HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — You might have seen the words NFT or Dogecoin being used online recently and had no idea what those were. You wouldn’t be alone.
In our increasingly online world, it makes sense that things like art, trading cards, and other types of collectibles are trying to find their own space to grow on the Internet.
The way they’re doing that is through a thing called an NFT, or a “non-fungible token”.
Non-fungible means it is a unique item, there’s nothing else like it in the world. The catch with NFTs is that whatever it is you buy, it’s online, there’s no physical asset for you to hold.
Perfectly fine for most people who are buying an NFT to support an artist they like, or purchasing something they want to flip for a profit. But for others, the fact that it’s online for anyone to view could be a problem.
“The value of an NFT is just based on what the owner says it is, and the owner can get their NFT stolen by a screenshot,” said Justin Liddle, a cryptocurrency trader.
While it is true that someone could just take a screenshot of an NFT that they don’t own, just taking a screenshot of some digital art defeats the very purpose of the art.
In most ways, owning an NFT is similar to owning a physical work of art. Someone could buy a print of the artwork you own, but that doesn’t mean they own the original.
Someone could be content with either option, whether the fact that it’s the original work of art matters or not is up to the prospective buyer. If just owning a copy is fine, they could just take the screenshot. But if they want to own the original, they’d have to buy the NFT.
NFTs have been around for a few years, but they have exploded in popularity in 2021. A part of the reason is that NFTs use the same technology as cryptocurrencies, which have had large price fluctuations that make the news.
In fact, the only way to buy NFTs are with cryptocurrency.
So what is a cryptocurrency?
A cryptocurrency is a digital, fiat currency. Which means it has no physical good that backs up the price of the currency. It’s the same thing as the U.S. dollar, except cryptocurrencies don’t have a country guaranteeing its value.
Because of this, cryptocurrencies can have wild variations in prices because the price of a cryptocurrency is whatever someone is willing to pay for it.
A recent example of this is Dogecoin. On January 18, one Dogecoin was worth $.009135. At market close on April 16, one Dogecoin was worth $.379520.
Because the coins are so cheap, you can buy a lot of them for not a lot of money. This has allowed some people to make very good profits off of small investments.
Liddle trades cryptocurrency part-time as a hobby. He doesn’t usually focus on Dogecoin because Dogecoin has traditionally been more of a fun meme than a serious investment vehicle.
Liddle described Dogecoin as “both a legit currency, and a meme, and gambling”. It most likely won’t make a person rich, but money can be made.
“I bought in at like 12 cents and it shot up to 30 cents so I made like a quick hundred bucks and I wasn’t even paying that much attention to Dogecoin. But now I’m definitely paying way more,” said Liddle.