Are NFTs scams?
What is an NFT?
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token and that may not tell you anything. As this article is merely introductory, I will summarize that an NFT is nothing more than a digital contract that is validated in a Blockchain and can NOT be modified.
The fact that it cannot be modified later (neither by a hacker nor by anyone else) offers great advantages in terms of security and allows certain contract conditions to be automated.
Do not confuse NFT with digital art, they are different things although they are often used as synonyms. We have said that the NFT is merely a contract and that it can affect digital art or other aspects such as the sale of a house or buying a car in half. The confusion is because it is currently used in 99% of cases only in digital art ownership verification, but that will evolve over time.
You probably already have an NFT and you don't know it: the COVID vaccination certificate is an NFT, and you always carry it on your mobile anyway (I hope that if you read this in a few months it will no longer be the case).
In short, an NFT by itself, like a blank contract, does nothing, it is the content that does.
Yeah, but my brother-in-law saw a report…
Don't watch TV. Really, don't. At least if you want to find out about things. Television and most media seek an audience and/or clicks, and that is not achieved with the bland truth or everyday normality.
Are there scams in NFTs? Yes, and in home purchases, and in mortgages, and in car purchases, and in courses that are worth a bundle and in the end do not give you anything at all. There are scams everywhere, and yes, it is more likely to happen in new fields where people do not have knowledge yet.
The reality is that, within the world of art, NFTs must be where it is more difficult to really scam those who understand a little. All transactions on the blockchain are public and traceable instantly and free of charge. This does not happen with conventional or joke art.
Some tips so you don't get scammed
Check who is behind each project, that there are names and surnames, that they are real people easy to locate.
Scams are almost always done from anonymity, especially on the internet, where it is very easy to achieve.
Have a little common sense, nobody gives for the sake of giving. You don't and neither do the others. If it's too pretty, be suspicious.
Distrust, above all, anyone who assures you of something. In the world of art, collecting and projects, nothing is certain. A work can be revalued by 5000% or lower by 90%, and you have to be clear about that. It is also true that everything is possible but not equally probable.
Having said that…
What do NFTs bring to artists?
A new way of income that is booming. They say that NFTs are a bubble, and there may be some truth to it, but it is an initial bubble. We are in the prehistory of digital art, cryptocurrencies and metaverses.
There will be plenty of white walls in the metaverses to fit your digital works into. Today it sounds strange to us, like ordering a pizza online in the 90s, but the adoption curve of this technology is even steeper than the adoption of the Internet was.
Maybe you don't do digital art right now or consider doing an NFT but you will sooner or later (unless you're that "weirdo" who doesn't use mobile or social media, but you still know others use it) .
The possibility of obtaining income from the secondary market. That is, to charge a commission (normally between 5% and 10%) of the price at which your work is resold. Forever. Every time it is resold you will collect your share automatically and without the possibility of being cheated (that's what NFTs or smart contracts are for)
The possibility of experiencing new forms of art and fun. For me the main and most interesting. You do what you want and put it up for sale without having to go looking for fairs, galleries or dealers. Another thing is that it is sold and that it is always better to do it in company to obtain better income, but you can do what you want and sell it to anyone in the world, wherever they are. It is easier to find your audience if you can search all over the world than if you have to limit yourself to what is around you.
What do they bring to collectors?
The NFT purchased from recognized authors in official and consolidated markets guarantee the authenticity of your work and eliminate the possibility of fraud and scams.
Beware that both premises must be fulfilled: recognized authors and official markets. Because there are many who copy works and try to sell them under other names or in other places.
In this world there is still a lack of "reputable brands" that guarantee, to a certain extent, the quality of the product. Maybe soon it will be us.
Let's hope so.