Crypto Wiki: Non-Fungible Token

In the digital world the concept of scarcity didn't use to exist. The idea with digital was that you could copy everything, but NFTs have changed that.

A non-fungible token (NFT) is another blockchain-based technology. It's a crypto token that can't be copied, and you can use it for digital or real-world assets. The great benefit of a non-fungible token (NFT) is that it allows you to authenticate an asset like a piece of art or a book and make it unique. It proves ownership and authenticity, and because it sits on the blockchain it can't be hacked.

The word fungible means something interchangeable with another of its kind, so you can think of it as a clone. For instance, one ten-cent coin or JPEG image is the same as any other, so they're described as being fungible. With currency, fungibility is a useful property because it means that all those ten-cent coins are equal to each other.

What a non-fungible token (NFT) does is it opens the door for creating and owning digital items that are verifiably one-of-a-kind. Although you can trade a non-fungible token (NFT) on the open market, it's worth noting that each one is going to have a unique value that will be difficult to establish, so valuation will be as tricky to establish as it is with works of art.

A variety of frameworks have been created for issuing NFTs. ERC-721 is the most prominent example on the Ethereum blockchain. A better and more recent standard is ERC-1155, which allows a single contract to hold both fungible and non-fungible tokens.In time, NFT standardization means that unique assets will be easier to move between applications.

Once the environmental impact of maintaining them has been overcome, it seems almost inevitable that non-fungible token (NFT) products will become one of the cornerstones of an emerging blockchain-based economy. Digitally verifiable uniqueness can be useful in a wide variety of applications. To take just one example, authors will easily be able to establish the uniqueness and ownership of digital editions of their works, and will also be able to monetize their resale, which will effectively create a global second-hand bookshop where the author gets paid each time their work is passed on to a new owner.

Using a non-fungible token (NFT) means that people can potentially even invest in fractions of items. Storing details of ownership and identification on the blockchain makes them extremely secure, and simple, trustless transfers now have the potential to make global trade far simpler.