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jakobpotosme
jakobpotosme

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What is an NFT?

Upon reading this article you have probably heard of notorious names such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and Crypto Punks where people have had their lives changed by owning a simple JPEG. Leaving you with the question as to what the heck is an NFT? Upon finishing this post, I hope to have answered your question.

Non Fungible Token

The word NFT stands for a Non Fungible Token and has revolutionized the way people get paid for their work and show off their creavity. It is a digital token that lives on the blockchain with valuable information attached to it. A fungible item is an an item that can be replaced or is mutually interchangible. For example, 1 dollar can always be exchanged for 1 dollar. However, every non fungible token has a uniqueness that eliminates this interchangibility. To keep it simple it is this uniqueness that creates the NFT.

Pokemon are NFT's

This concept may be easier for my fellow gamers to understand. Let us compare this to the world of Pokemon. The world that these pokemon live in is equivalent to the smart contract that lives on the Ethereum network. At the time of writing, there are currently 905 pokemon that exist. Each with their own unique stats, ability, and characteristics. This means that no two pokemon are interchangeble with one another.
Comparison Each pokemon can be compared to an asset that has been created using the ERC721 Token Standard. This standard has a unique token ID with a corresponding tokenURI. The unique characteristics are defined within the tokenURI which contains the token's information also known as metadata. Here is an example as to how that metadata is constructed.

{
"name":"Pikachu",
"description":"Gen 1 Pokemon",
"image": "Pikachu_Image_URI",
"attributes": [
  "type":"electric"
]
}
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Why care about NFT's?

A valid question I had to ask myself numerous times. The current state of NFT's is flawed. They are driven off hype and feel like a game of hot potato with whoever is willing to pay more. However, if we take a step back and look at the core technology involved there is much more to it. Everything in life is based on agreements and that is the beauty of smart contracts. Smart Contracts are unbreakable agreements that live on a decentralized network where anyone can see the terms of agreement. I believe NFT's have untapped potential that will release in due time. (Stay tuned to future posts for my opinions on this matter)

Mint your own NFT

Now after reading this basic overview about NFT's, it is time to mint your own! You will be interacting with a simple Dapp I created that will give you a color corresponding to the current month here. If you are completely new to the Web3 ecosystem read this article first to set up your wallet Metamask Guide. After setting up your wallet you will need to switch to Rinkeby Network in order to interact with the Dapp. In order to mint, you will need some test Eth to pay for your NFT which you can get here. Once your wallet is funded, simply click mint and follow the prompt. After about 20 seconds, you should see a notification popup stating that the mint was successful!
You can then view your newly minted NFT here.

Conclusion

I hope you leave this post with new gained knowledge along with an open mind to the concept of NFT's. I believe they are just getting started and will have a huge impact in our future.

Further Reading

You may have noticed that I solely focused on the Ethereum network. The smart contract is not tied to just the Ethereum network, there are several others such as Solana and Cardano with smart contract capabilites. If you are curious I encourage you to read up on pros / cons of each.

References

Patrick Collins

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