Christian Gap Year for Entrepreneurs

Early 2021, I heard the term “NFT” for the first time.  Now, I feel like I see and hear the word NFT everywhere I look.

The world of crypto can seem intimidating. Especially when the market is changing so quickly and you hear about a piece of digital art selling for obscene amounts of money. However, you don’t have to be a computer programmer or have a massive bitcoin portfolio in order to get in on what NFTs have to offer. I went from being skeptical and confused to starting my own NFT portfolio in a few weeks, and today, I hope to share some of that with you.

First, let’s think about something most of us are already familiar with: Pokemon cards. Why do people purchase a pack of Pokemon cards? Some people…

Are collectors.

Are looking for the status of having a certain card.

Like the game of seeing what you get inside the pack.

Are hoping to trade later and make an investment.

To one person, a pack of Pokemon cards might be some random characters on an index card, but to an avid fan of the Pokemon movies and games, those cards could mean a lot. We’ve all heard stories of the right Pokemon card selling for hundreds if not thousands of dollars on eBay or a local pawn shop.

You have to understand the concept of a Pokemon card in order to understand NFTs because they are a more diverse and digital form of the same concept. Groups of collectible assets are listed on an online marketplace. Most of these collections will be centered around a theme, for example, 300 digital penguins, each distinguished by a slightly different attribute like a hat, eye color, or other facial features. Another collection might be created using an algorithm for generative art. Music, memes, literature, art, videos, blogs, etc can all be “tokenized” on the blockchain.

It is common for these collections to be “minted.” In a mint, each piece in the collection has the same price tag. If we go back to our digital penguins example, it might cost 30 STX to “mint” which means you pay 30 STX through the website and you will be given a random penguin from their collection. Some of the penguins will be rarer than others and that “rarity score” will be listed on the website. It probably goes without saying that the rarer the penguin is, the more it’s worth.

Now doesn’t this sound like Pokemon cards? You’re making a purchase, unaware of which hand you’re going to be dealt. If you happen to score a Charizard, or the NFT equivalent, well, you’ve got yourself an investment. If you find a Cherubi in your pack, you probably can’t sell it for thousands of dollars, but you’re still a collector. You still have a card to play and can consider yourself worthy of being in the Pokemon space.

NFT stands for a non-fungible token. When you purchase an NFT on the blockchain, that digital asset is individual and one of a kind. The authenticators that make the blockchain a safe and unique method of transaction secure that asset as an individual and provide proof of purchase.

Now, let’s discuss some other definitions to understand how NFTs fit into the larger world of crypto.

Currency- Some examples are Etherum, STX, bitcoin, dodge coin, etc. These currencies are a store of value and can be used to purchase NFTs.

Blockchain- This refers to the network of trades in the crypto world that is built on a digital and decentralized system. There are many advantages and innovations to the way exchanges are made on the blockchain including the preventing of “double spending” and high security.

Wallets- Just like a physical wallet, this is where your personal crypto assets are stored. In the same way that you use the numbers on your bank account or debit card to connect to your fiat assets to make a purchase on Amazon, you will use the keys associated with your crypto wallet in order to make purchases on the blockchain. Some examples are MetaMask and Hiro.

Exchange - image that you buy a new leather wallet from your favorite department store. Where are you going to go to get cash? Probably the bank, and atm, or somewhere that you can exchange that fiat asset in your bank account for physical currency. After you set up a crypto wallet, you’ll need to go to an exchange to actually exchange USD in your bank account into crypto. From there, you’ll add that to your wallet. Some examples of Exchanges are Okcoin, Coinbase, or Cash App.

Marketplace - These are digital stores online where NFTs are up for sale or where they can be minted. You can check out: opensea.io or byzantion.xyz.

Most NFT collections are beyond just a piece of art. They are tickets into networks, communities, and other perks. Discord, a digital chat and community-building tool that used to be almost exclusively known for gaming is now the hosting platform for many of these communities. Within these discord “servers”, people can chat, show off their collected items, trade, connect with like people, share memes, ask/answer questions, and receive announcements for upcoming opportunities.

Humans are built for connection. We love to belong and to be a part of something that connects us to others. This is why a good portion of people in the stands at a football game don’t care about the actual football itself. They are looking for a sense of belonging to something greater and are able to find that by rallying around a team. College sororities live by the same concept. Students are able to have pride in their group of people and the activities they do together.

NFTs operate under a similar nature, and the way to enter is by buying in. Can you be a part of a community without buying in? Yes, you can often enter discord servers and participate, but it’s not the same. It’s kind of like showing up to an Alpha Phi formal when you’re invited by a friend after not going through rush. You can take part and enjoy companionship, but you’re not “in it.”

Some of the first NFT concepts and transactions started a few years ago, but are recently gaining attention from media and other public figures. According to CNBC, NFT trading volume hit $10.67 billion in the third quarter of 2021 which is an increase of over 700% from the second quarter. 2021 has presented itself as an exciting time in the crypto space and ur community of young Christian entrepreneurs don’t expect it to be going away anytime soon.

Want to learn more about NFTs? Join our Global U discord today to network and learn with other young Christian entrepreneurs.

https://discord.gg/x9f8eBnH