Investing in NFT: the right time to take the plunge?

Will the enthusiasm subside? NFTs, which have been heavily hyped in recent months, have not been spared from the hurricane that has sent cryptocurrencies down far from their peaks. In this highly speculative market, such a family seems welcome. According to the specialized site Nonfungible.com, in 2021 NFT exchanges had exploded, in a context of rising prices, to reach 17 billion dollars in transactions. The beginning of the year had set the tone because in March the artist Beeple had obtained, during an auction organized by Christie’s, 69.3 million dollars for one of his digital works. Entitled “Everyday: the First 5,000 days”, it consists of an assembly of digital drawings that the artist has been making every day for more than thirteen years. This sale was made possible thanks to the NFT or “non-fungible token”, translatable non-fungible token. It is a token, like cryptocurrencies, in other words an asset that is traded and registered on a blockchain, a decentralized digital ledger. But unlike bitcoin or ether, an NFT is non-fungible, which means it is unique. This is as far as the technical aspect is concerned.

In concrete terms, “it is a technological standard that certifies the authenticity of an underlying,” explains Faustine Fleuret, president of ADAN, an association that represents the players in the digital asset sector. The underlyings can be very different. ” Image, video, tweet, digital map of a football player, plot of land in a virtual world called the metaverse … The field of possibilities is wide.

The interest? “Exchange of rarities,” says Faustine Fleuret. A complicated concept in the digital world where nothing is simpler than copying and pasting to appropriate a file (image, sound, etc.). The NFT allows you to associate a data (an image for example) to a person. The system is timestamped: if someone creates another NFT from the same image, it will be easy to know which is the first and therefore the original. “It’s a new form of deed of title,” sums up Daniel Villa Monteiro, educational director of Alyra, the blockchain school.

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More difficult to profit from an NFT

The outlets are evident in the art sector, which quickly appropriated the concept. But big brands are also very interested in the topic in the video game, e-commerce and even luxury industries. However, the sector is still embryonic: according to a study by KPMG France for ADAN, only 15% of French people have already heard of NFT, compared to 76% of cryptoassets.

However, the acquisition of NFT is not insurmountable. Taking advantage of it will, however, be more casual. “In the world of art and collecting, some of the value is subjective and not specific to the world of cryptocurrencies,” points out Faustine Fleuret. The fad on some NFTs can actually dry up very quickly. So the buyer of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, worth $ 3 million in March 2021, put it up for auction last April. The bids did not exceed $ 30,000 …

If the sharp decline in the cryptocurrency market – and on which NFTs depend – encourages you to buy some, to take advantage of an appropriate price, you first need to know where to find it. Some trading platforms have become essential in this market, such as OpenSea or even Rarible. These are kind of NFT’s Good Corners … And like this referral site, they don’t guarantee you’ll get a good deal, nor have a serious seller in front of you. It is therefore necessary to try to find out as much as possible before taking action. It should be noted that some artists are also selling NFTs directly and traditional art houses are starting to offer NFT sales as well. Once you have identified your NFT, you need to move on to practical things. Because an NFT is paid in cryptocurrencies. The most used blockchain in this area is Ethereum, you will need to get ether from a broker like Binance or Coinhouse. You will host them in a “wallet” (an electronic wallet to store your cryptocurrencies in), which will also be used to store your NFTs. One of the most used is called MetaMask.

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Ease does not prevent distrust. “A major problem is theft, says Laurent Gayard, author of the book Understanding NFTs and Metavers. Sometimes people retrieve appropriate images or even images from other artists and put them up for sale in the form of NFTs.” If platforms are investigating the matter to try to identify “fakes”, if you have any problems, don’t count on them to provide after-sales service. Finally, it happens that some collectors have had their wallets hacked, even though they are encrypted. When acquiring high-value NFTs, take care to protect them well. For this it is better to opt for a cold storage system, that is, not connected to the Internet.


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