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Written by self-proclaimed technically challenged NFT dummies

Unless you are living off the grid, you will at least have heard the acronym “NFT”; the phenomenon has been taking over our social media feeds and daily lives for the last 12 months or so. You may have come across terms such as Blockchain, Ethereum and Bored Apes, but have no real idea of what they are or why people care. But this craze has changed (and will continue to change) the way in which we produce and consume culture.

If you’re as clueless as we once were, we’ve compiled a Dummy’s Guide to NFTs to help you, with some crypto term definitions thrown in for good measure. Read on to find out what level of crypto cred you’ve attained.

 

 

Level 0: Crypto? No.

 

What is an NFT?

NFT stands for non-fungible token—you can pronounce it by spelling it out or call it a “nifty” (industry insider speak); no one will judge—which is a fancy way of describing something that’s one of a kind and can’t be copied or exchanged, sort of like a famous painting or your favourite child. Essentially, an NFT is a digital asset that is unique and verifiable, that exists on the blockchain.

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What is the point of a blockchain?

Think of blockchain technology as a Google document. It is a single, shared document that everyone can access at the same time—if you’ve ever heard people talking about decentralisation, this is what they mean. Unlike with a Word document that can be copied, privately changed, and the new version shared as if it’s a fresh document, in a Google doc, I can see it if you modify the document in any way, and vice versa. What this public ledger means is goodbye, fraud; hello, transparency. Blockchain technology makes an asset’s history transparent and unalterable, which means you can confidently verify the origin of the diamond in your Tiffany & Co ring, for example.

In a nutshell, blockchain allows for trust in the integrity of your digital asset, whether it’s worth millions or just 0.000024 Bitcoin (for now). On that note …

 

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a form of cryptocurrency: digital currencies that can’t be counterfeited because they are secured by cryptography (hence the name). Cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology, and if you remember your crash course from above, this means decentralisation, therefore immunity to manipulation or interference.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is the most popular and valuable cryptocurrency, with each unit worth US$41,324. Other popular crypto include Ethereum, Litecoin, Solana and EOS; each one markets itself as having a different speciality, so it’s worth doing your research before you invest.

 

 

Level 1: Getting the hang of it, but not convinced

 

Why are NFTs important?

NFTs ensure authenticity because each is outfitted with a unique code; it’s a fail-safe way of ascertaining ownership. More importantly, NFTs can give the original producer a cut of every subsequent sale: every time it changes hands or its price rises, the original producer/creator will gain a portion of that transaction.

 

What do NFTs have to do with luxury, such as art, fashion and collectibles?

As NFTs are able to guarantee authenticity and ownership, people who often see their works illegally copied—artists, musicians and designers—are more inclined to use them. The ability to rightfully and continuously benefit from any subsequent sale of their work is an added bonus. They expand the scope of production, allowing for creation of digital items which are an extension of a brand, and a way for brands to engage with existing clientele and attract a new one. For buyers, NFTs offer a guarantee that what they are buying is the original and authentic product.

 

Why does an ugly image of an ape appeal to so many people?

Because they are bored. Or angry. We’re just kidding (sort of). It’s the same way any collectibles—from Kaws’s Companion to superhero action figures—appeal to people; some people just want Bored Apes. Taste is and has always been, subjective.

 

 

Level 2: You’re officially a Crypto Pro

“If you’re a nocoiner normie who just aped into a mooning NFT, kudos to you. Just beware of rug pulls.”

If you understood that, why are you reading this guide? (Also, we’d like to recommend meeting up with some non-crypto-obsessed friends and having a normal conversation for a change.) If it’s all gibberish, read on:

 

Ape (v.)

To fake it ’til you make it, and buy into a new coin or NFT with limited knowledge. We get it: you just don’t want to be left behind!

Crypto Bro

Someone who hasn’t yet developed any real insight into blockchain technology or cryptocurrencies, but who is  nonetheless exceedingly argumentative and vocal as to which are the best to invest in. You don’t want to be a crypto bro.

Minting

To mint an NFT is to make your token purchasable by publishing it on the blockchain.

Mooning

Shooting up in value, usually with regards to an NFT.

Nocoiner, or Normie (or both)

This term refers to the Muggles of the crypto world, those who remain uninvolved out of either confusion or scepticism.

Rug Pull

It’s as painful as it sounds: a rug pull is a scam, specifically when developers con people into investing in a promising project, then vanish with their cash.

WAGMI

It stands for We’re All Gonna Make It. In an environment as volatile as this, is it surprising that we need an encouraging acronym?

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