My very good friend John reached out to me about NFT’s and what they are about – before John, we have had emails and DMs enquiring into NFTs and how they worked.
Interestingly, the craze about NFT is real – whether they are viable or not is a completely different topic.
Delving into NFTs with our African audience in mind , we would be demystifying, what there are, why you should get them and why you MUST get some.
We may have come across the term “Metaverse” – As a buzzword, the metaverse refers to a variety of virtual experiences, environments and assets that gained momentum during the online-everything shift of the pandemic. The big question remains , are we in the METAVERSE ?
The metaverse is the internet, but so much more. And though it may still be in the future, if it materializes at all, it seems closer than it’s ever been. Let’s us put some context to this. Founders, investors, futurists and executives have all tried to stake their claim in the metaverse, expounding on its potential for social connection, experimentation, entertainment and, crucially, profit.
Earlier this year, in the midst of a crypto boom, the price of a currency called MANA began climbing the charts in Coinbase, a popular exchange for digital currencies.
MANA is the currency of a virtual world called Decentraland, where in March plots of digital land were going for the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars. (After two years bouncing around 10 cents, MANA briefly broke $1.60 in April, pushing the combined value of all the tokens past $2.4 billion.) – Do you get the picture and see the link between the Metaverse and NFTs?
Now, lets stay on NFTs – The first thing tell people when I’m talking to them about NFTs and cryptoart is ‘don’t overthink it’. When we first entered the space, No one fully understood until they started doing. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a way of buying or selling anything digital – like art /music/Video – using cryptocurrency. As little as four years ago, people were not collecting these assets on the blockchain.
The current hype we’ve seen in the NFT space started around late 2019 when people started paying attention to, and collecting cryptoart. The pandemic helped to boost this because people weren’t going to physical galleries. The blockchain became a space where people could converge and look at good art. The metadata on the ownership is on the blockchain – this means there’s provable scarcity which makes it a valuable. Whoever gets to buy any form of NFT, say art , doesn’t get to lock it up like they do in the traditional art world. Anybody can see it and know that this wallet address owns this work. And in terms of teaching African history, anybody can have access to it.
NFTs give assets a unique digital identifier that enables ownership and transfers to be tracked on a blockchain. Even if the digital image connected to an NFT itself can be easily copied, the NFT cannot be duplicated or interchanged with another. These aspects make them unique and traceable thus creating the scarcity needed to make them attractive to collectors
There is far more to the blockchain than the world of finance, cryptocurrency. While the recent boom in NFT sales has seen many artists considering minting their creations, it has also led to social change – the ability to preserve art history previously stored in physical archives.
Blockchain is a whole new model for how we can take these archives and start to really roll them out into the world in a way that catalyses conversations and creates a community. In the metaverse, you and your friends and your appearance and cosmetics can go from place to place and have different experiences while remaining connected to each other socially.
As at today ,African art sales, though they are on the rise, still currently account for less than 1% of the $50 billion global art market. Only a handful of people from Africa have ventured into this territory. Eliud Kipchoge, the Kenyan marathon world record-holder, recently sold NFTs for video highlights of his career for $50,000. In March of this year, Jacon Osinachi, a Nigerian artist, sold $75,000 worth of crypto art over a ten-day period.
African artists stand to gain a lot if they can harness the potential of such platforms. Artists will get full transparency on secondary buyers, as well as the ability to set up royalties in order to earn from their art in perpetuity. NFTS “are one of the few moments when Africa as a continent is starting off on an almost level playing field to the West,” Allela says. “The opportunities are open to anyone with a good internet connection and a willingness to learn.”
NFTs can be sourced and bought from platforms such as
Rarible – https://rarible.com/
Crypto.com – https://sourceforge.net/software/product/Crypto.com/
VeVe – https://sourceforge.net/software/product/VeVe/
Niftykit – https://sourceforge.net/software/product/Niftykit/
OpenSea – https://sourceforge.net/software/product/OpenSea/
Mintable – https://mintable.app/store/
There are a lot more platforms and we would love to show you the opportunities.
For me, NFTs are simply “Digital Antiquities”
Image credit – Brownboy_draws2
Named African Queen sold on the mintable app