A Brief History of NFTs

Education 01.03.2023

A Brief History of NFTs

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have gained significant attention in the last few years (read about the top driving factors), with high-profile sales and the entrance of mainstream celebrities into the space. But, where did NFTs come from, and how did they become such a hot topic in the digital art world?

The History of NFTs

NFTs are not a new invention, but their origins can be traced back to the early days of cryptocurrency. The first NFTs were created in 2012, when the idea of using blockchain technology to represent assets and digital ownership was in its infancy. These initial NFTs were mainly used to represent domain names.

However, it wasn't until the launch of CryptoKitties in 2017 that NFTs started to gain more significant attention. CryptoKitties, a game that allows users to collect, breed and trade unique digital cats, quickly became a sensation, leading to a surge in interest in NFTs and paving the way for other projects to follow.

Ethereum emerged as the leading blockchain platform for NFTs, primarily due to its smart contract functionality, which allowed developers to create unique tokens representing digital assets. It wasn't long before other platforms, including TRON and EOS, entered the market (Solana and Cardano followed), offering their take on NFTs and expanding the possibilities for digital asset ownership.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the art world to shift its focus online, leading to a rise in the popularity of digital art. This increase in demand for digital art, coupled with the rise of NFTs, led to a wave of NFT art sales, including Beeple's "Everydays: The First 5000 Days" selling for a record-breaking $69 million at a Christie's auction.

Beeple's "Everydays: The First 5000 Days"
Timeline of Key NFT Projects

2012 - J.R. Willett proposed the idea of creating unique digital assets using blockchain technology, leading to the creation of the first ICO and the launch of Mastercoin.

2017 - CryptoKitties launched on the Ethereum blockchain, introducing the world to NFTs and paving the way for other NFT projects to follow.

2017 - The launch of the CryptoPunks, a set of 10,000 unique 8-bit characters, became one of the first popular NFT collections on the Ethereum blockchain.

2018 - The launch of CryptoCollectibles, an NFT platform on the TRON blockchain, introduced a new platform for digital asset ownership.

2019 - The launch of NBA Top Shot, an NFT platform for trading digital basketball highlights, became one of the most successful NFT projects to date.

2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic forced the art world online, leading to a surge in the popularity of NFT art sales.

2021 - SpaceBudz is launched in March on the Cardano blockchain, opening up new opportunities for NFT creators and collectors.

Evolution of NFTs
NFTs and Their Future

NFTs have disrupted the art world, making it possible for digital art to be owned, traded, and displayed in ways never before possible. However, it is not just the art world that is being impacted by NFTs; the technology has the potential to transform many different industries.

One potential application of NFTs is in gaming, where they could be used to represent in-game assets and items. NFTs could also be used to represent ownership of real-world assets, such as property or collectibles, allowing for fractional ownership and increased liquidity. Read full article about future NFT uses here.

The future of NFTs is still uncertain, but it is clear that the technology has the potential to transform many different industries, from art to finance to gaming. As the technology continues to evolve, it will be exciting to see what new opportunities emerge and how NFTs shape the digital world.