What does fungible even mean?
Fungible (pronounced fuhn-juh-bl) means something is able to be exchanged or substituted and will hold the same value. It's interchangeable like the dollar, gold, casino chips, or bitcoin.
If I have $20 and ask you for change, you can break it up in many ways, right? Two $10 bills, four $5 bills, twenty $1 bills, etc. We can ALL agree that $20 is the same as two $10's, it's just in different forms.
This is what makes money FUNGIBLE - we're in universal agreement with how much it's worth and how it can be exchanged.
Okay, so then what's non-fungible?
Non-fungible means it's unique and is NOT interchangeable // cannot be substituted. Examples of this in real life include a painting, concert ticket, house, or video game skin.
If you love art, you may be willing to pay a lot of money for a painting you like. If you're NOT into art, you likely wouldn't as you don't see the value in that particular item.
Since we're NOT in agreement with the price of artwork universally, it is considered NON-FUNGIBLE. The price is only relevant to what the BUYER AND SELLER VALUE IT AS.
So what's a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) on the blockchain?
If you were to go to an auction and physically purchase a piece of art, you'd receive a certificate of authenticity - NFT's are pretty much the same thing, but in digital form (that's where the word 'token' comes in).
Digital art has no limit - it can be a GIF, meme, jpeg, mp3, and just about any other file format. Just like physical art, NFT's can be bought, sold, traded, and destroyed.
This technology is still in its infancy, so it's a great time to experiment for creators (with caution).
In theory, the creator of the below meme showing Kevin from The Office dropping chili could be made into an NFT
Can't I just copy and paste?
In theory, you could. But if you were to replicate a famous painting in the form of a print and try to sell it for millions of dollars, who'd buy it? Most would call BS, and you'd probably get into a lot of legal trouble.
In real life, it can be hard to tell what's real or fake. Anyone can try to replicate a designer bag, art, or collectible, but only those who do their research can really know if it's authentic or not.
Thanks to the blockchain, each NFT comes with a transaction and pricing history that is visible to anyone with internet.
Though there are currently very few restrictions on what can and can't be sold as an NFT, you definitely don't want to sell anything that has been copyrighted or is not your creation // asset.
Congrats! You've started your journey on NFT's!
I myself am still trying to navigate this whole new reality of a digital world // crypto, but being aware of the basics has helped greatly. If hope it helps you too! Reach out if you have any questions!
Gabrielle Ianniello is the Founder of The Adulting Manual and the host of the Corporate Quitter Podcast. When she's not adulting, she enjoys reading, making art, hiking, and Mario Kart.