NFTs and their emergence have interesting history attached to them, with the launch of the Ethereum blockchain in 2015, digital collectibles made a debut and the journey goes on to date.
Take a Look at the Emergence and Rise of the Non-Fungible Tokens through the years.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have exploded in popularity in recent years, with high-profile sales making headlines and cementing their status as a major force in the world of art and collectibles. But where did NFTs come from, and how did they become so popular? In this article, we’ll look at the history and origins of NFTs, tracing their roots back to the early days of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
To understand NFTs, it’s important to first understand blockchain technology. At its most basic level, blockchain is a decentralized, distributed ledger that records transactions in a secure and transparent manner. Each block in the chain contains a list of transactions, and once a block is added to the chain, it cannot be altered or deleted. This creates a tamper-proof record of all transactions that have taken place on the blockchain.
One of the earliest examples of blockchain technology in action was Bitcoin, it came to life in 2009. Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that operates on a blockchain, allowing users to make secure and anonymous transactions without the need for a central authority like a bank or government. Bitcoin quickly gained popularity among tech enthusiasts and investors, and its success led to the development of other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum.
Ethereum and the Emergence of NFTs
Ethereum, which was launched in 2015, is a blockchain-based platform that enables the creation of decentralized applications, or dApps. One of the key features of Ethereum is the ability to create and execute smart contracts. These are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller, directly written into lines of code. These contracts are used to automate the transfer of digital assets, such as cryptocurrency or digital art.
It was within the Ethereum ecosystem that the first NFTs hit the internet. In 2017, a project called CryptoKitties went live on the Ethereum blockchain. CryptoKitties is a game that allows users to collect, breed, and trade digital cats. Each cat is a unique digital collectible, which ensures that it is one-of-a-kind and is not replicable or duplicatable. The popularity of CryptoKitties led to a surge in interest in NFTs, and artists and creators began to explore the possibilities of using NFTs to sell digital art and other unique creations.
One of the first high-profile sales of an NFT was the sale of digital art by the artist Beeple. The artwork, titled “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” was a collage of images by Beeple over the course of several years. The artwork went for a whopping $69 million at auction by Christie’s in March 2021. It is the most expensive NFT sale ever at the time.
Since then, digital collectibles have continued to gain popularity, with sales of NFTs for everything from digital sports trading cards to virtual real estate. The appeal of NFTs lies in their ability to provide a unique and verifiable record of ownership for digital assets. This was something that has traditionally been difficult to achieve. NFTs also allow creators to retain ownership and control over their work, even after selling it.
The first NFT standard, ERC-721, came to light on the Ethereum blockchain. It allows for the creation of unique and non-interchangeable tokens.
CryptoKitties is a game where players collect and breed unique digital cats using NFTs. It becomes hugely popular and causes network congestion on the Ethereum blockchain.
NFTs start to gain traction in the art world, with early adopters selling digital art and collectibles through NFT marketplaces like SuperRare and KnownOrigin.
NBA Top Shot launch. The NFT launch offers fans the chance to collect and trade officially licensed NFTs of their favorite basketball players and moments.
NFTs see a surge in popularity, with high-profile sales. One prime example was a virtual plot of land in a blockchain-based game. It made a bank by selling for $1.5 million and an NFT artwork selling for $69 million.
The first NFT museum exhibition, "The First 5000 Days" by Beeple. It was live at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, cementing the status of NFTs as a major force in the art world.
2022 and Present Status of NFTs
The use cases for NFTs continue to expand with NFTs representing everything from virtual real estate to carbon credits. Moreover, more and more industries are utilizing NFT technology like music and fashion.
While NFTs are still a relatively new technology, they have significantly impacted the worlds of art and collectibles. As technology continues to evolve and become more accessible, it is likely that we will see even more creative uses of NFTs in the years to come.
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