Part 4: NFT's and NFT Domains
Ok guys, now we are finally getting to the good part! NFT's!
If you haven’t heard yet, NFT domains are the newest kids on the block(chain) and they have the power to change what we know of as the internet today. But before we dive into all that goodness, let’s take a step back to run through what traditional domains are and define NFTs — that way, you can truly understand the superpowers behind NFT domains. Typically, you interact with a traditional domain when you type the address (like Twitter.com) into your browser. But did you know traditional domains were originally built to do so much more on the internet? Think of functionalities like email and payments. Hard to believe, right? But as we can see, traditional domains haven’t progressed much beyond displaying websites. This might be because traditional domains have been controlled by centralized servers since the internet was created. This made it much more difficult for developers to innovate on top of that technology. Luckily for us, the tech that powers NFT domains (a.k.a. blockchains) opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for us on the web!
What is an NFT? NFT (non-fungible token): a digital certificate of authenticity used to assign and verify ownership of a unique digital or physical asset. Unlike fungible tokens, NFTs are not interchangeable with one another.
Where do you buy or sell NFTs?
Digital-artwork NFTs are mostly sold on specialized marketplaces like Zora, Rarible, and Opensea. Coinbase NFT, a peer-to-peer marketplace that will make minting, purchasing, showcasing, and discovering NFTs easier than ever, is coming soon. If you’re more interested in games and sports collectibles, developers like Dapper Labs have created experiences including NBA Top Shot (virtual trading cards) and Cryptokitties (a Pokemon-ish digital-cat collecting app that actually was the first NFT hit in late-2017). Online games including Gods Unchained are starting to use NFTs to sell in-game assets like weapons or cosmetic upgrades. Real estate in new virtual worlds is sold via markets including Decentraland and The Sandbox. You can also buy or sell some NFTs directly via a compatible crypto wallet.
What can you do with NFTs once you buy them?
Good question! Some people display their digital artworks on large monitors. Some buy virtual real estate (via NFT, of course) in which they’re able to build virtual galleries or museums. You can also roam virtual worlds like Decentraland and check out other people’s collections. For some fans, the appeal is in the buying and selling — much like any other asset class. (The collector who sold the $6.9 million Beeple paid less than $70,000 for it in October 2020). More and more mainstream artists have also gotten involved in the space — especially from the world of music. In early March, Nashville band Kings of Leon announced their next album would arrive in the form of multiple NFTs. Depending on which a fan buys, various perks will be unlocked — like alternate cover art, limited-edition vinyl, and even a “golden ticket” to a VIP concert experience.
Okay, so how does blockchain technology make these NFT domains so special?
Great question! NFT domains are essentially a suite of smart contracts, which is a fancy term to describe software written on a public blockchain. This means that instead of one company controlling your data online, the power is transferred back to you as the user. And by being built on blockchains, anyone can look at the data stored there, creating a level of ultimate openness and transparency. On top of that, there is the benefit of enhanced security — only you hold the power to make updates to your NFT domain, which minimizes worries about servers getting hacked or domains getting stolen. All that to say, blockchain superpowers give everyone a safer way to surf the internet while also giving control back to you over what gets shared and where it gets shared.
Cool, I’m starting to get the power of blockchain but am still not 100% sure what I can DO with an NFT domain?
I was just about to get to that! To quickly summarize, here are your domain’s superpowers (with more exciting new features on the way):
Simplify crypto transactions by replacing all your complicated wallet addresses with your domain name as your username.
Use your domain to receive 275+ coins and tokens across multiple blockchain networks.
Login to apps with your domain name as your universal web3 username.
Unlike traditional domains, fully own and control your domain. You buy it once, you own it for life!
Easily create and host websites, ranging from personal websites to NFT galleries.
To learn more on domains, check out the 5 reasons you need an Unstoppable Domain.
To Learn More on Crypto, check out my post: Crypto 101