Everyone would agree that 2021 was the year of digital currency. Many people joined the hype to avoid FOMO. This is the era where digital assets are being collectible and tradeable items. The most popular to the rarest NFTs and crypto coins were circulated within the blockchain market. Today, NFTs are revolutionizing digital ownership. From local designers to luxurious brands created NFTs and traded them on websites.
Pixelated cartoon images, video clips, and even a tweet can be sold as NFT. The NFT journey is much longer than most people know. Here’s a recap of the NFT Timeline since its first appearance in 2012 and what to expect from the future NFT trend. Let’s dive in!
1. Colored Coin in 2012
As the forerunner, it is believed to be the very first NFT to exist. Made of the smallest unit of bitcoin named Satoshi, Colored Coin was the first to open further experimentation of the NFTs. It can be used to prove ownership of various assets like real estate, coupons, company shares, subscriptions, and the possibility to set up your cryptocurrency.
Despite its advantages, Colored Coin’s flaw was they could only represent particular values if everyone agreed on their worth. Bitcoin’s scripting language wasn’t designed to support this type of behavior. Hence, it was unable to keep them alive. But this earliest invention has led to better development in the future and made people realize the great potential for publishing assets onto blockchains.
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2. Counterparty in 2014
If you happen to know Pepe the Frog meme, Counterparty has them included on the platform, issuing what people called Rare Pepes as assets. This peer-to-peer financial network was founded by Adam Krellenstein, Evan Wagner, and Robert Dermody in 2014. Built on the Bitcoin blockchain, Counterparty is an open-source, distributed internet technology that supports asset production to have a decentralized exchange and a crypto token. It allowed users to create their assets and currencies.
One of its uniqueness was it can be used for card games and meme trading. Also, there’s zero possibility of counterfeit or forgery would happen on the blockchain. Counterparty developed Spells of Genesis in April 2015. This was a pioneer in producing a game asset onto a blockchain and the first to launch an ICO, which was referred to as crowdfunding. The game creator released a BitCrystals token as the in-game currency and also to fund the game development.
You’ll instantly recognize this worldwide viral NFT by looking at its signature pixelated style. Cryptopunks was built on the Ethereum blockchain created by John Watkinson and Matt Hall. The name was created after Chyperpunks, who did experiments with Bitcoin’s forerunner in the 1990s. They created around 10,000 unique characters, and everyone who has an Ethereum wallet can claim the characters for free.
Surprisingly, all Cryptopunks were successfully claimed, and it opened a chance for a secondary market where people traded them for a higher price. The highest rate was Cryptopunks #7523, which sold for $11,8 million in June 2021. Today, Cryptopunks is still one of the most popular, the oldest, and the most-hunted NFTs.
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4. Crypto Kitties
You can adopt, breed, and trade your virtual kittens or Crypto Kitties on this Ethereum-based virtual game. How lovely! It is the first work that used ERC721 or the new NFT technical standard. Launched in October 2017, it was created by a company named Axiom Zen. As an NFT asset, every cat in Crypto Kitties is unique and can’t be duplicated, taken, or destroyed.
Crypto Kitties went viral with crazy profits. Some virtual cats even sold for more than $100,000. To obtain a unique and rare-breed kitten, players should buy two kittens (a pair) first and breed them. Then the players can sell them on the marketplace and set the selling price. The price depends on its rarity the rarer a type of kitten, the more expensive it will be. Many people reportedly made unbelievable profits out of this game.
Within the NFT timeline, Cryptokitties played a role as an excellent entrance into the world of NFTs that everyone who owns them is likely to play other NFT games.
5. NFT Moment in 2021
NFTs sales were estimated to reach $25 billion in 2021. This huge blast came with a great number in NFT supply and demand. The price of NFT also continues to increase. One of the reasons for this rising was that NFTs were traded in the prestigious auction houses, Christie’s and Sotheby’s. The art industry went crazy when the houses not only did the online auctions but also sold the NFT arts, which led to the record-breaking trade of $69 million for Beeple’s Everyday: the First 5000 Days NFT in Christie’s.
The NFT trend showed unlimited possibilities for people to explore. Things like character names, virtual land, virtual clothing, music albums, merchandise, event tickets, etc., are now tradeable in the form of NFT games and projects.
Speaking of virtual space, another NFT trend in 2021 was metaverse. In this digital universe, anything we can imagine can exist. This space supports the use of NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and extended realities like VR and AR. Also, this digital world is getting livelier with the presence of Facebook, which rebranded its name as Meta and migrated to the metaverse.
What is the Next Big Thing?
Despite the long history of the NFT timeline and many people are skeptical that the NFT market is a bubble, NFTs still have much potential and unlimited possibilities to be explored.
The fact that our lives are counting on more virtual space in the next few years is one of the reasons. In line with people’s acceptance of the more sophisticated technology, NFTs can represent the ownership of digital property and even act like physical property to be stored in a digital crypto wallet.
A few examples of the possible case are documents to become digital identities or assets (certificates, licenses, passport, etc.), retails (the company uses NFTs to support IRL transactions or incentives), legal (royalties, real estate), education (users can exchange NFTs in order to gain knowledge from brands or universities), and many more.