I was at school in the early 90's and at that time we often traded collectible items, from stickers to playing cards, Pogs to action figures. Sometimes there was a purpose/game to back these up like Pogs (always play for keeps!) and sticker books. Other times it was just about the trading game. The end goal either way was often bragging rights, it was about who could complete a set first, or find the rarest shiney.
A while back folks were talking about how items like this would naturally make the transition to blockchains because of two qualities inherent in a blockchain:
- Verifiable Proof-of-Ownership
- Easily transferable
You may well have noticed in recent months this area of our digital universe, which started out as minor swells of movement in the crypto ocean, is quickly growing into a tidal force with considerable momentum, I'm talking about NFTs, or "Non-Fungible Tokens". This was quietly bubbling below the surface while everyone was following the DeFi freight train and now it seems that the NFT crazy is starting to pick up a little steam of its own.
So what are NFTs?
Let's dig into the first part of the name to understand this. It is good to look at fungible assets, most everyday currencies are a examples of this. You can have $10 in your pocket, go to the shops spend that $10 and then go to a bank and get out another $10. For all intent and purposes you've 'replaced' the asset in you pocket with what is effectively a duplicate. When something is non-fungible it means that it is not replaceable, this is usually due to the detail/content of the assess (i.e. the image, text, mint number, or qualities that make it unique). That isn't to say that each dollar bill isn't unique, but the uniqueness it has (in most cases) doesn't confer any additional value or benefits. Furthermore, that $10 is divisible into smaller values (e.g. $5 and 5x$1), this is not possible with an NFT, when you own one you own it completely and cannot split it down into smaller parts.
The second part of the name gives us an indication of the medium of distribution and validation, "Tokens". As you will likely remember from various crypto-101 articles 'Coins' are crypto that have their own blockchain and/or power a blockchain. 'Tokens' are assets layered on top of other blockchains (i.e. BAT is a token of the Ethereum network and ETH is the coin of the network). So what this tells us is that these are assets which are linked to and transferred over existing blockchains.
Therefore, we can say that an NFTs are:
Unique digital tokens that are rare, indivisible and transferable between owners via a blockchain
Collections to Follow
I feel like it was only a matter of time before these collections caught my attention. For the most part I don't look at NTFs through the investment lens and it is more just fun. For my other hobbies there is an element of collecting so when you pair that with my love for all things blockchain I think they saw me coming! The two projects that I'm following at the moment stick to a couple of the core traits I want from these kinds of projects, fun and inclusiveness, these projects are "Period Table Elements" and "CryptoMonKeys".
Periodic Table NFTs:
This collection is what it says on the tin, a fun educational tour through our beloved table of elements. The articles come along with a host of general information about the elements which adds a nice refreshing break to a cryptocurrency saturated environment. At this time we're currently up to atomic number 12.
This project offers regular giveaways on Publish0x. If you are interested in taking part then follow @Robertoit. There is also an active giveaway for the first of the molecules series (H2O, water). This is another fun thing about the project you can buy/sell/swap/loan what you need from others to build up all the required elements in your wallet, making for a dynamic approach to the giveaways. Here is the water article if you're interested in taking part.
Banano NFTs: CryptoMonKeys
Well I'm guessing that everyone's favorite high in potassium meme coin needs no introductions. If you could say that NFTs were purposes build for one community in this space I would say it is the Banano-masses. The Banano team is already well known for creativity this just gives them another blockchain area to explore and enjoy.
Taking the traditional Banano approach (free, fair distribution) over to CryptoMonKeys the team have been air dropping cards all over the internet. The best place I've found to get involved is through:
The most Recent release is in keeping with the season (number 15, Monkey Kruger), however I'm sat in the channels now waiting for the next drop which should be soon! It dropped while I was writing this......MummKey!
As we discussed earlier these wonderfully fun digital items are all on the blockchain. For the two projects I follow it is the Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX) chain to be precise. Sending/receiving of items is free and fast, it is also relatively easy for folks to set themselves up and start creating which is great. If you are looking to get involved I've found the quickest and easiest way to do so is to set up a Wax Cloud Wallet here:
The interface is quite simple to navigate and looks like this (note the balance at the top and the NFTs below):
In addition to a wallet there are a number of sites to buy/sell/trade NFTs however one of the most popular seems to be AtomicHub:
This one is a little more tricky to navigate and can be a little buggy on some devices I've found. The basics are that you log in via your cloud wallet and then you have access to your balance and cards there in the Hub.
So as you can see from the image above I've a balance of 0 WAX (WAXP) tokens. These tokens are one of the way to get our grubby little mitts on some sweet unique collectibles.
The downside I've found though is where to get the WAXP? There is a built in 'Buy WAX' button but I did the numbers on it and the conversion rate is rubbish. There are a few exchanges that list WAXP pairs (KuCoin, Huobi to name a couple), but I decided I didn't want to faff around with a new exchange, so what can I do to get a good deal? Well it dawned on me, as I wracked my brains, maybe I should try "ChangeNow" or "Changelly".....BINGO. Both of them offered pairs but I actually found that the threshold buy order for Changelly was lower. Here is a the process I followed in a nutshell with details below.
I chose the XLM route for two reasons. Firstly the transaction speed is great so I knew I wouldn't be waiting around and secondly the withdrawal fees from CoinbasePro were 0 so it means I was only losing a bit of my initial deposit on the trades both at the Coinbase and Changelly side (losing much less than buying through the Cloud Wallet though).
- 1.) Go to Changelly, as you can see I used the widget on my site, if you want to as well it is here: https://mynima.github.io/Trade/ (there is a ChangeNow widget too). It is just a case of picking the pair and entering the amount of XLM that you will spend
- 2.) Next up it is a case of just adding the payout address (note the memo is empty if you are using the wax cloud wallet). The email address is a Changelly thing. They send you a password in case you want to check on your trade status on their site (any old email will do).
- 3.) After entering the destination address you are shown the address to deposit the fund (remember here the memo is critical!). It will stay on this screen until the deposit is detected.
- 4.) I went back over at this point to my Coinbase Pro and entered the details and hit withdraw. Note the network fee is 0
- 5.) Then it was a case of going back to the other page and watching the progress
- 6.) Finally, confirmation. This is the last page you should see in the widget and it is confirmation of the funds being sent.
Just about 15mins mins total, and only a tiny bit of panic that I'd selected the incorrect address, and the funds has arrived.
Buying NFTs on AtomicHub:
So if like me you've opted for the route of topping up your WAX wallet and you're looking to go crazy like a kid in a candy store then AtomicHub is the place for you. Here is a quick overview of the process of buying NFTs, note that it can get out of hand.. I've nuked half of my balance already!!
- 1.) Go to https://wax.atomichub.io/ and click on 'Market' at the top
- 2.) Next up filter for your favourite asset collection (crptomonkeys / periodicelem for me)
- 3.) Further sort or search for the cards you want (you can order by price, listing, mint etc.)
- 4.) Finally when you found what you want click 'Buy'
- 5.) You then get taken to another page where you need to agreed you understand a warning. Make sure you do read this, there are risks with NFTs as with anything....scammers always be scamming
- 6.) Click on 'Buy' when you are ready to proceed
- 7.) You then, as with confirmation on the Ethereum transactions, have to approve the transaction in your wallet to spend the WAXP
- 8.) Finally once it is complete you can close the window and check your 'Inventory' for your new prized digital possession.
So, similarly to buying items, you can also list them for sale on the market. The process for this one is just as intuitive as buying and is a great way of offloading duplicates.
- 1.) Click on your inventory
- 2.) Select the duplicate card
- 3.) Click the 'List on Market' button
- 4.) On the next screen you set the price you want to sell for
- 5.) Then check over the fee summary and how much you will receive
- 6.) Finally click on confirm and when it pops up authorize the wallet interaction as normal.
Finally, you can also trade cards with others over the blockchain, this is actually quite nifty. From the homepage just click on you click on 'Trading' at the top. On the next page you will see a 'New Trade Offer' button click this and you'll be taken to the page below.
- 1.) Select the card you plan on trading from your collection
- 2.) Type in the address of the person you want to trade with
- 3.) Select the card from their collection you'd like to trade for
- 4.) Click on 'Send Trade Offer'
The other person will get a chance to verify and confirm the offer from there side. Once confirmed the transaction takes place. Note that you can still cancel if you get in before the confirm. Make sure you double check that you didn't accidentally send your rare 1st MINT!!
NOW COMPLETE - The list of successful folks are in comments sections. Please don't post your addresses from now on. If you want to follow both the @Banano and @Robertoit for future giveaways. Very sorry for those that missed out this time. There will be plenty of other opportunities in the future.
I like to think that everyone is reading this article for it's own merits but lets face it everyone is really here for the 'EPIC Periodic Giveaway'.....well my friends the wait is over.
Those bright and beautiful minds over at the Period Table Elements NTF and CryptoMonKey teams have got together to bring you a tour-de-force of a giveaway. It is my extreme pleasure to offer (to the first 50 folks who comment with their WAX address on this post) the first dibs on the one and only Atomic Number 13 (Happy Halloween folks!):
Not only that, 5 of the individuals (chosen at random) who post their addresses, will also receive this EPIC meme classic:
Massive thanks to Beetanto and Robertoit for reaching out to me and offering up these prizes. It is extremely generous of you both!
Final Thoughts (My Collection)
Well this article snowballed somewhat. It started as an idea to write about NFTs and share a few with the masses. Then it kinda morphed into a how-to article, finally ending back up at a look at my fancy NFTs!! Thanks for sticking with it!
It has been a joy to write this and I cannot recommend enough that folks get involved in the growing NFT community. The atmosphere is fun and it isn't saturated with the regular trading/money talk of our crypto day-to-day. It is a great showcase of just how we can apply blockchain to the real world of asset management without it being boring!
So after my flurry of recent buys this is where my collections sit:
Thank you all for reading, have fun out there collecting your NTFs, good luck y'all!