NFTs bring the pride of art ownership to our highly transplantable/movable lives. As a minimalist IRL, yet digital hoarder with 13k screenshots, I see NFTs as the ultimate discoverable screenshot. I don’t have to go searching for my favorite meme or image. 

This article walks you through the process of buying an NFT with MetaMask. 

What is an NFT?

NFT stands for non-fungible token. In economics, a fungible asset is something with units that can be readily interchanged - like money. When an asset is non-fungible, it has unique properties that cannot be interchanged. Recently, a wave of artists have flocked to NFT curation platforms to mint and release their work. Some of the negative press mention that NFTs are easy to screenshot or right-click save, which is true. But, a screenshot wouldn’t have the original ownership properties in the image’s metadata. Additionally, when you pay for an NFT, you pay for the exclusive rights to the data, in this case, an image. Also, as the NFT’s new owner, you have the right to resell your NFT on Marketplaces like OpenSea and Nifty Gateway.  

Are NFTs hype dying down?

Many news outlets are reporting on the decline in search volume for the term “NFT” and the decline in average sale price. The average price for an NFT dropped from more than $4,000 in February to ~$1,256 in early April. Alas, it's important to understand that art only represents 5% of the overall NFT market distribution. Additionally, the widely cited Gartner Hype cycle, a graphical representation of the perceived value of a technology trend or innovation still grows in an upward motion.

gartner hype cycle chart

We could count the $69 million sale of Beeple’s Everyday’s - The First 5000 Days” as the peak of inflated expectations. Negative press includes the articles highlighting energy consumption of platforms using a Proof of Work consensus mechanism. As the break-out use case of NFT art cycles through the predictable revolution, it would be amiss to overlook the NFTs that makeup 95% of the market distribution: Sports, Metaverses, Gaming, Collectibles, and Utilities.  

How to choose the best NFT Marketplace for you?

There are many NFT Art marketplaces built on Ethereum to choose from. As a buyer, curation is important. Shopping for an NFT on Open platforms can be like shopping in a flea market- lots of rare beautiful gems hidden among forgettable trinkets. As I do not have the patience to thrift, I chose a curated platform.

Connecting to an NFT Marketplace with MetaMask

To place bids (or create art) on Foundation, you’ll need to set up your MetaMask wallet and purchase ETH. As most marketplaces are Ethereum-based, you’ll need a MetaMask wallet browser extension. Once connected, I sent ETH to my account.

How to fund your account

If you’re just starting out with a new MetaMask wallet, you’ll need to buy or send ETH to your account. Click this post to learn more about buying and sending ETH to your account.

Placing a bid

I stumbled upon a piece that reminds me of a mixture of Cartoon Network and Salvador Dalí. I placed a bid that exceeded the .40 ETH list price, which triggered a 24hr auction. I set the alarm on my phone and went off to check other exciting NFT collections. 

My Favorite Collections

Cryptomotors - a platform that allows artists to develop and create quite futuristic collectible and tradable digital vehicles.

ASCIIPunks - On-chain ASCII Punks, created by an on-chain maximalist who complained NFTs being hosted mainly off-chain on centralized servers. When each little punk is minted, a generative algorithm is run to produce a random punk, which you can see an example of here. Each punk is self-contained on the Ethereum blockchain. In other words, the NFT itself is the art.

Rarepizzas - a collection of 10K generativity baked pizzas from a group of 314 global topping artists. No two pizzas are precisely alike. Each pizza will be revealed on May 22, Bitcoin Pizza Day. Ten thousand pizzas will be released in a fundraiser to buy people pizza from pizza shops worldwide.

Winning a bid

I later checked on my bid, and I won!  @sweetchurro12’s work, “Time to Grow,” can be viewed from my MetaMask Mobile wallet. I’m now a proud owner of NFT art. As a person that often relocates (I’m on my third country in 10 years,) the evolution from physical to digital assets makes perfect sense. Millennials are reported to move once every two years, whereas Gen Xers move about every four years, and Boomers stay in the same place for up to six years at a time. The next step is to find a Metaverse to display my new art.