Why would someone pay for a digital picture? It is one of the most common questions that come up when people first find out about NFTs. Understanding NFTs can be overwhelming, so I am going to break it down for you.
The first, and most obvious question you might ask is, “What is an NFT?” The straightforward answer is that an NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. This means that what you own is unique. Dollar bills are examples of fungible goods because they are identical to each other for practical purposes and can replace or be replaced by one another, making them mutually interchangeable. Another example is, imagine you have a bowl of rice. You pick up one grain, drop it back into the bowl, and mix it around. Can you find that single grain of rice? Probably not, and that is because it is largely fungible. Each grain of rice has little-to-no difference making them mutually interchangeable.
Non-Fungible is the opposite of Fungible. It is a unique good, with a unique serial number. Even if an item is exactly the same, like the same baseball card of a player, it has a specific serial or mint number which makes it unique. An example of Non-Fungible is if you have the first Babe Ruth baseball card ever printed, and I had the 100,000th, you wouldn’t want to trade with me. You would know that your card is unique because of the serial number.
NFTs bring this to the digital space. The proof of ownership is digital, making it impossible to forge or fake. You can always tell exactly which item yours is based on its unique print and number. Another popular question is “What can be an NFT?” In short, anything. An NFT can be a photo, an art piece, videos and many other types of digital files. Event venues are starting to use NFTs as their ticket for entry. There could even be a day when your mortgage for your house is an NFT, making the digital proof of ownership unique and provable. So, for the next time you hear someone mention an NFT you might just join in on the conversation.