Honey, I minted an NFT!
Chapter 1: Gobi, the dog
As a trainer, I often hear the audience apologising for “stupid” questions they are going to ask. There is no “stupid” question, especially about “blockchain”, something that is so new and even the word “blockchain” itself is only a decade old. So, rather than writing an academic book about blockchain, NFTs and the like, I challenge myself to tell the stories of people getting to know about this new technology. I am going to serialise it, based on questions that came to me and current issues.
I hope you will enjoy this as much as I enjoy creating it.
“Honey, I minted an NFT!” exclaimed Amy when her husband, Zack, walked through the door coming home from work.
“You minted what? Is it some sort of money? Is it even legal?” Zack asked while putting his black trench coat and shoes back into the cupboard by the entrance. He then pushed a button and purple lights can be seen seeping out of the cracks of the cupboard.
“An NFT, non-fungible token!” Amy said, walking into the living room from the kitchen. She continued, “An NFT is a unique, one-of-a-kind digital asset on the blockchain.” Zack was putting the cloth mask and socks into a covered basket by the door. They are one of those couples who are more vigilant.
“Wait, what chain? Speak English, please!” Zack said with a puzzled face, totally lost.
Amy laughed. “Come, let me show you.” She ushered Zack to the dining table where her laptop sat and showed Zack a website. On the website, It has a pixelated picture of a black dog with one white ear.
“That is Gobi. I have seen you do a lot of pixelated pictures of it. So, now a pixelated art is called an NFT?” Amy didn’t seem to clear any of Zack’s questions with what she had shown him. Gobi is a dog Amy had since she was a teenager. It died of old age, a long-lived dog of 15 human years. She was very sad and decided to move to San Francisco from New York to join her then-boyfriend, Zack, and further pursue her career in art.
“Yes, honey. It is a picture of Gobi. But, no, pixelated art is not called an NFT. It is only called an NFT because I have put it on the blockchain.” Amy spoke with a slower tempo on purpose, trying to convey the message. She usually speaks very fast.
Zack just looked at Amy, obviously didn’t catch a word. “But it looks exactly the same as before. What chain did you put on it to make it different?”
“A blockchain. Some sort of network where the data can only be written but can’t be edited.” Zack could tell from Amy’s stuttering and her eyes looking up that she was trying hard to recall what she remembers about this new thing.
“Why would you want to mint an NFT?” Zack asked.
“I can sell the NFT. For this pixelated picture of Gobi, if it is sold, I will be paid 0.1 Ethereum, which is about 300 dollars. Not so much as compared to what I usually charged for any commissioned work or my other exhibited works. But, since these NFTs are something new to me, pixel art is also new to me, I published this under a new alias, and it takes relative lesser time for me to get one piece of work done, plus I do not need to buy any canvas, I think I am happy with 300 dollars.” Amy was back to her normal speaking speed and the habit of verbal diarrhoea. She looked hopeful as if the NFT she minted with the title “The Angel” is already sold.
“Wow, wait, wait, wait! Slow down, honey. Tell me one by one, before you strangle me with this blockchain.” Zack joked. “I heard of Ethereum. It is some sort of cryptocurrency, right? Something like a Bitcoin? But what does that have to do with NFTs? Why can’t you just sell your NFTs for US Dollars? I don’t think cryptocurrencies are legal tender.” Zack sounded rather concerned.
Amy chuckled and said, “Don’t worry too much just yet. I have just minted the NFT and I don’t think it will be taken anytime soon. We will figure it out. I was as clueless as you are now when I first came across this, and I took the whole afternoon trying to understand it, and still feel as clueless are you are now.” Amy couldn’t help laughing at herself, “ You are tired from work. Go and take a shower and dinner will be waiting for you when you are done freshening up. We will talk more about it over dinner. Don’t take too long.” She shooed Zack out of the kitchen.
“Alright! I will see you in a bit. And, tell me how you come across these NFT and blockchain thingies.” Zack walked towards the master bedroom.
“Oh, you won’t believe how I got to know about these! We will talk over the dinner.” Amy replied.
Back in the kitchen, Amy turned up the oven, took a medium-size frozen pizza out from the fridge, prepped it and chucked it into the oven. Then, she took a can of clam chowder out of the cupboard and got that prepared. All these things were done in under ten minutes. She has to quickly whip something up as she was so indulged in learning about NFT the whole day that she even forgot to take her lunch. She was starving.
While waiting for the pizza to be ready, she tidied up the dining table, gathered some papers she used as drafts and put them together in a bin ready to be recycled.
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