3 Things to Know Before Spending $3000 on NFTs
I wish someone would have written “3 Things to Know Before Spending $3000 on NFTs” before I spent $1 on NFTs. To give some contextual background, I was someone who tried to convince my friends and business colleagues to start mining bitcoins back in 2011. As a mid-30’s something, I participated in the birth of this whole internet thing but when real life took over (ie: college, girls, money) interests changed. The point is that I have always been involved in using new tools, exploring decentralized computing, tech hardware; but less and less on staying with the “bleeding edge” as I got older…
Leading up to the 2017 crash, I was running a nice ETH mining operation to over 64 GPUs in my single car garage. Invested in multiple currency-based altcoin projects, didn’t take profits, etc. etc. I ultimately, like many others, just got emotionally burned out. Honestly, it’s tiring to have a full-time job, a life & keep up with the world. From 2017 through 2020 I was ignorant to the happenings in the crypto space aside from BTC & ETH, LTC and the odd coin that came up in passing. It was always a coin, it was always tied to currency, and the pitch was always around sending funds from one place to another quickly, securely & “anonymously.”
I admit it, I was one of those “NFTs are a JPEG” kind of people. I turned my back on my experience of being on the bleeding edge and my gut feelings of “this is awesome” because of real life taking priority. Not that this is a bad thing, but I never invested the time into understanding what the hype is about. Specifically, “how can someone find rationale to spend significant dollars on a JPEG or GIF?” I ignore that very foundational question. Had I answered it, I would have unlocked all the great things about NFT and this community much sooner.
I was recently faced with a unique situation of being able to follow some “blind trust” regarding a few opportunities in the NFT space combined with monies that already had left my wife’s radar at my disposal. Specifically, a random list of projects from friends that seemed “interesting” and I was off on my own.
I dropped $3k in about 4 projects “just because”. I figured that I would figure it out as I went along and from ~May ’21 to now, I have learned SO much and am completely re-invigorated – however – If I would do it all over, here is what I would focus on getting familiar with before buying for the first time:
I’m an internet 1.0 person. Grew up with AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ & Yahoo! Chat. I was never active on Twitter and barely use social media outside of LinkedIn. Not a huge gamer and for the last 2 years have been back in school. One of the biggest things that I came to see was the power of community on platforms like Discord. For those fellow internet 1.0 people, it was IRC on steroids. I finally found out how all these great NFT projects get created and the communities built around them. More interesting to me was all of the ability to manage votes, permissions, exclusive channels, voice, video, etc.. I also realized that this (and platforms too, Twitter, etc.) were the core ways to truly interact with one another. (In hindsight, pretty obvious) … This is the best way to engage.
More Hands-On Experience to Understand “Utility”
It’s easy to see utility with Bitcoin since it’s compared to FIAT. I took to Zed Run as my first entry into the concept of a token and alternate utility space. It was AMAZING to get into something, understand how it worked, sell a horse, buy from the STUD, and really see how blockchain was driving it all. I wish I knew more about this since I would have been on the lookout for the things hidden in plain sight. The concept of utility is behind each project, and the whitepaper or project goals are quite literally the plan and purpose of it. There is a forest from the trees
The Community – You Need to Be in It.
Much to my surprise, and perhaps the opposite public opinion is that there is a fair amount of the community who is looking to make that quick, sweet, ETH. The “flip” is real. However, unlike something like BTC where you can naturally “set it and forget it” … you need to participate. You need to see what’s hot, what isn’t and why the community shifts from one project to another. There are not many projects that achieve the total goal of “long term utility” but it’s a wild ride figuring it out!
While I am sure that most of these things are common to others and I am the outlier, I think that this whole space is still just amazing. I had a lot of those “A-ha!” moments along the way but was also somewhat disappointed in myself since I do consider myself to be the “ideal” person to naturally see the value, opportunity & innovations behind NFTs. I missed it at first and didn’t take the time to just open my mind and really give myself the chance to break it all down, see what the hype is & get involved. There is no time like the present so if you are on the fence of getting involved, I am happy I did and I hope that you can get there too!