Are you looking to get your hands on some CryptoKitties? Maybe you’d prefer a Bored Ape or a CryptoPunk?
If you have no idea what any of these things are, you’re not alone. They’re called NFTs—that’s “non-fungible tokens” for those of you who are out of the loop. An NFT is a unique digital art form, and they’re all the rage in the trendy world of cryptos and blockchains.
So if you want to know how to buy an NFT, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is an NFT?
An NFT is a non-fungible token.
That really cleared things up, right? Okay, let’s try to parse this strange phrase to see what it means. Because the concept of a non-fungible token, even when shrouded with abstruse terminology, is actually one we’re all familiar with.
Non-fungible is just a fancy way of saying that something is unique, that it can’t be replaced with something else. We all know about non-fungible objects.
For that matter, so is the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s David, and Cellini’s Perseus with the Head of Medusa.
These are unique, one-of-a-kind objects that can be copied, to be sure, but the original belongs to one owner, whether that be a private citizen, an institution, or even a city. NFTs are simply the digital, internet equivalent of these unique objects.
Non-fungible tokens are a phenomenon that has only become possible in recent years.
They owe a great deal to the development of cryptocurrencies, especially the blockchain systems that power them. Most NFTs are connected to Ethereum, the same blockchain that runs the Ether crypto. The blockchain system is used to verify that the NFT is authentic, and to confirm its digital ownership.
You can think of the blockchain as a kind of open-source ledger. It’s a vast, globe-spanning account book that’s open to public view. Every transaction on the blockchain is transparent and accessible, which is designed to solidify trust in these transactions and prevent theft, fraud, and counterfeiting. For instance, anyone can scan and verify the blocks, addresses, and transactions on a blockchain using “blockchain explorers” like The Graph, Blockchair, and Hyperledger Explorer.
How Does an NFT Work?
So how exactly do NFTs work?
This is where we get into the nitty-gritty of the NFT space. A non-fungible token is most often used by digital artists. The idea is that they can release their work online, and they can avoid counterfeits and fakes while doing so.
Of course, one obvious objection is that anyone can copy digital art and have the same thing for free that someone else may have paid millions of dollars to “own.” And that’s where things get a little strange because all of that is quite true.
NFTs are not physical objects, so there’s nothing “in the real world” that the owner of a non-fungible token can place, say, in a bank vault or a private museum. But it’s somewhat like owning an original artwork: there are endless copies of the Mona Lisa, but there’s only one Mona Lisa, and that belongs to the Louvre.
In reality, most NFTs these days are about people who have a lot of money and are looking for something faddish to spend it on. And that’s fine because art collecting has always been about the cachet of owning something unique and historical. The rise of NFTs indicates that this same impulse is moving into the digital sphere.
But there’s a lot more to NFTs than merely the ownership of extremely expensive JPEGs. For instance, there are NFTs that confer special privileges on the owner, such as the ability to access special events.
One example of this is the animal-themed “Bored Ape Yacht Club,” which holds various special and exclusive events, such as open bars or private concerts. The members of this club include some famous names, such as Post Malone, Jimmy Fallon, and Steph Curry. In order to have a membership, and to gain entry to these special events, you need to be an owner of a bored ape NFT.
Most NFTs, however, have to do with digital artwork.
For instance, one of the first NFT sensations involved something called CryptoPunks, which are little pixelated images of figures that look like they’re straight out of a late Eighties computer game. The cheapest typically costs tens of thousands of dollars in Ether cryptocurrency, while the most expensive can go for millions.
Other NFTs include PNG files of rocks, virtual kittens called CryptoKitties, and an NFT by the digital artist Beeple that sold for a cool $69 million. In other words, there’s no shortage of NFTs for sale, and you can find more digital art just about anywhere on the internet.
How To Buy an NFT
Learning how to buy an NFT isn’t very difficult. Still, there are a few steps to take when buying an NFT.
First, you need to have a crypto wallet that is compatible with the Ethereum blockchain. Plus, you’ll need to have some Ether (ETH) cryptocurrency in order to make the transaction.
Next, find an NFT market, of which there are quite a few to choose from. They include marketplaces like OpenSea, Rarible, and Mintable. These marketplaces operate a lot like eBay, and all you need to do is connect your wallet to it.
There’s not much more to it. Browse the marketplace, and find an NFT that you like. To make a purchase, you’ll need to have enough ETH to cover the price and extra fees, like the Ethereum “gas fee.”
Once you’ve purchased your NFT, it will be stored in your crypto wallet. When it’s in your wallet, you can do with it whatever you please—including selling it someday if you wish. And that’s all there is to it.
Get Your NFTs Today
So, as you can see, learning how to buy an NFT is easy. All it takes is a crypto wallet and some ETH to buy with.
Best of all, the NFT space is full of strange and fascinating digital artworks, at every price point. So it’s certain that even a beginning NFT collector will find something to buy.
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Biswajit Rakshit is a professional blogger and writer. He loves to write on various topics.