Types of NFT

There has been a lot of press about NFTs recently and some people think that an NFT is just an NFT and if you buy one you will make a profit. There are lots of different types of NFT though and some have more worth/value than others.

All NFTs have the same basic structure. They are a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain and they can be assigned to a wallet. The only way to move it is to assign it to another wallet.


Decentralized finance is an area that is taking off at the moment. The idea is that it builds crypto banks and exchanges in a decentralized manner. That is ones that are simply smart contracts living on the internet as opposed to companies based in countries with legal implications. These produced the first popular NFTs in the form of tokens that in exchange for liquidity gave you some discount or advantage.

Then there is the whole SushiSwap thing which I have never really got my head round.


This is my area of interest and the area that really hit the headlines recently. People are saying that NFT are a new form of art when what they are is a new form of buying and selling art. In the old days, you sold a picture and that was all you saw of the income from that picture. In the NFT art world, smart contracts have artist royalties built in, so each resale trickles a few % back to the original artist. Some of the NFTs have the actual artwork “built in” while some are essentially simple receipts saying you paid someone for something on this date.


When I was a kid I got through a lot of bubble gum collecting trading cards for my favourite films. then when I grew up I discovered the cult of the vinyl toy. Both these things are collectibles. NBA has something called Top Shots which is the modern hi-tech equivalent of trading cards. You buy packs of “moments” which are little video clips and some are rarer/worth more than others. It is worth noting that Top Shots is running on its own blockchain which is controlled by NBA. This means you can only buy and sell on their markerplace.

The you get things like CryptoPunks and CryptoKitties. They are just things that look cool and fun to have in your collection. You can’t really do anything with them apart from buy and sell them.

Some people also saw the invention of smart contracts as a way to write games the ran decentrally on the web. A lot of these were collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh. You buy packs of cards and fight against other players.

Virtual Real Estate

The final area is 3D virtual worlds like CryptoVoxels and Decentraland. I tend to label this area “Third Life” as it feels a lot like an extension of the old “second Life” game. You buy a plot of land, build a virtual house and populate it virtual nik-naks that people have made and sold. That’s it.

So there you have it, seceral distinct use cases for NFTs. The only problem with all these things is that (in the short term at least) their success is pushing the price of Ethereum up and that is in turn pushing up Gas fees. This means it is harder to actually do anything with these NFTs. It now costs nearlt $100 to mint an artwork and up to $1000 to do any De-Fi transactions.

There other blockchains out there such as Wax and Neo which do smart contracts. They don’t have the momentum though to overtake Ethereum.


Buying NFTs

Everyone is doing it, everyone is hopping on the NFT bandwagon. What is an NFT? In short it is a virtual thing that you buy, you can say you own and that you can sell afterwards. It has something to do with blockchains and is perfectly safe if you know what you are doing.


To buy and NFT you need some magical internet money. This is called Ethereum. You also need a wallet to keep your money in. You can buy Eth at a lot of different websites but the easiest way is to use Metamask. This is a Chrome browser plug in that lets you buy, send and receive Eth and acts as your username/password for any sites you will be visiting.

You could also use any of the following wallets. Fortmatic, WalletConnect, Coinbase Wallet and MyEtherWallet, but I haven’t personally used them.


Once it is installed click on the little fox icon, set up and account and buy some Eth. Then back up your accounts “seed phrase”. With crypto, rather than have a username and password, you get assigned an address and a private key. You need both to things but if you forget one, there is no “forgot password?” feature.


You have your money, so lets hit the shops. There are lots of them out there but the big ones are SuperRare, Rarible, NiftyGateway, MyBae, Makers Place, Known Origin and Async Art.

The sites selling NFTs all work the same way so lets look at Rarible. To buy something you have to first connect your wallet to the site. Click “Connect Wallet” in the top right and choose your wallet. Some windows will pop up asking if you wish to connect the two things together. You may be asked to “sign” things, which is their way of getting you to click ok.

Once signed in you may have a profile you can set up with name and avatar, etc. Again this usually involves you signing something, just to prove it is actually you.

Once that is done you can look for things to buy. There is art, virtual real estate, trading cards, business things, Cryptokitties. You name it.


Once you have found something you like, you click the buy button. Some things go to auction and some have a “buy now” facility. We will assume the latter. Again some windows should pop up asking you to sign things but watch out.


Most of the signing has been free so far but when you come to make the purchase there will be fees. As of writing this, the cost of buying and NFT is the price of the NFT plus $70. So if you are buying a Pepe meme for $20 you will end up paying $90 in total. Whether you still want to buy NFTs after that is up to you.


Now you have your NFT, what can you do with it? Well, the most obvious thing to do is look at it. You can view it on your computer screen but you can also access it on your phone. Nft Gallery is an app for iOS and Android that syncs with your Ethereum wallet and lets you view, collect and cast your NFTs.


Creating NFTs

On the back of the cryptocurrency boom, NFTs are currently all the rage. It is a catch all name for something that can have a lot of different uses. I have been dabbling in the #CryptoArt space for a year now and have exhibited and sold a few bits. It is a confusing world so I thought I would knock up a quick guide to making your own NFTs.

Get some Ethereum

The first step is to get some Ethereum. There are lots of ways to do this but I guess the easiest way would be to buy some straight into Metamask. MetaMask is a wallet for keeping your magic internet money in so it makes sense to deposit it straight into there. It is a browser extension so install it in chrome, click the little fox icon and explore it. The next two steps are

  • Buy some Ethereum.
  • Back up yor wallet.
  • Back up yor wallet again.

Did I mention backing up your wallet? That wallet address thing is your identity from now on, so if you lose access to it you lose anything in it. There is no way of resetting you password or anything like that.

Pick a Website

There are many places to create (or”mint”) your art, but the big ones are SuperRare, Rarible, NiftyGateway, MyBae, Makers Place, Known Origin and Async Art.

It is worth noting that some are like proper art galleries where you are vetted and can only create if you are accepted by them. These normally require some sort of background check and video introduction. Some are more like copy shops where anyone can mint anything they like.

Mint your art

Once you have found a site you like, you shoudl join it. See the post Buying NFTs for more details on joining a website. The jist in you link your ethereum wallet to the site and use that as your username and password.

Next get your artwork. This must be 100% your own creation. It can be an image, video, song or some other sort of thing. If the image is big (or it is an mp3, etc) then it is good to have a thumbnail. This can be average size as this is what is usually displayed.

Next click the “create” button. Give it a name and a description. Your first choice is to mint a single or a multiple. There is only one Mona Lisa which makes it rare and valuable. If you just want to get your name out though, do a multiple of 50 and give them away. If you are doing several related pieces, then you can give them a Collection Name, otherwise they get assigned to the website you mint them on.

You can give it proerties but they are only really used for things like trading game cards. You can set a royalty. This is how much of future sales of that NFT go back to you. Finally some let you set a “buy now” price. If you don’t do this then it goes into an auction where peole can bid on it.

Finally you hit the “create Item” button and it mints your NFT. For a price. Your wallet will pop up a few message boxes asking you to sign things. One of these will include the fees for the minting. Warning, these can be high. It may cost you $70 to mint something that costs $50. In which case you are going to lose money. It is worth keeping the maths in mind when you come to this stage.

Viewing your NFT

Now you have your NFT, what can you do with it? Well, the most obvious thing to do is look at it. You can view it on your computer screen but you can also access it on your phone. Nft Gallery is an app for iOS and Android that syncs with your Ethereum wallet and lets you view, collect and cast your NFTs.