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Money and Markets: NFTs are the latest cryptocurrency craze

As cryptocurrency gets huge, a new digital revolution in digital art and media has become the next big thing. However, it may already be over.

I am back from a deathmatch with Covid, hence my silence last month. Not only was it a grim and gritty journey to the crematorium, it was also an expensive one.

You can’t trade in delirium and my plight has pulled me out of circulation during an onslaught of wild cryptocurrency fluctuations and surges. I’ve written a lot about crypto here over the past year as I felt it was a hugely important emerging market.

I also thought it would be very interesting for engineers because it was going to be more and more something they would have to deal with, and because technologists are a large group of wild market speculators on which crypto is playing directly.

I also thought it was an arena with potentially huge profits and anyone who jumped on Bitcoin et al last year should definitely be making jumbo profits.

Cryptocurrency and DeFi have become huge markets and quickly get bored in all aspects of life, but as I suffered feverishly in Covid’s well cut off from the markets, the third leg of the crypto revolution emerged: ‘NFT’, aka non-functional tokens.

“Non-replaceable” means that something is unique and cannot be replaced by something else, unlike a pound coin or a Bitcoin. For example, a unique trading card is non-replaceable and not interchangeable with others.

This boom, bell, bust has blossomed and faded like spring cow’s lips; by the time I was fit to trade again, the mania was over. It literally lasted about as long as a dose of Covid-19.

An NFT is a different kind of token from the ERC-20 tokens for which Ethereum blockchain is famous. They are, in fact, ERC-721 tokens. Each token is identifiably unique.

Cryptokitties, a game of digital cat owning and breeding represented by NFTs, were the format’s first major outing and brought the Ethereum blockchain to a halt, but things have moved on since then.

For starters, the cost of using Ethereum, like the value of the coin, has gone to the moon. NFTs allow someone to link a digital object or a digitized object to a file on or off the blockchain (usually off, for cost reasons) and the first start was digital art on sites like Rarible and Open sea.

The whole arena exploded in the headlines when a collection of such art from an anonymous dude named Beeple sold at Christie’s for an unexpected and staggering $ 69 million. Even though there were 5,000 images, that’s over $ 10,000 per digital piccie and an overwhelming result in all.

Boom, everyone wanted to know what NFTs were. Since I always jump straight into new technology, I already had my own technology, available for a few dollars, that no one was buying.

Soon, after a wave of high-profile sales – many of which resembled self-trading wash trades – people rushed to make one themselves, only to find that no one seemed to want to buy theirs. As Douglas Adams once wrote: “Foooop”. Boom, bell, bust.

However, for NFTs, this is only the first boom / bust cycle. DeFi is on its second, Bitcoin on its fourth or fifth. 8-bit art is not the future of NFTs: your house deeds are; your employment contract is; are all kinds of valuable documents.

For example, in the modern abbreviation, imagine hell KYC, AML and NFT. NFT is the third leg of the crypto revolution and the markets for the tokens of the companies involved will spiral, such as cryptocurrencies and DeFi projects, as new and more sustainable and valuable applications are developed with this technology.

IP, dear ones of all of us, is exactly the kind of thing that an NFT can be tied to, in areas such as registration, recognition, publication, licensing and trading. It’s not just doing what has already been done better; it is the ability to do things that are now impossible or impractical.

It’s yet another disruptor so loved by venture capital. NFT is another opportunity and market goldmine for tech-savvy traders or engineers willing to start hacking into the nearly impenetrable undergrowth of the cryptocode jungle.

It’s another dark forest full of treasures, but the sobering thing is that another crypto breakthrough is coming soon enough to match cryptocurrency, DeFi and NFT.

Then, another and another.These will be markets, employment and business opportunities that will last a lifetime.

Now that I’ve survived Covid, I’m amazed at that potential and the road ahead.