I decided to experiment with something new this week. I made my first NFT for sale on Rarible.com. The best way for me to learn about something is to jump right into it. Now, the concept of an NFT may seem foreign or silly when it comes to digital assets but you have the potential to change the way digital assets are owned and shared throughout the world.
As an amateur photographer, I have a few ways to make money on the images I create that aren’t meant for a specific client. I can sell those images as prints, I can sell them as stock photos on a service like iStock.com, or I can create an online portfolio and ask for direct payments. Each of those options either leads to too little exposure or little to no revenue. Now, these issues are still prevalent when minting digital assets to be an NFT however the artist is in more control of their creative works and can use these to generate ongoing recurring revenue. Sure with all the hype of several thousand dollar sales for random digital works of art begs the question “What the hell is wrong with people” but what’s really interesting is the opportunity NFT’s bring to the creative ownership market.
Are NFT’s the Future for Artists and Creators?
First, you need to realize there is nothing new about the concept of an NFT. If you’ve ever rented a digital movie or bought skins for your video game character then you’ve engaged in a form of digital licensing and ownership. Although there are significant differences, the model is roughly the same when it comes to protecting digital asset ownership. You have probably participated in a form of digital asset ownership for example when iTunes launched with the ability to purchase (not to be confused with streaming) songs from your favorite artists. Two problems with this digital asset purchasing model is related to its inability for content creators to participate in and the lack of a valid resale market.
NFT’s bring the power of blockchain to the mix allowing you to purchase these assets with decentralized currencies. Artists can mint and post NFT’s of their digital assets and choose to set the quantity they will sell of that asset. They also can set a defined price for the NFT or open it up for bidding. Finally, and this one of the most important pieces of the NFT, the artist can receive ongoing royalties from the sale of that asset. If a buyer decides to sell the NFT they purchased, an artist will get paid a percentage of the sale based on the amount they set when minting their content.
The Sale of NFT’s Can Lead Us Into Hazardous Territory.
Artists and buyers can be completely anonymous if they feel to be to purchase their content. This does uncover a potentially devious opportunity for people to mint and sell illegal items for example specific war memorabilia or pornography. The platforms that provide the NFT minting and sale services explicitly detail certain pieces of digital content that are not allowed in their catalogs and support user-based artwork reporting, however since NFT’s and these services are so new, it’s difficult to truly understand how effective those practices are.
Moving along, I have published my first NFT of a photo I took from a closed-down locomotive manufacturing facility. Would you like to make me an offer?