What is NFT?
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. It symbolizes the inability to replace any piece with another parallel to it. It can be said that “NFT” digital holdings whose source can be traced, and are purchased under a contract whose terms are determined through an informational code for a virtual or real commodity. It is a new type of digital asset, similar to cryptocurrency that uses blockchain technology, that is, it is a documentary reference that is shared by a large number of individuals without a central authority.
Who buys NFT?
Buyers are mainly collectors, or speculators who hope to make a profit by reselling them later at a higher price. According to estimates by the specialized “Noon Vangible” website, during the first five months of last year, NFT-authenticated digital coins generated about $2.5 billion in financial transactions. Chainalysis indicated that global digital business exchanges with this technology amounted to $44.2 billion last year.
How do I use NFT?
As with cryptocurrencies, it is possible to buy and sell NFT on specialized platforms. During the process, the buyer does not necessarily get the exact item, but is only given a blockchain-enabled Certificate of Authenticity to change ownership. To maintain the rights to this certificate, a digital wallet is necessary, whether it's software in the form of a web browser extension or a secure piece of hardware in the form of a USB stick. Before buying, you must pay in cryptocurrency, but it is also possible to "create" an NFT piece by yourself, relying on some IT skills.
Any risks involved?
Buying, selling and using NFT is still technical and sometimes not well understood, which can put investors at risk. A recent report published by the specialized platform "Chain Analysis" indicated that the purchase of a modern "NFT" from a highly anticipated group is a very competitive process, as thousands of users hope to purchase at the same time. In this case, many transactions fail, but fees are still due, sometimes high, depending on the price of the cryptocurrencies that are often used to pay them.
Auctions caused a stir
"NFT" was the focus of many auctions that caused a global stir, including, for example, the sale of the first tweet of the founder of "Twitter" Jack Dorsey for $ 2.9 million, and the purchase of the American artist Pebble, a digital "collage" for $ 69.3 million.
The first short text message in history, sent through the British telecommunications company "Vodafone" on December 3, 1992, sold for more than $120,000. And the sale of the foundational program for the Internet in its current form, in the "NFT" format, for $ 5.4 million. And a popular video clip on “YouTube” of two siblings, titled “Charlie bit my finger,” joined the list of digital goods sold for huge sums according to “NFT” technology, with a price of about $ 761,000.
in the world of arts
After auction houses Christie's and Sotheby's joined the world of NFT, Russia's great Hermitage museum announced last year that it was also involved, drawing on the works included in its very extensive collection in St. Petersburg. The certificates bear the signature of the director of the Hermitage, Mikhail Piotrovsky. The museum offered, for example, the purchase of Leonardo da Vinci's "Nursing Virgin", Gorgon's "Judith", Vincent van Gogh's "Lilacs", Claude Monet's "Country of Mongeron Garden", Wassily Kandinsky's "Fifth Piece" (1913), in the form of "non-fungible tokens".
And last Wednesday, an exhibition that will continue until the middle of next month, in which digital copies of six masterpieces of Italian painting are presented, was launched in London, as part of the first non-virtual exhibition in Britain dedicated to this technology. The event is titled "Charming the History of Art", and was held in cooperation with Italian museums.
In the context, the British Tax Authority seized three NFT artworks as part of an investigation that led to the arrest of three people this February. Nick Sharp, Assistant Director in Charge of Economic Crime, said in a statement that this first seizure of an NFT digital business in the country “is a warning to anyone seeking to use encrypted digital assets to hide money” from the British Tax Authority. The Tax Authority did not disclose the estimated value of these digital works, which were confiscated along with other assets, as part of an investigation into a network specialized in fraud to evade value-added tax, which incurred a total loss to the British government of 1.4 million pounds (1.9 million US dollars).
A museum entirely dedicated to NFT technology opened its doors in Seattle, USA, this month.
Donald and Melania Trump
Former US President Donald Trump did not miss the opportunity to enter this world, as he and his wife Melania are holding an auction to sell ten works showing footage of his undisclosed term of office on February 21. A statement said the collection of digital products consisted of "ten original digital artworks, showing iconic moments from Trump's presidency, such as his visit to Mount Rushmore on July 4 and Christmas events at the White House." Melania Trump launched her platform for "non-fungible symbols" last year, in which she presented several digital works, including a watercolor showing her blue eyes.
The news website Vice reported that the first auction in January was disappointing, as the organizers themselves bought the collection. The former first lady confirmed that the buyer was a third party. The Republican billionaire's NFT products will be sold at a fixed price of fifty US dollars per product, via usamemorabilia.com, an extension of Melania's platform.
New opportunity for hackers
Hackers are taking advantage of the ever-rising popularity of NFT to trick their victims into downloading malware capable of infiltrating their computers, after stealing usernames and passwords.
This week, cybersecurity researchers at Fortnite discovered a spreadsheet that ostensibly contained information about "non-fungible token" technology, but whose real purpose was to help download the BitRAT malware.
"Petrate" is a malicious program used for remote access to smart devices, and it first appeared for sale in secret forums in August 2020, and its danger lies in its ability to bypass popular security tools. This malware has the ability to steal login credentials from browsers and applications, the ability to log keystrokes, and the ability to upload and download files. It can also monitor the victim's screen in real time, use the device's camera, and listen to the audio through the microphone.
The Fortnite researchers warned that hackers often use attractive themes to lure victims and have taken advantage of NFT's growing popularity to lure their targets into opening malicious files or clicking on malicious links. They added that "usual security practices, such as not opening files downloaded from untrusted or suspicious sources, can prevent threat actors from accessing users' funds and valuable data."