF. Other gaming titans like Atari are also jumping into the wagon.
And it is not only game publishers. Household brands like NBA or MotoGP are ALREADY scheduled to launch their first NFTs. Sorare, an NFT-based Global Fantasy Football game, just raised 4M$, and is partnering with top soccer clubs like Juventus or Atlético de Madrid. Cards like that of Cristiano Ronaldo are already trading for thousands of dollars. I’ve told one of my best friends, a die-hard football fan, to look into it. I expect him to make a fortune with it in the future.
3. It’s cool, it’s fun
At the end of the day, the possibility to make money is cool, but I wouldn’t expect to tell someone at a party:
“Hey dude, you can buy digital weird-looking rabbit collectibles and flip them for a profit, how cool is that?”
and get him all excited. I think our generation cares a lot about experiences. At least I do, and so Imma share a few I’ve had with NFTs that have been very fun:
- Niftygateway organizes a Drop of exclusive items every Thursday. These are collectibles or pieces of art, limited to a few units, that get released at 7pm ET (1am CEST) and are gone in a few minutes. The trick? They are quite valuable and can be usually resold for a profit in a matter of minutes. I told my best friend about this. Last Thursday I go to sleep and the first thing I see next morning is this:
My friend had bought 8x 40$ packs of baseball collectibles he knew nothing about. Not only that but by the time I woke up he had already sold a few of them. LOL
- At GYB, we had a team of 4 team-members battling to get pieces of land in the last The Sandbox’s presale. This is a Minecraft-looking game that will allow landowners to make money passively or create minigames, so we were very interested. The trick? There’s a limited amount of land for sale, and dozens of people wanting to get it as soon as it goes live. We found out about the presale 1h before, got our elite squad assembled, and ended up spending several thousands of $ in what has become one of the most fun, tense and exciting afternoons I remember.
- I created my first-ever art gallery on Gallerist. In the last months, I’ve grown a big interest in Digital Art, making some purchases on MakersPlace. I found this cool web that allows you to put your pieces together in a gallery format, and I’m excited to introduce *drum sounds*…
I must say, I was gonna post my gallery on my Instagram the other day, basically to show off, but I realized it (still) doesn’t look as impressive in reality as it does in my head, so I backed away 😔.
However, I’m now committed to building my Digital Art collection. I love scrolling through the new pieces on the marketplaces, and I love the sensation of being the owner of a unique 1 of 1 piece, for example. Feel free to check back my gallery in a few months time to find a lot more awesome psychedelic and consciousness-oriented pieces :)
EDIT: My Gallery is now bigger and better, and includes some of my own pieces, check it out :D Lucas’ Gallery 2.0
And that’s it! I’m actually quite happy with all the points I made. I am also happy that my half-asleep brain hasn’t gone down the “You can make money with this bro” route, and rather explored the massive opportunities and experiences the NFT world offers besides flipping. Now, if you are ready to jump in the pool, the next obvious question is:
How do I start?
Here I’m gonna do a bit of self-promotion. I’m lucky enough to work for a company that is very cool (hope my boss John sees this ;)) and has an awesome mission: Democratize access to NFTs
If you sign up to GrowYourBase today, you’ll be able to get your first NFT for free. That’s it. No tricks or hidden formulas. Learn about an NFT project you like, complete a few tasks about them (visiting their website, following them on Twitter), and use your GYB Points to get a free NFT.
So there’s no excuse. I think it’s a great way to get started, and it won’t take you long. Then, when you are fully immersed in NFTs and don’t want to do anything more than collect digital rabbits, I’ll lure you into one of our Memberships, where you pay monthly and get rare & valuable NFTs in your portfolio. Without the hustle. Chillin’
I love helping, tho! So feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or Telegram (@LucasGC), and I’ll be more than happy to help you in this adventure.
Hope you’ve all enjoyed this article, hope you find your way into the NFT space and hope we share a lot of fun experiences and anecdotes when this goes mainstream some years from now. Thanks for reading, peace!