SF: NFT, or non-fungible token is a unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a digital ledger. NFTs can be associated with easily-reproducible items such as photos, videos, audio and other types of digital files, and it uses blockchain technology to give the NFT a public proof of ownership.
Although NFT was first introduced to the world sometime around 2015, it was not until the late 2017 when CryptoPunks ad later CryptoKitties came into the scene that NFT exploded and gathered media attention. CryptoKitties was so popular that it ended up clogging the Ethereum blockchain. But afterwards, everything went dead silent… until the recent explosive comeback.
How does it work?
To keep it simple, most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain. For those of you who don’t know what Ethereum is, it is a cryptocurrency, like bitcoin and dogecoin. So, Ethereum’s blockchain supports the NFTs. In case you are wondering what’s the difference between cryptocurrencies and blockchain, cryptocurrency is a collection of binary data designed to work as a medium of exchange, while blockchain is a system of recording information, a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain. Other blockchains can have their own versions of NFTs.
What is sold at the NFT supermarket?
NFTs can be anything digital such as drawings, or music. However, the recent hype of NFT is using the platform to sell digital art. Many sees NFTs as a potential fine art collecting in the future, but with digital arts. (FYI, the founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet as NFT for over $2.9 million.)
But digital art can be copied
Yes, that’s the downside of NFT. You can copy digital file as many times as you want, including the art that’s included with an NFT. That being said, NFT can give you something that can’t be copied: ownership of the work (although the artist may retain the copyright and production rights, same as physical artwork). In a much simpler words: anyone can buy Mona Lisa, but only you can own the original.
What’s the point of NFTs?
It comes down to whether you are an artist or a buyer. If you are an artist, you can give this platform a go because it gives you a way to sell your artwork that otherwise might not be much of a market for. If you are a buyer, the obvious perk is that it lets you support artists you like. Buying NFTs also gets you some basic usage rights, for instance, being able to post the image online.
Is NFT worth buying?
Well, that depends on how you look at it. Some, if not many, treat NFTs as a future of fine art collecting.
What would happen to my digital art in the long run?
That’s a very good question. You should be wary of it as bit rot is a real thing. Image quality can deteriorate, file formats can’t be opened anymore, websites go down, or people forgetting the password to their wallets. These are some of the things can should be taken into consideration before purchasing NFTs.
Malaysian artists are now selling their arts on NFT
NFT has been gaining traction in the Malaysian art scene of late after several local artists made international headlines for their artworks. In July, Malaysia seen the launch of its first-ever Crypto Art Week (CAWA Malaysia), which aims to promote Malaysian crypto artists to digital-natives and newbies, collectors, galleries and potential patrons. The variety of NFTs span from 3D animated worlds to internet memes and stunning illustrations of our culture and heritage. Here are five Malaysian NFT artists and their digital artworks.
In September, Malaysian graffiti artist Katun (Abdul Hafiz Abdul Rahman) made headlines when he sold two of his NFT collections for 127.6 ETH or approximately a whopping RM1.6 million in just 24 hours. He is also the first artist to launch NFT on the cryptocurrency platform, Superfarm, which is co-founded by famous YouTuber EllioTrades.
Katun’s debut artwork on the NFT world “Apes Stand Strong” and “Mystical Fruits”, where the former is a limited- edition of 50 mints, sold out in record time of 30 minutes. The latter is an open edition of 776 pieces, which sold out in 24 hours.
Red Hong Yi
Red Hong Yi is well known for her creativity in using everyday objects and materials to create larger-than-life art installation. Self-dubbed “that artist who paints without a paintbrush”, Red entered the NFT space in June with her take on one of the most iconic memes of this generation: Doge, the Shiba Inu. It was the first NFT from her Meme Banknotes Series, which comprises six spoofed banknotes from different countries.
Presently, Ronald Ong is one of Malaysia’s top NFT traders. The final year medical student and Penangite is best known for his unique brand of digital artwork that combines photography and Photoshop skills. Among his popular NFTs include Zebreo, Shird, and Loafox – all of which are a combination of animate and/or inanimate objects. If you haven’t already guessed them, Zebreo is a combination of a zebra and Oreo cookies; Shird features the head of a shark on the body of a bird; and Loafox reimagines a fox’s body as a loaf of bread. These items have sold for prices ranging from 3 ETH (approximately $6,484) to 10 ETH (approximately RM21,771) at time of sale.
Being a self-taught physical artist, Alvin creates contemporary artworks as a hobby. While most of his artworks are not for sale, he soon learns of the potential to monetise his artwork by selling them digitally. That’s when he ventured into the NFT world. His first NFT was titled Celebration, signifying the emotions he felt when celebrating the new year at the beginning of 2021.
Lau Kia Hau
Lau is better known by his Instagram handle, NeverAsleep. He combines a range of mediums to create his artwork, including photography, visual effects, and 3D animation. Lau started creating NFTs back in February, just before the NFT boom in March. The Little Bio-luminescent World Series is one of his most popular collections, featuring five “little worlds” where glowing fungi, dancing fireflies, glow-in-the-dark blooms, and bioluminescent plankton come to live.