Below, you will find a basic description of what NFTs are, followed by a collection of helpful introductory Twitter threads.
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NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token — this is in contrast to a “fungible token” like Bitcoin where any two Bitcoins are essentially the same — each NFT is “unique”. Think of Bitcoin as the first wave of the blockchain, which was simple and just tracked numbers — this kicked off a series of “tokens” or cryptocurrencies, and this space you may have heard called DeFi, or decentralized finance. NFTs are the next wave, where instead of “money”, we’re exchanging “art”.
NFTs are enabled by an evolution in the blockchain called smart contracts, that can store data — such as images. The most popular chain enabling smart contracts is the Ethereum chain, and the currency on the chain is Ether. While smart contracts can be used for a variety of things, the ERC-721 is the most popular today — a contract used to track ownership of a digital asset — used in most NFT projects today. The other popular contract type is the ERC-1151 which allows for multiple of the same object (imagine a common item type in a game).
Not Just JPEGs
We refer to games in the previous section, because this is where NFTs start diverging from traditional art. NFT ownership can be verified using your “wallet”, and many NFT collections now offer what’s called a “token-gated experience” — a part of the internet you can only access if you own a certain NFT. The most popular type is a chat room, and most project start with using a Discord bot (this is an automation you can integrate into a community chat app similar to Slack), but many are popping up that promise exciting games.
Since the NFT is the contract, not the image, it can store other data — which are called attributes. This data is available through APIs — which programs can query — so the characteristics of an NFT can affect game play. An easy example to understand would be having a fire related character NFT that would give you fire powers within a game.
NFT 101 Twitter Threads
A collection of informative Twitter threads for NFT newbies.