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Understanding NFTs & DeFi Marketplaces

Niki Graham

Posted on March 11 2021

Understanding NFTs & DeFi Marketplaces

Let me help you understand what this trending "NFT"-talk is all about. Imagine the Mona Lisa, a famous "one-of" original painting. It's valued at over $850 million USD and, like most authentic originals, comes with an impressive provenance, or history of ownership. There are thousands and thousands of prints or copies which are worth much less but nonetheless, owned by many who appreciate the art. This same concept of originals and prints translates well when learning about NFTs. As Gramatik's song, "War of the Currents" says, let's "Learn Bout Something"!

NFT 101

Think of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) as the digital Mona Lisa, or prints of the Mona Lisa, but with other digital goods such as music or digital art. Artists can now publish their originals and copies on Decentralized Finance (DeFi) marketplaces to be bought, sold, and traded, just like stocks and cryptocurrency.

Where physical art provenance may be harder to identify and list (especially for older or unauthenticated works), tokenizing digitally with blockchain is actually a better solution. Not only are all originals authenticated, but the sales and ownership is tracked and traceable with encryption keys, or the exact location the art resides in digital space. 

NFT 102

Ethereum Ether Blockchain NFT NFTs

Small digital assets can be uploaded entirely to the Ethereum Blockchain, or other smart-contract Blockchains, where larger files may need to also leverage a Blockchain for decentralized file storage, such as IPFS. Using our previous comparison, the digital Mona Lisa, a single image, could be stored with its provenance entirely on Blockchain. However, a feature-film about the Mona Lisa would require much more space. This does not devalue the content, but is does require utilizing a Blockchain built for large file storage; a lot like how you would want to store a movie on an external hard drive instead of your laptop. 

Gramatik NFT Ethereum Blockchain

Art is a wonderful space for people to celebrate creativity and originality, but also often a highly-profitable investment and space for collectors and investors. Another benefit of digital art investment is that it's more accessible: one only needs internet access creating more opportunities for beginners to get involved and invest or collect. Digital art in the cyber world can also be more affordable and attainable for everyday investors on a budget. While there is no direct relationship between the value of an NFT and the price of Ether, one could argue that the success of an NFT is dependent on the success of it's host Blockchain.

Grassroots California Manager, Niki Graham, wrote this blog post earlier this month celebrating Gramatik's NFT launches on the Nifty Gateway, a new marketplace. Read the blog here:

Gramatik’s NFTs hit Nifty Gateway, DeFi Marketplace

“Nothings like it used to be."

Nyan Cat NFT Ethereum Ether Blockchain

Decentralized Finance is Lowtemp. Creating (and investing!) in digital art just became a lot more lucrative with DeFi marketplaces. Never before have artists been able to sell digital media as verifiable originals… likewise, now you can own them. Marketplaces, such as Nifty Gateway, are popping up all over the internet to facilitate tons of sales of original, digital art. The verified original “Nyan Cat”, made by creator, Chris Torres, sold earlier this month for 300 ETH (which is currently worth roughly $600,000 USD.) Electro, hip-hop artist, Gramatik, is taking the same approach, but with his music, tokenizing songs on NG’s marketplace.

Nifty Gateway NFT Decentralized Finance Marketplace

Gramatik is a humble pioneer for promoting science and technology via his incredible collection or music. He was one of the first artists to tokenize his revenue with the $GRMTK token, and now, two of Gramatik’s original, unreleased songs have just been tokenized, too. The NFTs are up for auction on Nifty Gateways’s marketplace and will be owned on an address on the Ethereum blockchain. So what are NFTs?

NFTs are Non-Fungible Tokens, or tokenized digital goods, including assets such as art and music. In this case, each of Gramatik’s songs have been uploaded for auction. “Purple Queens” and “The Ghosts of Piran” are his two new releases, each LE1 and going for $25,000-$30,000.

“Be the internet you want to see in the world.”

Purple Queen NFT Gramatik

What really stood out to me about these songs was their visual artwork, especially in “Purple Queens” which includes comic-like imagery with lyrics about Wall Street (“This city ain’t what it used to be,”), and radical, inspirational captions about technology, mindsets, and digital freedom.

“The Present Is Theirs; The Future for Which I Really Worked Is Mine” — Nikola Tesla

Gramatik has also three other NFTs that were being sold for a limited time-period earlier this week on NG including three of my favorite songs:

  • Satoshi Nakamoto”, was Gramatik’s first crypto-themed track, released on the album “Epigram” back in 2017, titled after the anonymous creator of Bitcoin. The song features hip-hop artists, Adrian Lau of New York and ProbCause from Chicago, who talk of “buying whips with cryptocurrency” and the rich lifestyle that can come with highly-profitable investments.
  • Vitalik Buterin”, the creator of Ethereum, also received a song in his honor on Gramatik’s Re:Coil, Pt 2. This song is a little more chill and funky with Balkan-inspired horns, a bit of swing, and a very “bubbly” jam.
  • Future Crypto”, is one of my recent favorites, but was originally dropped on Re:Coil, Pt 1. This song goes hard live and is so memorable for it’s raw, saw-like melody.

Join the Nifty Gateway Discord community here.

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