A Beginner's Guide to NFTs

So, you might be aware of the NFT phenomenon. But unless you’re big into the crypto space, or a creator focused on emerging technology, you might not be involved yet -- or even know why you should be. But the value of NFTs doesn’t apply just to crypto art or incredibly established artists. The technology is going to completely change the way ideas are shared online. Without further ado, take a seat and follow along through our guide to NFTs -- no prior knowledge necessary.

What is an NFT (non-fungible token)?

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique digital items that can be verified and validated using blockchain technology, making them irreplaceable. NFTs can be used to represent items such as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files and hold important information such as the creator of the work, time created, and more. NFTs introduce the concept of a unique digital work — which gives them new value.

What do NFTs do?

An NFT is essentially a unique, digital good. For the first time ever, digital assets can be scarce and unique.

For example, your couch is a completely unique, scarce item. There is only one of them in existence. It might be the same model as your neighbor’s couch, but your neighbor’s couch is not your couch. They are two separate, unique items. This is what NFTs do for digital assets — whether it is an image, song, video, gif, or even a digital representation of your couch online. NFTs create and represent unique, scarce, digital assets.

And now, because of this uniqueness, these digital assets can be assigned value and ownership. From art to real estate to tickets, anything you can imagine on the internet can now be minted (created as an NFT), bought, and sold.

Research further: The Verge | Forbes

What is a blockchain?

Blockchains are a type of technology for tracking data in a way that can be decentralized. This means they allow for the information on them to be permanent. In a way, you can think of blockchain as a type of database. However, it differs from a typical database in the way it stores information; blockchains store data in blocks that are then chained together. NFTs are one piece of data that can be tracked, stored, and moved between users with the power of blockchains.

Dive into more resources: IBM | TIME

What can I do with an NFT?

By purchasing an NFT on the blockchain, you are given unbreakable ownership of the asset it represents, whether it be a piece of digital art, song, or virtual trading card. You can showcase that asset in whatever way you want — in a virtual frame, screencast to your TV, in your collection online — or sell it down the road.

Consider future potential use cases: Voice | Nature

How do I get involved with NFTs?

There are a multitude of platforms out there that allow you to buy, sell and create NFTs. One of the newest is Voice, which specifically targets people looking to enter the space for the first time with an easy-to-use interface and no cryptocurrency required. You can make an account and upload an asset you’ve created (a photo from your phone, a PDF of your writing, a gif you made online, and more). In fewer than 5 steps, you’ll be able to share that NFT with the friends and family who want to support you - with no upfront fees or opaque waiting period.

Entering a new era of technological innovation is incredibly exciting — and should represent an equal opportunity for everyone. Get started building your NFT homepage at Voice.com.

This post is a sponsored collaboration between Voice and Gothamist staff.