WTF is an NFT?

via Unsplash Crystal Mapes

Those three little letters pop up now on the regular. From late-night talk shows to water cooler talk, NFTs are getting harder to dodge. Harder still if you have a semi tech-savvy friend group that keeps dropping the internet buzzword into conversation. Most people fall somewhere between “WTF is an NFT?” and throwing down half a million for the Nyan Cat GIF. If you’re on the side of the former, we’ve got you covered. (If you’re the latter, let’s talk investment opportunities!)   


NFT =  non-fungible token.  


Yeah, that’s not any clearer is it? Essentially, non-fungible means something that can’t be replaced. Your lucky pair of Crocs? That’s not it. Van Gogh’s The Starry Night on the other hand, now that’s non-fungible. It’s a one-of-a-kind piece of art.  

You might be thinking, but wait, I had that poster in my dorm room. And, sure, that may have been a statement next to your framed print of “Scarface.” Sorry bro. It was just a replica. 

When you hear “NFT,” think original. Think, unique. Think of them like a distinct digital receipt that proves ownership of virtual items. With an NFT, you can buy and sell things like images, video clips, or even an animation of a Pop-Tart-bodied cat rocketing through the night sky (enter Nyan Cat GIF). Hell, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet as an NFT for $2.9 million.  


First, an NFT is created or “minted” from a piece of digital content. Then you can buy the NFT, usually with cryptocurrency, on a marketplace like Opensea. When you purchase that NFT, your transaction is verified on a blockchaina sort of digital, public database. In the end, buying an NFT is more than just nabbing a digital file; it’s purchasing bragging rights for the whole world to see. 


Bragging rights are one thing, but NFTs are evolving from just another internet fad (what ever happened to planking by the way?). They are changing the way that companies create value for virtual goods and communicate with their customers. 

Digital products are easy to counterfeit, and that makes them less impressive pretty worthless. Why pay for something you can get for free? But NFTs offer something new. With an NFT, you can make the average, valuable. The easily accessible becomes incredibly rare. Take the NBA. The NBA is minting highlights from basketball games as NFTs called “moments.” Sure, you can watch highlights on YouTube, but only one lucky person actually owns each of those moments, and that’s the whole point. 

Because NFTs offer new digital product opportunities, companies are also using them to increase brand awareness. Taco Bell jumped on the NFT bandwagon by selling Taco Bell NFT GIFs. Why anyone would pay $1,200 for a digital taco when they could pay the same amount for 1,200 real tacos, we’ll never know. But it worked! The NFT GIFs sold out within 30 minutes and created plenty of media buzz in the process.  

As of now, NFTs are packing the biggest punch in the digital art and collectible world. But, it’s very likely that they will eventually include other virtual and physical assets as well, encouraging companies to develop new ways to interact with their consumers.  


You get the picture. NFTs are game changers. As T!LTed Thinkers, we’re always looking out for impactful and exciting engagement tools to add to our wheelhouse, and we’re eager to see how our clients embrace NFTs. Fascinated? Excited? Slightly terrified? Same. So let’s follow along and watch those three little letters continue to spark major change. 





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