December 19, 2022

WHAT IS AN NFT? by Habib Salo

“The thing behind the token is like a credit card behind the plastic, like a ticket behind the piece of paper you are going to a concert. The smart contracts are the big part of NFTs to impact everyone’s lives here.…The internet changed our lives and the blockchain and NFTs will do that as well.”
— Gary Vaynerchuk, Vee Friends & Vayner Media  

What are the ABCs and 123s of an NFT? Sounds like a bunch of preschool gibberish right now. We’re hoping to provide some clarity on NFTs and draw out a little of your curiosity. Web 3.0 is here and we’re thrilled. NFTs are promising to play a huge role in this next iteration of the internet. Our virtual selves seek outlets of self-expression. Our physical selves have a deep desire to satisfy the basic needs of shelter and financial security. In this emerging new world order, anyone can show off their artistic interests, strange sense of humor and crowd-source financial partners all in one traceable place. This place, the Block Chain, is where the NFTs aka Non-Fungible Tokens exist.

NFTs offer a new form of investing. NFT is an abbreviation for Non-Fungible Token.  NFTs are a technically unique or limited edition collectible digital asset/s posted to a 100% transactionally transparent ledger called the BlockChain. More often than not, they are art pieces that are inseparable from the original creator and when sold the original creator profits from it. They are bought and sold using cryptocurrency. Many high-profile folks are buying, creating, or collaborating on their own NFTs. From Oscar winners to Olympians, what do they know that we don’t? One thing these celebrities  have is a lot of money. The other thing they have are professionals telling them where to park their money to make it work for them while they are sleeping. Like the hottest runway looks from Paris, Milan, NYC; we mere mortals take notes on what is considered fashionable and financially forward. Soon NFTs will be as coveted as the high-end fashion designer collab at your local big box store, reality-TV personality makeup line, or favorite YouTubers pop-up burger joint. You can see it now when you own an NFT, some come with unique licensing rights to use where you want and you can profit by merchandising it.

Look back a decade or so, to a time where social media, the online marketplace, and cryptocurrency were still in diapers. How might we explain Amazon’s profitability and Meta’s cultural dominance without blowing someone’s mind? This was a time when Google, TikTok, Venmo, Instagram, Facebook, Netflix, Uber, Bitcoin and the likes were basically awkward social and financial experiments. If only we had someone to tip us off from the future. This is our modest goal. Welcome to the future. It’s kind of right under our noses. Right this very moment, in this very space, there is potential to make some keen financial investments.

Let’s use 2007 as a baseline for investing,  the passage of time and the potential of transformation. A twelve year old unknown, Justin Bieber, is discovered on a fledgling video platform called YouTube. Kim Kardashian and Season 1 of Keeping Up with the Kardashians is set to air on the cable television network E! This same year, Elon Musk depends on his Blackberry to type out deals and is celebrated only for his 2002 PayPal sale to Ebay, his big play is SpaceX and his smaller side hustle is a project focused on bringing back the electric car. Back then his company Tesla could only move approximately 600 cars off the factory line for $98K USD; where today in 2022 around half a million Tesla vehicles are on the road and changing the driven urban landscape. Other things happening at the same time? Steve Jobs introduced the Apple iPhone and Facebook was brought to you by a Harvard University drop out. This was only fifteen years ago and it feels like only the blink of an eye. In one way or another, be it early adopter or just joining the party; we choose to actively dabble in the pace of innovation.

Ready to join the current era of great leaps in knowledge and experiences through a digital filter. Our human nature keeps us jittery over the unknown. With cultural shifts, a certain set of people plant themselves firmly in camp nostalgia. They lament the glory days of when they were young.  In this area of unknown possibilities, the kids coming up in the world have it all figured out and are fearless in the face of it. Without a learning curve, the kids embrace more tech, with more curiosity, and are quick to adapt. It is their second nature. For better or for worse, their experience of life is anchored in the digital realm and the Metaverse is insured by an audience primed through video game play like Roblox or Fortnite. Communication and connection with peers is somehow a little easier online than face to face. A reality taking place before the pandemic and only accelerated on a global scale after the fact.

Young Nails has never been one to shy away from innovation and technology. It is in our DNA; from the nail care products we launch or the way we communicate or educate our YN customers. Stated plainly, if NFTs are the future of brand communication, then we want to get into that space. We don’t know when just yet. It’s completely possible that we will come up with our own NFTs that offer value beyond the art like special prize giveaways,  one-on-one sessions with Greg and Tracey for technique or Habib for business social media jump starts. We invite you to research on your own this virtual landscape. Don’t just take our word for it. There are many great resources that can explain in better detail how BlockChain works, how NFTs get minted, how you can open a wallet for your crypto currency and how you can start collecting your NFTs. Technology innovation and investment come in waves. Our relationship with our smartphones show us the ways in which we depend and interact with the real and digital world. Prior to the Apple iPhone, your email, texts, camera, and voice messages were separate entities. Today’s phone has all our vital details either directly typed in, on an app or in a photo.  It is now an extension of our bodies and consciousness. NFTs are in many ways the next iteration in many dimensions with its monetary face-value and additionally as a unique extension of their brand value/experience. Take what resonates. This is just our humble insight into NFTs and not intended to be professional financial advice. We’d just like to take this space to inform and educate where YN seeks to provide nail techs with a 360 degree experience of our brand. If you want to learn more on Web 3.0, cryptocurrency, and NFTs there are many brilliant and user-friendly resources available online. When we want a deep dive, we look to pioneers we know and trust for more answers like Gary Vaynerchuk on YouTube or for a simple explainer from Coinbase the platform on how to open a wallet for cryptocurrency. So many resources find one that resonates.

 **This is an adaptation from our YN Biz Talk playlist on YouTube which originally aired on January 6, 2022.

***Follow our YN YouTube Channel and click here to watch the full discussion:

Additional Resources:
What Is An NFT? Non-Fungible Tokens Explainer
Setting up a crypto currency wallet

Eleven Free Courses To Learn Bitcoin, Blockchain And Cryptocurrencies

Gary Vaynerchuk on NFTS the Next Big Thing