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A $69 Million Artwork You Can’t Hang: What Are NFTs And Why Are They So Expensive?



Image credit: Beeple / ArtStation

Creating digital formats of real-world assets is one of the many innovations blockchain is bringing to the world. From buildings to entire estates and more recently, art, blockchain is gradually altering the current protocols of ownership as well as identity. 

Proving ownership of an asset with blockchain is a million times easier than the existing ways. With such levels of immutability owning, the rights to something just got a lot easier. 

Normally, owning assets such as estates and gold require a ton of paperwork and even the physical presence of both parties or representatives. With the help of cryptography, real-world assets can be represented as tokens on a blockchain network and be exchanged as easily as buying something online. 

NFTs or non-fungible tokens is one way an asset can be digitized. In essence, NFT is where blockchain meets the real world.

So what are NFTs?

NFTs are simply non-fungible tokens. Bitcoin is a fungible token, meaning there’s several of that same Bitcoin. It’s like a five  dollar bill. There’s an unlimited amount of five dollar bills in America but a unique five dollar bill is created, where only one person can own it, that is a non fungible five dollar bill. 

NFTs are cryptocurrencies that run on a blockchain network that supports smart contracts. In 2017, they started running  on the ethereum blockchain (although other blockchains have their versions). They now run on ERC-721 tokens, which allow each token to be unique. 

While NFTs are cryptocurrencies, they work very differently from the regular cryptocurrency. They  are currencies that are used to represent an asset. They work differently from normal crypto like BTC or ETH because they carry additional information. 1 BTC in a wallet address is the same 1 BTC in another wallet address. But with non-fungible tokens, it’s different. There’s only one and it is used to verify ownership. 

What are NFTs used for?

NFTs are currently used to sell digital items online. From tweets to digital art and even stickers. Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, recently auctioned his first tweet on twitter as an  NFT. The tweet was sold for $2.5 million. 

Does that mean no one has access to the tweet? No, anyone can, in fact, see the tweet, take a screenshot and even print out a copy but only the owner of the NFT can be verified as the true owner of the tweet. 

Although NFTs have been said to be a great way of making real life assets digital, they are still mostly used to verify ownership of digital assets. No one has bought an estate in NFT but with the level of high profile sales seen recently, NFTs could start breaking new grounds. 

Who keeps the $62 million art ?

NFTs don’t provide sole ownership of things like digital art. The $62 million art by Beeple is readily available on the internet for anyone to see. While the buyer of the art gets no kind of copyright to the art, people are willing to pay a lot of money to be verified as the owner though all they have is a token. 

Interestingly, NFT is a growing market, in 2020 the value of the market grew by 299%. Valued at $250 million by 2020, the 2021 valuation will rise significantly with big sales recorded already. 

Can anyone sell NFTs

Credit: CZ Binance / Twitter

Just like cryptocurrencies anyone can buy and sell non-fungible tokens. All that is needed is an application or software that helps you interact with other facets of Ethereum such as DeFi or decentralized applications. Metamask, a browser extension offers these services. Just like regular cryptocurrencies, a wallet is needed to store the NFT. 

What determines the value of an NFT, are they good investments? 

Some people value an NFT based on how they feel about it. How much they love it determines how much they are willing to pay for it. However, paying for $62 million for a digital art means the artist is a reputable one. The owner of the tweet will also be factored in before selling for $2.5 million. 

Ultimately, people buy an NFT based on how they feel about it. Those who are using it as a means of investment however, factor in more variables than feelings. 

Determining if an NFT is good investment cannot be based on a technical or fundamental analysis. Unlike regular cryptocurrencies that are being traded regularly, experts can predict where the price will be at a particular time. With tweets and digital art, it is based solely on guts. 


Decentralize Daily

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Bolu Abiodun is a recent graduate of Theatre and Media Arts, Federal University Oye-Ekiti. A journalist with over a year's experience on the job. A former editor at American Media company Project Forward, he is a skilled content creator, social media manager and digital marketer.

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Bitcoin gets hacked, scammers run BTC giveaway scam



Earlier today,, the oldest cryptocurrency website registered by the founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, recently got hacked. Scammers ran a BTC giveaway scam with a promise to return double the amount users send to the named address. In the end, the scammers were reported to have collected $17,764 before the website was taken down. The website was inaccessible for a few hours after the incident, but normal service has been resumed.

To bring users’ attention to the hack, a pseudo-anonymous Twitter account with the name Cobra took to Twitter to reveal the news and claimed that the website may be offline for some days. He also clarified through his tweets that has never been hacked and that the breach must have been due to a lapse on the part of Cloudflare- the web provider that the website is hosted on.

“ hasn’t been hacked, ever. We move to Cloudflare, and two months later we get hacked. Can you explain where you were routing my traffic too? Because my actual server didn’t get any traffic during the hack” he tweeted.

The scam on the website was perpetrated through a giveaway. Visitors on the website were greeted with a popup, asking them to send crypto to a Bitcoin wallet via a QR code and receive double the amount in return. The fake message showed that the Bitcoin Foundation was giving back to the community and that the giveaway will be limited to the first 10,000 people. This was made to draw more people into the scam.   According to an analysis on the scam address done by Reddit Sleuth, it was presumed that a chunk of the 0.4BTC came from the scammers themselves to add an element of credibility to the claim. At the time of writing this report, is once again, back to life.

How popular is the Bitcoin giveaway scam?

Bitcoin giveaway scam is quite popular among hackers as it allows them to make fast money without tampering with anyone’s wallet. In 2020, Twitter handles of top crypto celebrities, politicians and influencers were hacked to run Bitcoin giveaways. While the scammers were apprehended, the value of Bitcoin was not affected.

Today’s scam on did not affect the price of the coin either. Despite the Evergrande debt crisis and the fluctuations bedevilling the crypto market within the week, Bitcoin increased by 2.05% within the last 24 hours, thereby moving from $42,789 to $44,378.

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Crypto Assets

Crypto prices drop as global market fear increases



Top cryptocurrency prices have fallen amidst a drop in stocks and fears over China’s Evergrande debt crisis. In the last 24hour, Bitcoin dropped from $47,772 to $42,630 shedding about 8.58%. this is the lowest in price since another bull run began on Sept 5 after the April crash.

El- Salvador’s President, Nayib Bukele sees the fall as an opportunity to invest more. Recall that the country adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender on September 7. Despite the adoption, the price of Bitcoin has fallen by almost 14% since then.

Other coins have experienced dramatic crashes within the last 24hours. Solana, a coin that has experienced 355% growth within the last 3 months fell from $162 to $130 shedding about 11.39% within the last 24hours. Solana’s fall may be categorized by the 17-hour outage which the founder, Anatoly Yakovenko said was caused by bots “flooding the networks”

Ethereum fell by 9.37% while Dogecoin and Axie Infinity fell by 11.22% and 14.14% respectively within the last 24hrs hours. While crypto experiences dark Monday, El-Salvador keeps investing more money in Bitcoin.

A look at the global market

The global market is experiencing fear due to the Evergrande debt crisis. A report published by the University of Michigan shows that consumer’s sentiment is beginning to decline. This trend alone may impact the crypto market as well.

On the other hand, the global market downturn must have been spurred by the Evergrande debt crisis. The company grew to be one of China’s biggest companies by borrowing more than $300bn. Last year, Beijing made rules to control the debt owed by big real estate developers. This led Evergrande to offer its properties at major discounts to raise more money to keep the business afloat. Right now, the company is struggling to meet the interest on payment of debts.

Why would it matter if Evergrande fails?

The collapse of the multi-million dollars company would affect the global market; including the crypto market. Many people bought properties from Evergrande and they expect to make gains. If Evergrande falls, crypto investors will be forced to withdraw more money to keep their business running without the means to invest more. When one business fails, the other gets affected indirectly. This also applies to other firms that do businesses with Evergrande.

The potential impact on China’s financial system is another effect of Evergrande’s fall. In his statement to BBC, Mattie Berkink, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), said that “the financial fallout would be far-reaching. Evergrande reportedly owes money to around 171 domestic banks 121 other financial firms” if the company fails, other lenders or businesses may be forced to lend less. Thereby leading to a credit crunch- a situation where companies struggle to borrow money.


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El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption – What you need to know



El Salvador made history (and headlines) after becoming the first nation to endorse and approve the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, as a legal tender. The move makes Bitcoin acceptable for transactions within the Central American country alongside the U.S dollar, which has been serving as the paper currency since 2001. This comes after the so-called “Bitcoin Law” came into force after passing legislation in June of 2021. El Salvador’s government announced that it had purchased 400 Bitcoin in 2 tranches of 200 each and plans to get more in the future.

The move to adopt Bitcoin has been justified by the government’s need to boost financial inclusion in the country. It is estimated that 70% of El Salvadorans do not have access to financial services and the government believes that Bitcoin can help close the gap. The Bank of America has outlined a few benefits that they believe will result from El Salvador’s bitcoin adoption. These include promotion of financial digitization, streamlining remittances as well as opening the country to digital currency miners. However, not all agree that the move is a step in the right direction.

Amongst the detractors of the scheme are the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, each having warned El Salvador about the risks of Bitcoin’s use as legal tender. The World Bank has been irked by what it described as “environmental and transparency shortcomings” with bitcoin, while the IMF cited “economic and legal concerns” in relation to the move.

Other than the push back from these international bodies, there has been some internal opposition to the adoption of Bitcoin. Citizens had held protests over Bitcoin’s adoption in August and about 67.9% of respondents in a poll said they disagreed with the government’s decision to adopt crypto. The results of the poll showed that 8 in 10 people had little confidence in the use of bitcoin as the currency.

In spite of the criticism, El Salvador’s government is moving forward and has reportedly installed 200 Bitcoin ATMs across the country. And in response to the World Bank’s environmental concerns, El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, has said the country plans to power mining activities using renewable energy from the country’s volcanoes. In order to incentivize the use of Bitcoin in the country, any citizen who signs up for the country’s “Chivo” wallet will get 30$ worth of bitcoin.

All in all, the adoption of a cryptocurrency by a sovereign nation is seen as a testing ground for many, as this is a use case Bitcoin has never experienced in its 12-year history. Countries such as Brazil and Panama seem to be watching the move to draw insights on whether to follow suit.

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