There is just something about blockchain technology that makes people ask a lot of questions in addition to the need to know more.
With cryptocurrency in all its rage and increasing popularity in Nigeria, it has become the number one crypto country in the world.
This report is backed by information from Statista, a German company specializing in market and consumer data. Thus,this means that a large percentage of the financially literate population in Nigeria has interacted with cryptocurrency in some way.
What are NFTs?
NFTs are the latest digital trend gaining rapid interest in Africa’s largest economy. They are digital tokens, which are unique and immutable units of data on a digital ledger called a blockchain. NFT is very similar to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
How do NFTs work?
The majority of NFTs make up the Ethereum (cryptocurrency) blockchain. The unique identity and ownership of the NFT can be verified via the blockchain ledger. It was first launched on the Ethereum blockchain, but now it is supported by other blockchains including FLOW and Bitcoin Cash.
They are generated in a process called “minting” which eliminates the need for third parties or intermediaries for verification or validation purposes and contains unique individual identification codes and metadata that characterizes each generated NFT.
By minting, the blockchain technology that powers the market assigns a unique identity (a digital code) to the art and creates a contract that no one can change.
However, NFTs cannot be copied. Hacked? Unfortunately, yes they can. But that’s only if the NFT platform being used suffers from slow cybersecurity measures or improper user account protection.
What Kind of NFTs are Out There?
All kinds of digital objects from photos, to videos, music, text, memes, animations, and even tweets (ex-Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey’s first-ever tweet, sold for $2.9 million) — basically any kind of easily cloned file or valuable item that can be minted on the internet can be called NFT.
It’s like a collector’s item, for example a painting but instead of purchasing a physical item, you pay for a digital file and prove that you own the original.
Whether it’s a JPG, MP3, GIF or something else, proprietary NFTs can be bought and sold and their prices are largely determined by market demand.
Why are NFTs a Big Deal for Nigerian Artists?
NFTs have taken the art and gaming worlds by storm. Whether you think they’re a speculative fad or a huge new prospect for artists, they continue to make headlines when they sell for millions of dollars.
In Nigeria, artistic creators are taking advantage of this shift and increasing their net worths.
Although sales of NFTs, just like cryptocurrencies, are subject to rapid and unexpected change, its longevity is still debated by experts and analysts. However, despite the potential downturns, many Nigerian artists are thriving in this expanding digital market.
Before moving forward, let’s take a trip down memory lane:
With many artists, influencers, and investors spending big bucks to own NFT versions of digital photos, digital artist Mike Winkelman, aka Beeple, has sold an NFT for $69 million, at Christie’s proving that NFTs are hitting more major auction houses too.
In 2018, Jacon Osinachi Igwe became the first Nigerian to present his art to sell as an NFT during the Ethereal Blockchain Summit.
Due to the astounding success of his business, he has made a huge profit of $75,000 in the cryptocurrency market and has emerged as the first African artist to offer a series of NFTs at Christie’s, the same London auction house where Beeple’s art was sold.
Why is there a spark with NFT and Nigerian artists?
Well, NFTs are here to stay and provide artists with more options and a decentralized gallery model that bypasses intermediaries.
The likes of Osinachi, Anthony Azekwoh, Odion Tobi, Oyindamola Oyekemi Oyewumi, Niyi Okeowo, Abdulrahman Yusuf and Oshomah are Nigerians reaping from the gold mine and leading the NFT scene.
Although the NFT space in Nigeria is still relatively small, it has the potential to propel more Nigerian artists onto the global stage if local digital art curators emerge in the coming years.
Can Anyone Make an NFT?
Technically anyone can create a piece of art, convert it to NFT on the blockchain and offer it for sale on a market of their choice. You can even attach a commission to the file, which will pay you every time someone buys the piece through resale.
You also need to set up a wallet. However, it is advisable to think carefully about which platforms to use. Some examples of blockchains that you can use are Binance Smart Chain, Flow by Dapper Labs, Tron, EOS, Polkadot, Tezos, Cosmos, and WAXCurrent.
Enthusiasts are advised to seek professional opinions before committing huge sums in order to guide and protect their interest in purchasing digital assets.
Furthermore, if you wish to get creative, purchase a very sturdy and stable laptop.
The NFT market is expected to reach $1.3 billion by the end of 2021.