NFTs are bought and sold through an NFT marketplace built specifically to handle the blockchain transaction. NFTs can cost anywhere from a few dollars to millions of dollars for a digital asset thanks to the scarcity model. To buy NFTs, you must have a cryptocurrency and seek out a purchase through an investment marketplace.
NFT is the acronym for non-fungible token. These tokens are digital representations of real-world things such as art, music, videos, and in-game purchases. Each token is unique, which is what makes it non-fungible. They’ve become quite popular with collectors of all types including sports trading card collectors. They use blockchain technology to handle the transaction and encode the identity of the owner of the NFT.
Most NFT marketplaces use the cryptocurrency Ethereum (ETH-USD), but they may use other cryptos as well that include Polygon (MATIC-USD) Solana (SOL-USD) and Polkadot (DOT-USD).
These NFT tokens take a physical certificate of ownership and make it digital and secured. Some NFTs actually guarantee ownership of unique physical assets, though the most prominent ones are digital assets.
Note: While NFTs become very popular during the pandemic, there are many who feel this is a bubble that won’t last. For example 30-day sales reached a high of $64 million in April 2021 and fell to $832 thousand by March 2022. Invest cautiously.
You’ll want to choose an NFT that you feel has an upside value potential. The NFT can be some art, music, video, or even an item within a video game. You can search Google or Twitter for NFTs. Sites like Rarity.tools or NFTcatcher.io have an upcoming list of Ethereum and Solana NFTs that will be released in the near future.
When looking at the upcoming NFTs, note when the sale is, what the cryptocurrency requirements are, and how many of the NFT are being sold. This helps you better understand the scarcity behind the one you are choosing.
Some things that you want to confirm about the NFT include:
Tip: Be leery of NFTs that are held completely off-chain. Be sure that you can trust the custodian with your valuable NFT.
You will also want to join the NFT’s Discord and Telegram chats to learn more about the project and get a feel for what others are saying about this particular line of NFTs.
You’ll next need to buy the cryptocurrency to get the NFT. Most NFTs are purchased with Ethereum, though there are some exceptions. You can buy Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies at a specialized crypto brokerage or exchange such as Coinbase (COIN), Robinhood (HOOD), Gemini, Binance.US or Kraken.
Keep in mind that fees are something that you should consider when buying cryptocurrency. For example, Coinbase charges $0.99 for a trade of $10 or less. This fee goes up the bigger the trade is. SoFi Active Invest charges up to 1.25% for crypto trades.
Fees may be a flat fee per trade or a percentage of the 30-day trading volume of an account. Review fees based on the transaction sizes you plan on conducting to get an estimate of what you’ll be spending.
The marketplace is where the NFT is bought or sold. Once you find the marketplace where your NFT will be sold, you register and connect your crypto wallet. Each marketplace has its own crypto wallet requirements. An NFT marketplace will either sell the item for a flat rate or it will hold an auction for the token.
Popular marketplaces include:
NBA Top Shot Marketplace
Make sure that there is enough crypto to conduct the transaction including any relevant fees. Fees can include the costs of purchasing and transferring cryptos, converting one crypto into another, and gas fees. Gas fees are the fees paid to miners in exchange for the computing power they use while recording transactions on the blockchain.
Tip: Keep in mind that the listed price or the latest bid for an NFT is not the total purchase price. For example, the final cost of an NFT priced at the equivalent of $40 in Ethereum might reach $150 to $200 due to gas fees.
When the NFT is purchased, it is stored in a crypto wallet on the same blockchain, on a different blockchain, or in decentralized storage. Because the NFT is digital, you can only display it on a screen, often as part of a website. While you own the NFT, in most cases you don’t own the copyright on the original asset (the NFT creator does), meaning you can’t reproduce it, and you can’t sue someone for copyright infringement.
Examples of crypto storage wallets for NFTs include:
These wallets allow the storage of your crypto as well as the NFTs that you purchase from the marketplace.
NFTs are still new to the marketplace and many experts are unsure of exactly how good of an investment they are. While they leverage blockchain technology, it is unknown as to whether or not the NFT will retain its value over time. Investors should proceed with caution.
The value is based on four primary factors:
An NFT can be sold in the marketplace for cash or cryptocurrency. All transactions are recorded on the blockchain, securing the right of ownership of the NFT. Savvy investors are buying NFTs that they believe will appreciate in the future to then sell them at a marketplace for a profit.
This article was written by
Disclosure: I/we have no stock, option or similar derivative position in any of the companies mentioned, and no plans to initiate any such positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.