The fascinating history of NFT starts in 2014 when Quantum is minted by Kevin McCoy on Namecoin. However, it was only recently, 2021 to be exact, that the topic has gained immense popularity. Soon after, in 2022, the cryptocurrency market crashed, and the global NFT market was also hit hard. With that, let’s dive into a brief guide to this cryptographic asset, and its history.
NFT stands for the non-fungible token, meaning that this token is unique and can’t be replaced. The file that is to be sold as NFT must be converted to a special, non-copyable format. The next important thing here is that NFT is stored in a blockchain that provides certain ownership rights to an asset itself. Tokens can be used for investment purposes, one can be resold, exchanged and/or traded. NFTs can be a lot of things, a text, a work of art, an experience, an object, an intellectual property and much more.
As stated above, NFT's history begins in 2014. The following year, after the creation of the first non-fungible token, Etheria, the first NFT project, was launched and demonstrated at London's DEVCON 1. It took place just 3 months after the launch of Ethereum, an open-source blockchain.
The next crucial moment in the development of NFT comes by in the year of 2017. Around this time, the first NFT collections were launched on the Ethereum blockchain. One of the most prominent projects for sure was CryptoPunks launched by Larva Labs as a fixed set of 10,000 items of uniquely generated characters. In October 2021, a single NFT transaction was made for $532 million, much higher than all previous CryptoPunks sales.
Undoubtedly it is the year of 2021 that marked the most successful NFT timeframe, largely due to the record at Christie’s. The digital collage "Everydays: the First 5000 Days" by Beeple, an American digital artist, was sold for a staggering $69 million. The collage consisted of 5,000 of the artist's works, created over a period of more than 13 years.
The collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange became notorious in early November 2022. Disturbing information about the crypto world, and especially NFT, was already reaching the public months earlier. For instance, an Iranian Sina Estavi tried to resell the first tweet published by the Twitter's founder, Jack Dorsey. So in 2021 the buyer paid $2.9 million for it, while in mid-2022 the highest given bid was only around $6,000. Nowadays, several celebrities who use fame to promote the NFTs, are facing class action lawsuits.
However, there is also the other side of the coin, for example, one where companies like Square Enix can count on the support of the Japanese government. The Japanese company has further plans for 2023, which include developing a game based on the NFTs and the metaverse.
As of now, it is certainly worth keeping a close eye on developments in the NFT market. Some experts believe that the market will stabilize after temporary problems, and some believe that the video gaming industry will respond well to the crisis. But only the future will tell.