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There always seem to be a mix up when it comes to NFTs, CryptoCollectables, and CryptoArts. However, this mix up should not be cryptic to understand. If you are here because you are a little bit in a confused state because of the explosion of information concerning the blockchain space, this article will try to figure it out for you. Several people have put up their arts on the blockchain and selling them for millions of dollars. Popular among them is the gif cat, jack’s first tweet, monkey king among others.

To start making sense of all these and straighten any misinformation (or insufficient information), we need to go back to the beginning to examine the history of NFTs. Starting from the basics is probably the best way to explain what NFTs truly mean and what it stands for.


So, what are NFTs?


NFT is an acronym for Non-Fungible Token. That is quite simple and straight to the point, right? Well, maybe not. A non-fungible token (NFT) is unique and is not replaceable with something else. You can think about NFTs as the digital representation of assets on a chosen blockchain. This makes this piece of property scarce, valuable, and provable.

With the introduction of NFTs, artists and creators now have a new medium to display their works or collections. As a result, a revolution is paving the way for artists to create and market their work, while collectors can fully understand the authenticity and provenance of their purchases.

NFTs have underlying codes that authenticate their uniqueness. In the actual sense, you could think of your NFT as a piece of digital code that manifests as a form of art. Similarly, you could think about NFTs as buying the property rights to the picture and holding this right digitally. Several people can take screenshots of NTF, but they will not be able to sell it at the value of the original piece of art. Just like the picture of the Mona Lisa, the authentic version is more valuable than the replicas in the market.


Why is NFTs Becoming Relevant?


The short answer is authenticity and ownership. Web3 borders around ownership of properties for creators and artists who create content on the internet. There are several conversations bordering around how NFTs is an evolution of art collection. In this case, it is digital art and its authenticity.

At first, this art collection might be a bit awkward for you to grasp its true context. I mean, everyone will be a bit puzzled because I can, as well, copy the digital time and claim it as my own. But NFTs are made in such a way that it provides something that is authentic over the internet. It stamps the ownership of the work to the creator or owner of the particular digital art. Just like the Mona Lisa, several people can have a replica but only one person has the original work of art.

For artists, NFT is a cool way of selling a work of art that might not be getting the fame it deserves on the market. Artists and content creators of all sorts can now convert their creations into digital art and sell the authentic version. Interestingly, they get a percentage every time this piece of art change hands.

For buyers, buying an NFT gives you the basic right to usage. You can post the art online as the original owner and have the bragging right with the blockchain entry as your backing. Buyers also speculate and hope the value of the art they hold go up one day. Buyers can now become collectors and make their NFTs work as speculative assets.


The first NFT on the Blockchain


In a way, you could say the history of NFT began with its first created NFT on May 3rd, 2014 by Kevin McCoy. Quantum was the first non-fungible token and it is the first unique NFT that was in existence way before the crypto market became popular. Quantum is an octagonal image depicting circles, arcs, and other shapes in a pixelated image form. It also has a larger shape surrounding smaller ones with a pulsating fluorescent hue. Quantum NFT is one sale for seven million dollars as of today.

Kevin McCoy is an exceptional artist. He and His wife Jennifer are first-rated digital arts that believe NFTs are a part of the art world. According to McCoy, he believes artists have a long history of engaging with creative technologies to create inspiring art. For people who are enthusiastic art collectors, their work is quite popular. Interestingly, they always prefer to sell their artworks one after the other.

As they say, the rest is history. There are thousands of unique arts represents the work of several creators on the blockchain. Anyone can create their own NFT. As long as they have the right tool and the inspiration to put a unique piece of art, minting the NFT on the blockchain is possible. No experience is necessary before a creator can jump on minting an NFT.


Timeline of Non-Fungible Tokens


Several communities came into existence because of their enthusiasm for NFTs. CryptoPunks, Rare Pepe, Bored Ape, and several others. The several pieces of artworks that these communities hold gained popularity because of the large sum of money it takes to acquire these pieces. To understand the timeline, here are notable timelines in the development of NTFs

2012 – 2013: Colored Coins

The timeline of the evolution of NFTs contains the story of several people, artists, communities, and projects. It all began with an idea for representing several assets and other use cases. The project that emerged was called colored coin. One may claim that Colored Coins were the first NFTs to exist. Colored Coins are made of small bitcoin that are as small as a single satoshi, the smallest unit of a bitcoin.

Colored coins are blockchain-based tokens that represent real-world assets and may be used to establish ownership of everything from precious metals to cars to real estate, as well as equities and bonds. Although not as sophisticated, the initial concept was to leverage the Bitcoin blockchain to store assets such as digital collectables, coupons, real estate, company shares, and more. The colored coin project gave rise to the possibility of the utilization of blockchain technology to prove ownership.

2014: Counterparty

Many individuals became aware of the enormous potential for issuing assets onto blockchains as a result of the launch of Colored Coins. In the same vein, people were quick to realize that bitcoin, in its existing form, was not intended to support these new functionalities. In 2014, Robert Dermody, Adam Krellenstein, and Evan Wagner founded Counterparty. The initial design was a peer-to-peer banking platform and distributed, open-source Internet protocol built on the Bitcoin blockchain.

Counterparty set the tone for asset creation. In addition, it serves as a decentralized exchange and a crypto coin with the ticker XCP. This project had meme and trading cards excel exceedingly as on it.

2015: Spells of Genesis on Counterparty

2015 came with the collaboration between the Spells of Genesis team and Counterparty. Counterparty collaborated with the Spells of Genesis team in April 2015. The game developers at Spells of Genesis were not the only ones to issue in-game assets on the blockchain through Counterparty. However, they were one of the first to initiate an ICO. The founders contributed to the development of Counterparty created BitCrystals that was useful for in-game transaction.

2016: More trading cards on Counterparty

Counterparty started its collaboration with Force of Will, a popular trading card game, to launch their cards on the Counterparty platform in august of 2016. In case you do not know them, Force of Will is the 4th ranked card game company by sale in North America. Their direct competition was Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Magic: The Gathering. Interestingly, this collaboration was very important because Force of Will was mainstream with no prior tangle with blockchain technology.

Their collaboration with Counterparty and blockchain technology was a signal to the whole ecosystem of the internet that there was apparent value in putting such an asset on the blockchain.

2016: Rare Pepes project on Counterparty

In 2016, Memes appeared on the blockchain. Memes first appeared on the Counterparty platform in October of 2016. People began to contribute assets to a meme known as “Rare Pepes.” Rare Pepes is a meme highlighting an intriguing frog character that has amassed a devoted following over the years. What began as a comic character dubbed Pepe the Frog has since evolved into one of the internet’s most popular memes.

With the rise of Ethereum in early 2017, Rare Pepes began to be exchanged there as well. Portion’s founder, Jason Rosenstein, co-hosted the first live Rare Pepe auction at the first Rare Digital Art Festival alongside Louis Parker. Using Rare Pepe Wallet, CryptoArt was founded. Moreover, for the first time, creators from all around the world were able to submit and sell their own work.

March 2017: Rise of Cryptopunks

At this stage, NFTs started picking up steam and prominence. With Ethereum’s popularity and trading of memes in 2017, a project by the name Peperium came up as a meme marketplace and trading card game that will be built on the blockchain. This will allow anyone to create their favorite meme that can exist externally on IPFS and Ethereum.

 Just like Counterparty, Peperium had its token and its RARE symbol that creators were using for meme creation and payment of listing fees.

June 2017: Development of Cryptopunks

Two creative technologists, John Watkinson and Matt Hall decided to create their own NFT project with a slight deviation from what existed at the time. They were quick to realize that they could create unique characters on the Ethereum blockchain. The characters will have a limit of 10,000 and there can not be two similar characters at the same time.

Cryptopunks was the brainchild of these creative technologists. Surprisingly, they gave anyone with an Ethereum wallet the ability to claim a Cryptopunk for free. Unsurprisingly, all 10,000 characters of Cryptopunks were claimed in a short while. This was the start of a thriving secondary marketplace where people could buy and sell their Cryptopunk characters.

October 2017: Introducing CryptoKitties

CryptoKitties NFTs got off to a fast start by utilizing ERC721. They are a blockchain-based virtual game that allows participants to use Ethereum to adopt, breed, and trade virtual cats. They soared in popularity and were featured on major news outlets such as CNBC and Fox News. Axiom Zen, a Vancouver-based firm, produced CryptoKitties, which immediately went viral, gaining money from prominent investors as a result of their increased user base. Dapper Labs was formed after Axiom Zen spun out CryptoKitties.

2018-2019: NFT Cambrian

The NFT ecosystem has grown dramatically in 2018 and 2019. There are already over 100 projects in the space, with more in the works. The NFT marketplaces is flourishing. Noticeably, this is with OpenSea and SuperRare gaining traction. In comparison to other crypto marketplaces, trade volumes are minor, but they are developing quickly and have come a long way. As Web3 wallets such as Metamask improve, it is becoming easier to enter the NFT ecosystem.

Dapper Labs has also just released a Dapper wallet that does not require gas charges. Furthermore, there are now websites like and that go into NFT market stats, gameplay tips, and general information on the field. This graphic from The Block accurately depicts the existing environment.


What is to come next?


The progression of NFTs and the opportunities it presents are raw and experimental. So far, it is exceeding all expectations and becoming more useful mainstream. Through tokenization, royalties, and important collaborations between art collectors and artists, the digitalization of technologies is becoming an integral part of life.

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    20 May 2020

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