NFTs, better known as non-fungible tokens, aren’t necessarily new, but how they’ve been used has caused a frenzy online. How hype has the frenzy been, you ask? Well, the new “it”thing has created capacity rooms on Clubhouse and made interested parties open multiple browser tabs to figure out what is going on. NFTs, or cryptopmedia, can include any type of digital media: art, memes, collectibles, photos, etc. The terms “NFT” and “cryptomedia” have been used interchangeably, but as the community grows, the tokens will have a more solid definition in the virtual world.
In Zoom conversations with Bobby Hundreds, co-founder of The Hundreds, and LA-based NFT artist Ryan Wilson, known as ThankYouX, it’s hard not to get sucked into the hype. Bobby’s enthusiasm comes from curiosity and genuine interest. He will happily talk for hours on the subject, offering different ways of thinking about cryptomedia and how it’s altering the physical world. ThankYouX is part of the wave of working artists in the booming industry, collaborating with Nifty Gateway for his drops on the digital marketplace—animated graphics, images, photos, and videos can sell for millions in cryptocurrency.
Sites like Rareable allow users to establish a mint on everything from art and music to fashion. Minting essentially stakes your claim on an item, giving you the ability to own it outright or put a “for sale” sign on it. NFTs, by their very nature, are transformative in their use. Anything online can be an NFT and, in turn, create an exchange between people without the need for a middleman. Currently, the fastest-moving NFTs are in the art space, but NFTs can be used for one-of-a-kind experiences like concerts or direct access to artists. Kings of Leon released their latest album, When You See Yourself, as an NFT, with access to exclusive vinyl and other perks.
It all sounds fantastic, the idea of making money online with your work, but as more people get into the market with the same fervor as the early days of Bitcoin, the question becomes: What makes NFTs different from cryptocurrencies, and is the interest enough to sustain the spike in demand? We spoke to Bobby and ThankYouX about the phenomenon.