Web3 companies around the world celebrated the first-ever Non-Fungible Token (NFT) Day on September 20, 2022. The annual event is a tribute to the nascent technology that serves as the core for digital art collectors and gamers on the blockchain.
The technology became known to the world with the meteoric ascent of Profile Picture (PFP) projects. NFT collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks, and Doodles became rockstars in the space. In just a short span of time however, the technology evolved and started introducing real utility.
“Within a few short years, NFTs have already encouraged people to take their first steps into decentralized technology, but we’re still early in the journey,” Dapper Labs CTO Dieter Shirley stated.
Today, NFTs have become an $11.3 billion industry (per VerifiedMarketResearch) that covers various creative disciplines. The technology has also become the driving element behind Play-to-Earn games and virtual worlds called Metaverses.
“NFTs allow people to own a piece of social space, from virtual locations, music, fashion, and art – even individual moments representing significant cultural touchstones. NFT Day gives all creators an opportunity to tell that story together,” Shirley added.
To mark the occasion, developers and other Web3 projects are holding several events and gatherings all around the world.
The official International NFT Day website displayed schedules of in-person events in the United States, Canada, and Hong Kong, among others. Virtual gatherings on The Sandbox metaverse, as well as other social media platforms, were organized to supplement the physical convention
The website also offers a wealth of educational materials about the technology. Moreover, the site also gave away free NFTs to commemorate the event.
Companies and projects joining the festivities include a16z, Animoca Brands, Coinbase NFT, CryptoSlam!, Dapper Labs, OpenSea, Rarible, and The Sandbox, to name a few.
“We’re thrilled to be participating in the very first NFT Day,” OpenSea VP of Marketing Whitney Steele said. “We believe that NFT technology is laying the foundation for vibrant new economies, and we’re excited to help more consumers, creators and developers discover how they can receive greater value from Web3.”
A NFT is a record on the blockchain that grants holders full ownership of the asset. Creating NFTs requires little to no coding skills, and they usually contain references to digital files of audio, photos, and videos.
Owners can transfer, sell, or trade their NFTs on digital collectible marketplaces. Along with OpenSea, one of the most well-known platforms today is Joepegs. Notable projects that have released NFTs on the Avalanche-based platform include Conscious Lines, Imperium Empires, and Owloper.
History of NFTs
The usage of the term “NFT” only emerged in 2017. However, its history goes back to 2014 with the release of “Quantum.” Kevin McCoy and technology executive/entrepreneur Anil Dash produced the project. Quantum featured a video clip made by McCoy’s wife/art partner Jennifer.
Quantum was first registered on the Namecoin blockchain but didn’t draw enough attention to initiate a new trend. During that time, Dash referred to NFTs as “monetized graphics,” when he presented the idea at The New Museum of Contemporary Art.
However, other projects followed suit and dabbled in the emerging technology. In October 2015, Ethereum founding investor Cyrus Adkisson launched Etheria three months after the Ethereum blockchain came out. For five years, Etheria’s 457 hexagonal tiles remained unsold until the public interest in 2021. In 24 hours, all of the tiles sold out for a total of $1.4 million.
The term “Non-Fungible Token” would only surface in 2017, and in the same year, several projects emerged in the space. This includes games such as CryptoKitties and mobile software company Larva Labs’ Curio Cards and CryptoPunks collection.
The most expensive NFT ever sold is Mike Winkleman’s (aka Beeple) digital college titled “Everydays: The First 5000 Days.” The artwork raked in $63.9 million at the esteemed auction house Cristie’s on March 11, 2021.
Eventually, the popularity of NFTs reached uncontrollable levels with the introduction of various PFP projects and countless imitations. The hype behind digital collectibles became unsustainable and later on led to several projects getting decimated.