By Jeremiah Long

Are you wondering why someone would pay millions of dollars to “own” a piece of digital art? Over the past 3060, 90-plus days, our in-house NFT expert, Jeremiah Long, has spent many sleepless nights living in the NFT Community. Here are some insights on why so many individuals, brands, and thought leaders are treating NFTs like a revolution.

If you are new to NFTs, catch up on our previous NFT coverage HERE. If you are a part of the NFT Community, then you can skip to the next section where we turn the mic over to the community.

What is the NFT Community?

gfx by Jeremiah Long

The NFT Community is a term referring to the group of people that are actively collecting, trading, selling, and engaging in conversations about Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs. As a reminder, NFTs are essentially digital certificates of authenticity that exist on crypto-currency blockchains. They are used to prove ownership of individual (or non-fungible) assets. Sometimes those assets are art, but as you will discover, art is only the beginning. 

30-Second History of NFTs

The history of early NFTs is explained well by Andrew Steinwold HERE. Why NFTs are important is explained by Gary Vaynerchuk HERE. I’ll summarize by saying NFTs have been around for less than 10 years and, in the future, Non-Fungible Tokens will likely become ubiquitous with the emerging digital economy. 

NFT Community Lingo

If you spend time engaging with the NFT Community, especially on Twitter and Discord, then you will hear some very specific lingo. A creative who shares links to their art or project shill their NFTs. If you buy NFTs and resell them for a profit, you are a flipper. You might choose to mint a 10k generative pfp project, only to lose a gas war to complete your txn before the whales use fast gas to collect the NFT first. While this might sound like a foreign language, this vernacular is entering the lexicon at a surprising pace. This Twitter thread explains gas wars.

Major NFT Projects and Market Data

There is literally no way to keep up with every new NFT project launching in 2021. I’ve found that when you think you know, you don’t know. That is why NFT tracking tools like Rarity SniperRarity ToolsCryptoSlam, and others record sales and data for major projects. To keep it simple, here are the top 10 projects by sales in the last 30 days via CryptoSlam:

(Photo Credit: CryptoSlam)

The technology is still highly inaccessible to the general public, but the NFT Community is adapting quickly to reach new collectors. The markets for NFTs built on ethereum are rapidly evolving. Some current leaders include OpenseaFoundationRarible, and Mintable. Also, growing are crypto marketplaces built on the Wax and Flow blockchains, which hold many professional sports-related IPs including NBA and MLB.

Who is the NFT Community?

Who holds sway over the NFT Community? The answer is debatable, controversial, and has no single answer. If you are an NFT Community member, you might have favorite influencers, artists, flippers, and project leaders. The best way to discover and uncover your own favorites is to follow hashtags like #NFTCommunity, #NFT, #NFTart, and #NFTcollector. The Dallas Weekly spoke with the members of the NFT Community to discover further insights.

Dallas Weekly: Community seems to be the key to growing the NFT sector, and long term value. Do you agree, and how long do you think it will take before the public adopts NFTs as a norm?

@RedLioneye, founder of Red Lion Gazette, a weekly NFT Newspaper: Community is a word tossed around a lot, I believe for the lack of a more fitting word, maybe. Online communities started forming around niche interests in the early internet days. Basically, it’s the love and common interest in something that brings them together; with the emergence of crypto and NFTs there is also an economic incentive attached to it. So while the crowds around a project is usually called a community, I believe it has transcended to something even better, yet to be defined. So to answer your question, yes, community is important, but the stronger the fundamental value of the common belief, the stronger ties and roots develop within the community. For NFTs to infiltrate everyday life there are a number of things that need to be improved: ETH network has to scale, DAPPS must improve UX/UI and customer support, Utility from NFTs are, in my opinion, the most important.

DW: Some NFT Communities use their tokens to provide benefits and utilities to holders. Often, there will be a roadmap that unites that group behind some common thought, goal, or interest. What are your thoughts on those strategies and how would you describe the strategy for NFTbox?

@Carlini8, Administration and Founder at  I feel like NFTs are evolving to the point you either now need to offer a service, or a community. You need a reason for people to buy in, such as in NFTBoxes case, a curated selection of artists by Pranksy to wet your whistle, or, with something like NFTX, we are including tokens where holders get exposure to a range of NFTs. Community wise, you need people to want to stick around, and that is what Bored Ape Yacht Club has done well. People want to be there, they see benefits and they are all certainly riding the hype. You want to know the dev team has your back and will work to stay around; all these anon devs could just run away with millions and many do.

What is the future of the NFT Community?

The NFT market may have started small but as well-known consumer brands enter the space, such as CokeAdidas, and Budweiser, NFTs will almost certainly continue to evolve into a major component of the digital economy. If you have recently minted or collected your first NFT, The Dallas Weekly wants to hear from you. 

Why did you jump into NFTs, and what was your first NFT? Our newspaper minted our May 26th 2021 edition as an NFT, and we will continue to report on developments as the only legacy print newspaper with an NFT Desk. Our next stories will cover individual communities, including Black artists entering the crypto art space, and the economy of NFTs. Come back to The Dallas Weekly for in-depth information about the NFT Community throughout 2021 and into the future.

Dallas Weekly’s Director of Product, Jeremiah Long is a journalist, creative, and digital native. He writes about the digital economy, small business, and affordable living.

This post originally appeared on Dallas Weekly.