Can a Photo be an NFT?
You have almost certainly heard about non-fungible tokens (NFTs). They have been all the craze in the 2021 cryptocurrency scene.
Stories about artists and collectors making hundreds of thousands of dollars have populated the news for the whole year. You may have even seen some NFTs like CryptoPunks or Bored Apes yourself, but NFTs go a lot deeper than simply animal JPEGs.
To answer the question, yes, a photo can be an NFT. In fact, everything that exists online can become an NFT. MP3 files, videos, tweets, Facebook statuses, and even accounts on websites can all be turned into an NFT.
With that in mind, this article will explain how you can turn a photo into an NFT. We will also cover some of the more interesting use cases of NFTs.
How To Turn a Photo Into an NFT
Turning a photo into an NFT is a surprisingly easy process. Unfortunately, it will cost quite a bit of money in gas fees if you decide to make an NFT on the Ethereum blockchain.
The basic steps of the process are the following:
- Create an account on OpenSea.
- This will require a MetaMask account and Ethereum wallet.
- Create an NFT collection on OpenSea.
- Convert the NFT collection into an ERC-721 token.
Those are all the steps involved in creating an NFT on OpenSea.
Sadly, the problem with doing that on Ethereum is that you must pay gas fees to create an NFT collection, initialize your account on OpenSea, convert the collection into an ERC-721, and list the collection for sale on OpenSea.
The total gas fees would come out to around $500 due to the gas fees on Ethereum being so high at the moment. It could be even higher than that if you decide to do all the steps when gas is higher.
What Can Become an NFT?
As we said earlier, everything that resides online can become an NFT. And when we say everything that resides online can become an NFT we really do mean everything. Some examples include the following:
Tweets are one of the more interesting things that can be turned into an NFT. This is not a hypothetical scenario, either.
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey turned his first tweet into an NFT in March 2021. The tweet sold for nearly $3 million USD.
Dorsey’s sale of his tweet is the most high profile sale of a tweet. However, anyone can turn their tweet into an NFT. It remains to be seen how the rights of doing so would work out, but it is certainly possible for anyone to do it.
MP3 NFTs is going to be one NFT category that will completely change an industry. An MP3 NFT would essentially become a 1/1 record from a band, which is something that has not been seen in a few decades from bands.
More importantly, other perks and conditions can be attached to the NFT. For instance, a musician can add a royalty fee to the NFT, which would allow them to receive a percentage of every future sale.
Musicians could also attach song rights, a royalty percentage, unreleased songs, meet and greets, and all kinds of other promises or bonuses to ownership of the NFT.
There are some musicians really going all in on the NFT craze. Famous examples include Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, and Kings of Leon. A lot of independent musicians are also releasing NFTs as a way to further get around having to sign with a record company.
It’s also possible to turn an online account into an NFT. This is one of the more theoretical NFT examples, but it will certainly happen as NFTs become more common.
The basic premise is that an online account will have an NFT to authenticate their account. Basically, you would connect your MetaMask account (that contains all your login NFT) to login into a website.
This increases security and makes things easier for all parties involved. This currently does not exist. However, we are starting to see the concept in place with websites like OpenSea where you log into your account by connecting your MetaMask rather than typing in a password.
Again, this is technology that we will almost certainly see in the future. It falls into the greater Web3 idea.
Video Game Items
Finally, video game items can be turned into NFTs. This is already starting to appear with many blockchain games gaining popularity. The most notable example is a blockchain game called Axie Infinity in which users collect axolotls that are actually NFTs.
This gives players the ability to actually own their items in a video game. An interesting concept and one that will likely continue to become more and more popular because it’s a win-win for developers and players.
In fact, blockchain games have earned the name “play to earn” games because players can actually make a living by playing the games.
Yet again, this is a very new technology and still a little rough around the edges. But it will continue to grow as all technological improvements have a tendency to do.
Is There a Market for NFT Photographs?
You probably think of CryptoPunks or Bored Ape Yacht Club when you think about NFTs. This is with good reason – those are the two most valuable NFT collections at the moment.
That said, there is certainly a market for NFT photographs with a few photographers releasing 1/1 photos as NFTs or releasing a collection of photographs as NFTs.
The market is still relatively small, but that will change once photographers realize that people will purchase the NFT and that a royalty can be collected on all future sales.
The NFT industry is still super new, so it will take some time for the market to mature. But it will mature at some point and likely in an exponential manner once a few famous photographers start selling NFT collections.
Are NFTs Just a Fad?
No, NFTs are not just a fad. It might seem like a fad because the market is so crazy at the moment. However, that is simply how the technology industry works when a new technology is released.
The Dot Com bubble is the most notable example of that. Companies were adding a .com to their name, going public, and making millions in their IPO. The companies were mostly trash with excellent marketing.
The underlying technology (ie. internet) was not trash, though. It just took about a decade for the industry to consolidate into a few major players (Amazon, Google, Netflix, etc.).
The NFT industry, along with the greater cryptocurrency industry, is still extremely fragmented and full of scams and projects riding the hype to massive valuations. This will consolidate into a few major players in the same way that technology businesses have consolidated into a few major players.
Is It Worth Collecting NFTs?
You have probably read stories about people making a small fortune by flipping or simply collecting NFTs. Those stories are most certainly true because people can and have made a lot of money with NFTs.
A lot of people have also lost a lot of money attempting to flip or collect NFTs that quickly become junk after release.
With that in mind, the logical answer is that it’s not worth it to collect NFTs unless you know what you’re doing. The general rule is stick to well-established NFTs until you have an idea of what projects will work and what projects will not work.
The industry is not going to disappear, but 99% of NFTs will be worthless in 5 years.
To summarize, it is worth collecting high value NFTs like CryptoPunks and Bored Apes that will maintain their value long term. It’s much riskier to collect NFTs from unknown artists because most of those NFTs will go to zero within a decade.
We hope you learned about the NFT industry from this article. To reiterate, you can turn photos into NFTs as long as the photos exist online. Everything that exists online can be turned into an NFT.
Everything online likely will be turned into an NFT in a few decades once the industry consolidates and people become more comfortable with the technology.