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What are NFTs?

.. minutes read
What are NFTs?
NFTs, or 'non-fungible tokens', have made a dramatic entry into the digital and artistic world, sparking unprecedented creativity and speculation. In this first part of our exploration of NFTs, we'll define what an NFT is, examine their role in the world of art and gaming, discover some of the biggest collections of NFTs, and present resources (not just The Big Whale) for keeping up to date with this digital revolution.

Definition of an NFT

An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a single, indivisible unit of digital property. Unlike cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or ether, NFTs are not interchangeable.

Each NFT is represented by a unique token on a blockchain, which guarantees its authenticity, ownership and rarity. NFTs are often used to represent digital assets such as artworks, videos, games (such as Sorare), luxury items, collectibles and more.

The underlying technology of NFTs is blockchain-based, offering unrivalled security and traceability. Each NFT is accompanied by a smart contract that defines its characteristics, rarity and ownership, as well as the conditions of transfer between owners.

NFTs and Art

NFTs are gradually gaining a foothold in art because they allow artists to sell digital works directly to collectors, without intermediaries. NFTs offer proof of ownership and authenticity, solving a key problem in the digital art world. Artists around the world have embraced NFTs to display and sell their creations, creating a multi-billion dollar market.

Renowned auction houses, such as Christie's and Sotheby's, have also held sales of NFTs by prominent artists. For example, artist Beeple sold a digital work at auction at Christie's for $69.3 million, demonstrating the growing value of NFTs in the art world.

This market remains highly speculative, however, and some works that may have fetched millions of dollars in 2020 and 2021 have seen their value fall sharply.

NFTs and Gaming

NFTs have also made significant inroads into the video game industry (we are organising a breakfast in Paris on the subject).

NFTs allow players to own digital assets, such as skins, weapons, characters or terrain, in a unique and verifiable way. NFTs give players a real sense of ownership over their acquisitions, which can help build engaged communities of gamers.

Some games like Axie Infinity or The Sandbox have grown in popularity, offering unique gameplay, virtual economy and investment opportunities. But as in the art world, the gaming sector has been hit by speculative fever, particularly in 2020 and 2021. Prices have since returned to much more reasonable levels, which has also led to a decline in the number of gamers.

The biggest collections of NFTs

The world of NFTs has seen collections emerge that have caught the attention of the public and investors alike. Among the most high-profile NFTs are the "Bored Ape Yacht Club" and "CryptoPunks".

  • Bored Ape Yacht Club: A collection of unique nft monkeys, each with their own style, character and rarity. Members of this exclusive club have acquired NFTs featuring these monkeys, which have become symbols of status and community.
  • CryptoPunks: One of the first collections of NFTs, CryptoPunks are unique pixelated icons that marked the beginnings of the NFT movement. They have become sought-after collectibles, with some selling for millions of dollars.

Learning about NFTs

To stay informed about the world of NFTs, there are many sources of information available:

  • The Big Whale: We are a platform for information and services on topics related to cryptos and NFTs.
  • NFT Now: An information platform that covers news and trends in the NFT market.
  • NFT Paris: A community and event dedicated to NFTs in France.

In the next parts of this article, we will explore in more depth the technical, economic and cultural aspects of NFTs, as well as the future implications of this technology on various fields, from art to finance. NFTs are reinventing the notion of digital property, and understanding how they work is essential to grasping their potential.



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