Updated: Apr 18
Is it just us or was it literally impossible to turn on the news or scroll through social media earlier this year without seeing the abbreviations NFT? It’s almost as if a bunch of cool kids had come together, came up with a cool dance sequence, and then you heard about it after other people saw it first on TikTok (yes, we were late to find out about the Toosie Slide too).
Then you googled it and found out that it stood for non-fungible token – but like, what does that even mean? Does it have something to do with fungus?! Well, hardly… but don’t worry, we’re going to give you the full deets so that you don’t have to sit there awkwardly nodding along when your friends start talking about their latest NFT purchases. --- artwork by Faisal Al Khereji
Something that is non-fungible basically means one-of-a-kind, and a bunch of cool tech geniuses out there figured out how to use the blockchain to create non-fungible blocks on the system. These are the “tokens” that the NFT abbreviation stands for – see it now? When something is dubbed as an NFT, it all of a sudden becomes super scarce, and that’s because there’s literally just one of it out there.
NFTs don’t have to be digital-only, though. Creatives can send physical items to buyers of their NFTs works as a token that they can touch-and-feel. On that note, NFTs don’t have to be newly-created works either. Rather, creatives can digitize what already exists as NFTs – even physical art.
Now you must be thinking: hang on a second, if NFTs are digital art pieces, can’t screen-captured copies be sent around? Well, yes... but the original token can still be identified on the blockchain in the hands of its owner. But now you must be questioning: but why would anyone pay for an NFT when you can view these screen-captures for free? Trust us, there are a lot of people who’d pay for the bragging rights to be a patron of the ever-growing world of art. To be specific, these people (celebs, entrepreneurs, investors, and the blockchain-savvy Sarahs and Mohammads out there) have collectively paid $2b so far in the first quarter of 2021 to get their hands on some NFTs – and yes, that’s billion with a B, and we’re here to bring you up to speed in our upcoming blog series. Stay tuned for the latest on NFTs in MENA! ---- artwork by Raghad Al Ahmad 2021.