What is an NFT?
A digital asset that depicts real-world elements like art, music, in-game items, and films is known as an NFT. They’re bought and traded online, often using cryptocurrency, and they’re usually encoded with the same software as many other cryptos.
Despite the fact that they’ve been there since 2014, NFTs are gaining popularity currently as a popular means to buy and sell digital artwork. Since November 2017, a whopping $174 million has been spent on NFTs.
Difference between NFT and Cryptocurrency
The term “non-fungible token” refers to a token that is not fungible. It’s usually programmed in the same way as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, but that’s where the similarities end.
Cryptocurrencies and physical money are both “fungible,” meaning they may be traded or exchanged for one another. They’re also worth the same amount of money—one dollar is always worth another dollar and one Bitcoin is always worth another Bitcoin. The fungibility of cryptocurrency makes it a secure way to execute blockchain transactions.
NFTs aren’t like other materials. Each contains a digital signature that prevents NFTs from being substituted for or compared to one another (hence, non-fungible). Simply because they’re both NFTs, one NBA Top Shot clip isn’t the same as EVERYDAY.
Uses of NFTs
Artists and content creators have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to monetize their work thanks to blockchain technology and NFTs. Artists, for example, no longer have to sell their work through galleries or auction houses. Instead, the artist can sell it as an NFT straight to the consumer, allowing them to keep a larger portion of the profit. Additionally, artists can integrate royalties into their software so that they receive a share of sales when their work is sold to a new owner. This is a desirable feature because most artists do not receive subsequent proceeds after their first sale.
Making money using NFTs isn’t limited to art. To raise money for charity, companies like Charmin and Taco Bell have auctioned off themed NFT art. Taco Bell’s NFT art sold out immediately, with the highest bids coming in at 1.5 wrapped ether (WETH)—equal to $3,723.83 at the time of writing. Charmin’s offering was dubbed “NFTP” (non-fungible toilet paper), and Taco Bell’s NFT art sold out in minutes, with the highest bids coming in at 1.5 wrapped ether (WETH)—equal to $3,723.83 at the time of writing.
In February, Nyan Cat, a 2011 GIF depicting a cat with a pop-tart body, sold for nearly $600,000. As of late March, NBA Top Shot had grossed more than $500 million in sales. NFT sold for more than $200,000 for a single LeBron James highlight.
Should you buy NFTs?
Is it true that just because you can buy NFTs, you should? Yu says that depends.
“NFTs are dangerous since their future is unknown, and we don’t yet have enough data to gauge their performance,” she says. “Because NFTs are so new, it would be worth spending a little amount to test them out for the time being.”
Investing in NFTs, in other words, is essentially a personal decision. If you have some extra cash, it’s something to think about, especially if the artwork has sentimental value for you.
Capital gains taxes apply to NFTs, just like they do when you sell stocks at a profit. Because they’re considered collectibles, they may not qualify for the lower long-term capital gains rates that stocks do, and they may even be taxed at a higher collectibles rate, though the IRS hasn’t decided what NFTs are for tax purposes. Keep in mind that the cryptocurrencies you used to buy the NFT may be taxed if their value has increased since you bought them, so consult with a tax specialist before adding NFTs to your portfolio.