non-fungible tokens (NFT) (noun)
Rick Howard: The word is: non fungible tokens.
Rick Howard: Spelled: non as in the absence of something, fungible as in mutually interchangeable, and tokens as in something that represents an idea.
Rick Howard: Definition: Digital assets that are cryptographically protected on a blockchain and contain unique identification codes and metadata that makes them one of a kind.
Rick Howard: Example sentence: NFTs have exploded onto the scene as the one of the most exciting and promising utilizations of blockchain technology.
Rick Howard: Origin and context: According to Lisa Sun on Medium, fungibility is an economic concept that describes two items that are mutually interchangeable, like a Bitcoin or a dollar bill. Each unit is equal and easily exchanged.
Rick Howard: Non-fungibility is anything that is truly unique. A one-of-a-kind asset like the Mona Lisa painting. A non-fungible token then is a digital asset, like a jpeg that has unique properties, making it different from any other token even if another non-fungible token is a jpeg of the same image.
Rick Howard: Protected by the blockchain, non-fungible tokens had the same qualities that make items in the physical world valuable like scarcity and proof of validity.
Rick Howard: According to Andrew Steinwold on Medium, the first notion of an NFT, most likely appeared as something called Colored Coins on the Bitcoin blockchain in 2012. But the underlying Bitcoin infrastructure didn't really support non-fungibility. Steinwold points to the online game CryptoKitties, as taking the NFT concept to the mainstream in 2017. The game allows players to adopt, raise and trade virtual cats on a blockchain. According to Steinwold, as of January, 2020, the total amount of money spent on CryptoKitties is just shy of $28 million. And the most expensive CryptoKitty ever sold is worth around $282,000 today.
Rick Howard: But it's early days on the NFT ecosystem. Many blockchain players have jumped in to cash in. It's too soon to tell though if it's just a fad or the latest evolution of the blockchain universe.
Rick Howard: Nerd reference: On the U.S. comedy sketch show, Saturday Night Live, on 28 March 2021, Jack Harlow, an American rapper, singer and songwriter, performs a surprisingly technically accurate rap about NFTs.
Jack Harlow: If I had to explain the NFTs, I'd probably say, "Hey, here's the thing about NFTs. It's a non-fungible token, you see. Non-fungible means that it's unique. There can only be one like you and me. NFTs are insane. Built on a blockchain. A digital ledger of transactions. It records information on what's happening. When it's minted, you could sell it as art and this concludes my rappin' part."
Rick Howard: Word notes is written by Nyla Gennaoui, executive produced by Peter Kilpe, and edited by John Petrik and me, Rick Howard. The mix, sound design, and original music have all been crafted by the ridiculously talented Elliott Peltzman. Thanks for listening.