What are NFTs?

NFT stands for non-fungible token, and you will hear the term a lot if you move in crypto investing circles. So, what is an NFT exactly? And are NFTs a good investment for you right now?

An NFT is quite simply a digital asset that can represent either another digital asset or a real-world physical asset. There is a wide range of different NFTs, and it is possible to buy, sell and mint them, as well as to use them in online transactions.

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The definition of an NFT

NFTs are cryptographic assets with unique identification codes and metadata. NFTs have similarities to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, in that they are digital tokens, but also differ from them in important ways. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether are in fact fungible tokens. One bitcoin can be exchanged for another bitcoin, or for cash. NFTs cannot be traded or exchanged at equivalency in the same way as standard digital coins. They often represent, or ‘tokenize’, real-world assets such as real estate or art, or sometimes less tangible things such as digital assets, intellectual property rights, or individuals’ identities.

    How are NFTs used?

    NFTs are used in various ways within a wide range of applications. They can be utilized in anything from online games, where they may be used to buy in-game items and assets or add-ons within the game, to real estate dealing, where NFTs can be used to represent real-world real estate assets and simplify transactions. NFTs can also be used to represent digital assets such as video clips, and audio clips, which can make it easier to buy, sell or lease them.

    What is NFT minting?

    Minting an NFT refers to the process of tokenizing a digital file with cryptography, which effectively turns an asset into a digital token, which can then be used, moved, stored and recorded on the blockchain. Minting an NFT can be done through NFT marketplaces, which are generally decentralized platforms that allow you to create and sell NFTs.

    What are gas fees for NFTs?

    If you are interested in investing in NFTs, you will soon be exposed to the concept of gas fees. Gas fees will be generated when you create or sell NFTs. Just like cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, NFTs rely on blockchain technology. Gas is essentially a unit that measures the amount of computational power required to perform a transaction on the blockchain. So, gas is used to fuel the minting of an NFT or when you carry out transactions using NFT blockchains. Your gas fee is the charge for the amount of computational power needed to carry out the transaction.

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NFT blockchains

NFTs are commonly built on the Ethereum blockchain, which was developed partially to facilitate open-source use and allow any developer to create all kinds of decentralized applications, known as dApps. Ethereum is well placed to facilitate the minting of NFTs, which can easily be made trackable using Ethereum’s blockchain as a public ledger. Other blockchains can theoretically be used for NFTs, but Ethereum dominates the market. Blockchains such as Binance Smart Chain, Waves and Tezos are used in the NFT market, but they accounted for less than 1% of NFT sales in 2021.

How to buy and sell NFTs

If you’re wondering how to sell NFTs, or indeed where to buy NFTs, the answer is quite straightforward. There are marketplaces that make it easy to mint, sell and buy NFTs. There are two reasons why you might be looking to sell NFTs. You might be minting your own NFTs and trying to sell them to potential investors, or you might be trying to sell NFTs that you have bought or acquired, in which case you will be selling on the secondary market. To mint your own NFTs for sale, you will need to select a marketplace that facilitates this, which will also allow you to put your NFT up for sale once you have created it. The best-known and most widely used NFT marketplace is OpenSea, but there are many others. The minting process itself is not hard. Most marketplaces make it easy to do, with just a few clicks. You will usually be able to choose the option ‘Mint an NFT’ in your marketplace account, and then upload the digital file you want to tokenize. During the minting process, you will also usually be able to set a royalty amount if you wish, which means that a small percentage of any sales of your NFT on the secondary market will also be paid back to you. After minting your NFT, you will want to list it for sale on the marketplace where you created it. You will also be able to transfer it to other marketplaces and sell it there, though this may make you liable for extra fees. If you have bought or otherwise acquired NFTs and want to sell them, the process is even simpler. Just transfer your NFTs to the marketplace and list them for sale. Do you want to buy NFTs? Just sign up at an NFT marketplace to browse through NFTs for sale.

Are NFTs a good investment?

If you’re not sure whether NFTs are a good investment for you, the first step is usually a little more research. As with anything else, it’s good to fully understand an asset and its market before you invest. Many crypto investors end up investing in NFTs, but, as already discussed, they are very different from typical cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. NFTs are digital assets that are unique and meant to be for something specific, and are priced accordingly, so a lot depends on the token itself and what its value is tied to. Investing in NFTs is essentially investing in the underlying asset, whether that is a piece of art, a piece of real estate, or a virtual item in an online game. As with any similar investment, you can make a huge amount of money because the asset increases in value, or lose the whole amount if the asset loses its value completely. This is part of what makes NFTs so exciting for risk-friendly investors, but it also means that ultimately, they can be either a great investment or a bad one, depending on a range of other factors. You’ll have to consider these factors carefully before investing.

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Frequently Asked Questions

This is an exciting question that, to be honest, no one can really predict just now. As the general public become more and more aware of NFTs, though, we are definitely seeing them used for a number of different purposes. One of the key attractions to NFT casinos is undoubtedly the bespoke loyalty rewards systems made available, and there is no reason why this cannot also be true for any number of industries.

NFTs are arguably art, and like any painting hanging in a gallery, their value is largely subjective. The old adage that something is only ever worth what the buyer is willing to pay for it is so true for NFTs. Of course, we've all seen the headlines exclaiming how Christies sold Beeple's EVERYDAYS for just short of $70million dollars, but for every priceless masterpiece like this, there are also affordable NFTs for every budget.

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