October 20, 2022 Read 6 Min

NFTs and Cryptos: What They Really Are

One of the most revolutionary technological breakthroughs that took place since the internet’s inception was NFTs and Cryptocurrencies. These increasingly popular digital assets have completely changed the rules for investors all around the world. Here are some fundamentals about the two and reasons to invest in them.

Person seated on a virtual cloud in a cryptocurrency realm, examining digital currency on a smartphone
The world is raving about blockchain technology and it's functionality, but what exactly are these digital assets? What can they do for us, and why are people so intrigued by it? Find out more by reading this article.

Editor’s Note

This article has been updated in 2024 for better comprehension and relevancy purposes.

Have you noticed NFT and Cryptocurrencies have taken backseat positions in the tech world, as of late? What were once two of the most said words of the year, is now outdone by the likes of Artificial Intelligence and all the different realities.

Some are even claiming NFT collections are worthless now. Whereas, crypto is steadily thriving.

So, was the hype all for nothing? To figure that out, let’s take it back to the beginning. In this guide, we’re going to dive deeper into the world of Cryptos and NFTs and see their glory days to what 2024 has to offer.

What is Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is essentially a digitally shared, decentralised ledger that lets nodes of a network store and share digital information. It’s managed by a democratic network of users and some middlemen (Google for example).

Blockchain tech became synonymous with its use in cryptocurrencies. Many knew of its potency in keeping secure records of transactions. Which was the main reason it trended. It emphasized on its fidelity and security without the need for a trusted third party. 

Cryptocurrencies and NFTs are the two most well-known categories of data transactions that blockchain technology has brought about. Although they interact and share some commonalities, they also differ from one another in some very significant ways.

First, let’s take a look at Cryptos.

What are Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies are basically digital currencies. The word “crypto” derives from “Cryptography”. Cryptography protects these currencies, making them incredibly secure and nearly impossible to copy or counterfeit.

If you have crypto-obsessed relatives, you’ll hear “Bitcoin” eventually. Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), two of the most popular cryptocurrencies, both operates within their own blockchain systems. That said, there are still thousands of currencies available on various blockchain platforms.

Can you be an investor?

No matter the level of wealthiness, anyone can become a player in the crypto world. You can visit trusted platforms or use apps that allow the trading of these currencies and NFTs, like OpenSea.

There are countless apps that allow you to invest in cryptocurrencies, and all of them provide fantastic real-time analytics of the changes in prices and values. Apps with 4 stars or more, like the one we made, CoinGecko, also have currency calculators and data-tracking services built right in. 

Investors believe that these currencies will eventually yield valuable profit, see them as a long-term store of value, and use them as a reliable medium of exchange. But there are many risks that come with this kind of technology.

The most common one being the volatility of the Crypto market. One of the greatest Crypto crashes that ever happened was by Terra (Luna). The currency lost all its value and fell to almost zero, shocking the entire world and causing UST investors to lose almost US$45 billion in a mere few days. 

Cryptos will eventually run out

When a cryptocurrency has limited supply, its production and sale are capped. A few coins, including Litecoin, have already hit their maximum capacity. 

According to reports, only 21 million Bitcoins will ever be mined. Meaning that the Bitcoin scarcity may be worth even greater than gold. And because of its finite availability, it appealed to a lot of investors.

Here’s a list of popular cryptocurrencies with limited supply:

  • Bitcoin (BTC) 
  • Binance Coin (BNB)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Avalanche (AVAX)
  • Algorand (ALGO)
  • Litecoin (LTC)

What are Cryptos used for?

The revolutionary financial infrastructure Cryptocurrency, represents a new, decentralized paradigm for money. There are several benefits of investing in crypto, and that includes the following:  

  • Faster and less expensive financial transactions and less chances of single point failures in crypto-based on financial apps.

  • Faster transaction also means that there is no need for financial intermediaries such as a bank or credit card companies to perform transactions. 

  • Generate profits. Over the past ten years, the value of cryptocurrency markets has surged, reaching approximately $2 trillion at one time.

  • Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin streamline international money transfers by converting fiat currency into cryptocurrency, transferring it across borders, and converting it back into the target currency, simplifying and reducing transfer costs.

What are NFTs?

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unique piece of data that can’t be moved. This data is kept on a blockchain. At the moment, they can stand in for any digital asset connected to the token, such as text, 3D models, music, videos, pictures, videos, games, and other digital assets.

Before we proceed, let’s first comprehend the idea of Fungibility: 

Fungible items are interchangeable assets that have similar qualities and equal commercial worth. They are interchangeable because they have a fixed value and are not unique in any special way.

Non-fungible items on the other hand are not interchangeable, have unique values and are different in their commercial worth. Non-fungible artifacts include collectibles, one-of-a-kind works of art, and objects of sentimental significance.

NFTs have the potential to serve as a public record of digital ownership, similar to a certificate of authenticity. In this situation, the blockchain functions as a transparent ledger of all transactions and makes such ownership evident.

Besides that, this invention has ushered forth a new era of collectibles and digital art. Even if individuals download and utilize a particular digital asset online, we can be confident that there is only ever one true owner.

Types of NFTs

  • Digital Art. Digital art NFTs, the most common variety of NFT, experienced tremendous growth in both popularity and market size. As more producers and DAOs participate in the area, the sale of NFT artwork kept increasing.

  • Video Game Assets. If you’re an avid gamer, you would have heard of games like Axie Infinity or Cryptokittes. These games sparked the popularity of video game NFTs. Users can purchase, sell, trade, and utilize NFTs within some video games. Cross-platform integrations make it simpler for gamers to buy and trade NFTs, allowing few top players to generate passive revenue from gaming.

  • Music. On NFT markets, recording artists can now re-release their music. When the album is distributed through conventional methods, fans can buy individual tracks off the album and share in the profits.

  • Digital Collectibles. Pokemon cards or vintage toys in mint condition are examples of NFT collectibles, which are just like other real-world collectibles in digital form. To this day, one of the most well-done instances in the collectibles area is NBA Top Shot. It’s a website where users can buy and sell officially licensed video of the best moments from NBA games.

  • Films. Recently, more NFT-powered production businesses have emerged in Hollywood. Decentralized production firms may now raise money for their next projects while keeping their communities in the driver’s seat thanks to NFTs and DAOs.

What are NFTs used for?

NFTs are not mere digital arts for displays or collections, oftentimes they offer benefits that are worth your every penny. Take a look at some use cases of NFTs:

  • Real estate. NFTs are capable of storing important data including land and deed transfers, ownership proofs, and even the tracking of changes in land values. There will be automated payments, trust and assurance between buyers and sellers, and securely preserved sensitive payment information. 

  • Ticketing. NFT tickets, which are linked to a specific ID and used by users to enter a venue or access a product or service, are taking the role of traditional tickets. Users won’t require additional parking permits or winning lottery tickets because they only need one token ID, which will be used for all ticketing.

  • Intellectual property. Investors who own NFTs can deposit their intellectual property (IP) as a time-stamped NFT in the blockchain system, permanently fixing the patent in time to guarantee its authenticity. 

  • Voting. Remote and authentic voting can be done easily thanks to NFTs’ ability to offer and support virtual identities and authenticities. With the concept of bureaucratic red tapes eliminated in favor of effective blockchain technology, we might observe a huge increase in the number of votes cast internationally.

  • Medical records and identification. In order to enable quick access to medical facilities from anywhere at any time, NFTs may ensure that all of a patient’s medical records are securely kept in one location. This makes it possible for patients to view their medical history from anywhere they are. 

  • Ownership authentication. NFTs have the capacity to record crucial data about a product, which can be utilized to increase value (eg. product’s rarity).

What is the difference between Crypto and NFT?

Though Crypto emerged first, the public was already familiar with both digital assets.

Blockchain transactions are necessary for the authentication and ownership recording of both cryptocurrencies and NFTs; in most circumstances, you need cryptocurrencies to buy NFTs. 

The main difference between the two is that Cryptocurrency’s value comes from its ability to be traded or invested in. On the other hand, NFTs are valuable in both economic and non-economic ways. NFTs can be used by artists to sell, market, and monetize their creations, which could be traded by cryptocurrencies.

Fungibility is another way to differentiate between the two assets. Each NFTs are unique and contains different values, unlike Bitcoins.

Is 2024 the comeback year?

With the constant crypto crashes, many were convinced that the digital currency and collectibles were gradually going out of style. And it might have been the case in the past couple of years since this article was first published.

However, experts believe that the blockchain markets, particularly NFTs is making a stable comeback in 2024

The rise of innovations digitalizing aspects of our lives and the adoption of Web3, the physical world may soon be replaced by the digital realm, making NFTs a crucial asset to own. With non-fungible tokens, you may legally own anything in the metaverse, from movies to real estate.

On the other hand, there is also a good reason why investors keep investing money into cryptocurrencies. That’s because a lot of people have had returns. Although Bitcoin has suffered some losses, cryptocurrency is still here to stay. That said, since crypto trends are unpredictable, only invest what you can afford to lose.

How we can help

One important aspect about the Cryptocurrency and NFT realm is that everything is recorded and displayed in real-time. There are numerous real-time data charts and information online for investors to check and manage their transactions and predictions. 

With real-time technology, firms are able to maximise operational efficiency, monitor every change, and rapidly rectify performance issues. Many businesses today have adopted real-time technology to adapt to the changes in the market, making them successful. 

When it comes to integrating real-time technology into your website or mobile app, Snappymob can be your ideal partner. Contact us today to learn how real-time technology may benefit your business like it did for NFT and cryptocurrency enterprises.