We Need to Talk About Non-Fungible Tokens
When Forbes magazine, widely-recognised as the bastion of strategic investing, publishes an article touting Non-Fungible Tokens as a must have and declaring them an asset class that is here to stay, as they did last summer, investment communities were officially being put on notice - it is time to start talking about NFTs.
Let’s start with a simple description: Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, are tokens guaranteeing ownership of a distinct and unique asset — usually a digital asset such as a piece of art, music, or even a video. NFTs are digital proof of ownership used to represent virtually any type of real or digital item. NFTs are created and managed on digital ledger technology systems referred to as blockchains with the Ethereum network being the most popular.
If that isn’t helpful, we’ll put it this way: “Non-fungible” tells us that the asset is unique and cannot be replaced with anything. For example, one bitcoin is fungible — you can trade one for another bitcoin, and you will have exactly the same thing. A one-of-a-kind trading card, on the other hand, isn’t the same thing. It is one of a kind. It is…non-fungible.
The important thing to remember is that no two NFTs are the same.
Here’s how and where to buy them.
Places to Buy Non-Fungible Tokens
In most cases, you will be required to set up and fund a crypto wallet with Ethereum (a popular cryptocurrency) as one of the first steps in buying NFTs on exchanges (or marketplaces). MetaMask is one of the most common for purchasing NFTs and also seems to be the easiest crypto wallet for newbies to set up.
The popularity of NFT investing is proliferating a variety of new trading platforms where you can buy, sell, and even create them. Based on our research, we believe the following three marketplaces are the most resourceful for those who are new to NFT investing.
Arguably the most popular choice, OpenSea is the largest digital marketplace for NFTs offering millions to choose from in categories like art, music, and collectibles. Launched back in 2017, OpenSea continues to focus on offering consumers a trading experience that is quick, easy, and fun. In fact, the marketplace recently launched an app for users in the Google Play and Apple App Store.
One of the key advantages of using OpenSea is the platform’s application of smart contracts to keep transactions legit. The advantage being that if either party doesn’t fulfill their end of the deal, the transaction becomes void and neither party is out anything.
The Rarible marketplace is an all-in-one platform that was launched in 2020 where creators, sellers, and buyers of NFTs can convene to trade and conduct their business. Quite simply, new investors interested in a creator centric NFT marketplace that allows for creating, selling, or collecting NFTs will find that Rarible is an appealing platform to use because of how it simplifies the process of trading without needing a middleman.
Launched in 2018, Nifty Gateway is an NFT digital art marketplace that makes it easy for users to buy and sell NFTs as easily as one can buy products on eBay. Nifty Gateway offers NFTs from celebrities, popular digital artists, and major brands. It is a marketplace that distinguishes itself as a platform that continues to build a wide offering of desirable, high-value assets that have huge investment potential.
One great thing about Nifty Gateway is that this platform allows you to buy and sell NFTs in US dollars, meaning that besides a crypto wallet you can also connect your account directly to your bank.
The opening up of NFTs as another class of investments creates a wide array of opportunities. Consider that it was only four years ago that the head of JP Morgan infamously called Bitcoin “worse than tulip bulbs” referring to the Tulip Mania bubble in the 1600s. Today, that same bank is looking at how cryptocurrencies may be an alternative to gold assets for hedging against inflation.
NFTs are now in a similar place to where cryptocurrencies were a couple of years back – the opportunity has not yet been seized in the mainstream. None of us have a crystal ball, and you always want to be prudent in your research, but the bottom line is that millennials and Gen Z are living lives that are becoming increasingly more digital. Isn’t it only natural to want to take digital representations of luxury brands, music, and art into these worlds? Now you can with NFTs.