Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock lately, you most certainly have heard of the explosion of interest in cryptocurrency, the most prominent of these being Bitcoin and Ethereum. You may be wondering where this new frontier is heading, and how it will develop into the future.
The World of NFTs
What you may not have heard, is the parallel interest in the phenomenon that is NFTs, or non fungible tokens. NFTs are a curious beast, where stores of value are created on the blockchain and take the form of art, music, trading cards, domain names and memes, to mention but a few. They’re non fungible because they cannot be replaced by another identical item: in other words they are unique, unlike a Bitcoin or an Ethereum token for example, or even a regular fiat dollar note.
Once the NFT is created and stored on the blockchain, its metadata is indisputable. In the context of NFTs, metadata would be information such as the date it was acquired, the price that it was acquired for and the currency, coin or token used to acquire it, the wallet address that owns the token and the Smart Contract that attaches to it.
A Bored Ape sold recently for a massive 696.96 Ethereum – that’s roughly $1.2 million in today’s money. It really is mind boggling, especially when some believe that a jpeg could not possibly be worth that staggering amount of folding.
I don't get it – where's the value?
What is less obvious is that the new owner of this digital property is making an investment in much more – she is making an investment in the token’s vision, community, and the prestige that goes with owning such a piece.
And here’s what’s interesting to me about NFTs – the creator of the NFT can attach a royalty percentage to their creation, such that every time the NFT is remarketed and sold, a royalty is paid to the creator so that it keeps rewarding the originator of the piece. Imagine if Van Gogh were alive today, he would most certainly be a very wealthy man, something that sadly escaped him in his lifetime.
Aren't Crypto and NFTs for guys?
The thing I’ve noticed also about the NFT space, and the Crypto space in general, is the “bro” vibe that is inherent in many of these spaces. NFTs have a synergy with the gaming community, which seems to be a fairly blokey place at the best of times. But happily, that is changing.
With the emergence of many female-led NFT creation teams, we are seeing a spike in projects that represent the diversity, power and beauty of PFP creations based on the female form that has the NFT community sitting up and taking notice.
Enter World of Women
Arguably the earliest of these projects is World of Women. This 10,000 piece compilation is described as “a collection of unique, cool and diverse Women, ready to leave a mark in the NFT space”. The collection features a range of women of varying skin-tones (including a lovely and startling shade of blue) as well as cool eyewear, hairstyles and clothing. The artist who created this collection, in addition to many more art pieces, is Yam Karkai (@YKarkai), a digital illustrator and concept artist based in the Middle East who is “obsessed with colour”.
When I first saw the WoW collection on OpenSea (the premier NFT marketplace), I became just a little bit more obsessed with colour too. I knew that this was an important moment for women, particularly in the NFT movement, but more broadly in the world of cryptocurrency and tech in general. I also knew that I had to have one for myself (see her image above), and I’m proud to say that this is the first major NFT I have acquired (but by no means the last – there’s something strangely addictive about NFT collecting!) Part of owning a WoW is that you can access a high resolution image of your girl, so that you may print, frame and hang your piece on a wall in your home or office so she's never far from view.
There is something compellingly beautiful about the clean lines, vibrant colours and deceptive simplicity of Yam’s designs. Each piece is completely individual and instantly recognisable as a WoW.
Yet the designs are only a part of what makes NFTs, and the WoW NFTs in particular, a compelling prospect.
The community that has sprung up around the World of Women has quickly morphed into a popular movement, and has attracted prominent people to support the brand, notably Reese Witherspoon, Logan Paul, Ja Rule and Gary Vaynerchuck.
WoW has a strong focus on empowering women throughout the world, not only by being representative of the kaleidoscopic aspects of women the world over, but by actively contributing to causes whose focus is to empower such women and girls – take She’s the First, Too Young to Wed and Strange Cintia, who all benefit from royalties from the sales of WoW NFTs.
In response to their strong community focus, WoW has also created a WoW Community Grant, an Education Hub and art contests that invite their strong community to participate and share in the wonder of art and colour.
Added to this, World of Women creators offer a 50% royalty on the proceeds of any WoW that you own and that they generate from commercial use of your piece.
Can I get my own WoW?
In a testament to the popularity and success of the WoW project, all 10,000 pieces were sold at mint on July 27, and recently WoW #4730 sold for $360k, according to nft-stats.com. Luckily for us, there are WoWs available on the secondary market via Opensea for a great deal less.
If you feel that the cost of owning your own WoW is beyond your reach – current floor price is 1.69 ETH or roughly $7,000 USD – the team at WoW have created an Auction House where you can fractionally own an NFT via Party Bid along with friends and family. And because the transaction is recorded in a smart contract, ownership is recorded on the blockchain and is not able to be tampered with or disputed.
Why should I collect NFTs?
Apart from the pleasure derived from owning a beautiful piece of NFT art, there is another upside of collecting quality NFT pieces. With less than 1% of 1% of the world cottoning on to the lure of digital art that has it's own provenance, there is the real possibility of your NFT assets increasing in value over time. Imagine when a higher percentage of the 99.99% who are not across the value and utility of NFTs gain an appreciation of this new frontier. Suddenly 10,000 pieces of a blue chip asset does not sound like an oversupply – it becomes a desirable collectible that can only increase in value.
I'd suggest, however, that you take a leaf out of my book, and start collecting NFTs that simply bring you joy in their contemplation.
If you have your own WoW, or have your eye on one, I’d love to see it! Comment below.