Since early 2021, the NFT buzz has grown and grown — we’ve seen the sale of a $92 million project and multiple celebrities buying into the craze. One of the latest developments is Visa’s launch of a program for content creators that want to use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to promote their work, products, and services. Is this proof of the legitimacy of NFTs?
Visa’s Immersive Initiative
Visa launched the program to help a diverse mix of creators, entrepreneurs, and artists to understand how they can use NFTs to their advantage. Now that the digital tokens have slipped onto the radars of so many, it’s only natural that people are getting curious about their future applications and starting to question whether they should invest in NFTs.
Yet even if they’ve heard the headlines about multi-million dollar sales and high-profile companies trying to get involved, the average person is likely still scratching their head about what NFTs mean for them — and how to use them to their advantage. Visa hopes to bridge this gap with its innovative program.
For instance, it might teach an artist how to put their artwork on NFT marketplaces or advise an independent eCommerce site on how to file trademarks for their products in preparation for the future.
The one-year program will allow participants to build relationships with like-minded individuals and corporate partners who previously approached Visa for advice about participating in the NFT world. There’s also the possibility of obtaining a stipend to help get their projects off the ground (details aren’t yet confirmed).
The program is a partnership with prominent baseball player Micah Johnson, who has become a successful NFT creator himself and hopes to pass on that knowledge. By rolling out a program like this, Visa contributes to the mainstream acceptance of NFTs. The company had previously invested in a Crypto Punk NFT for $150,000, but this initiative takes things one step further.
How to Invest in NFTs
Are you convinced that now is the time to follow the lead of Visa and get involved with NFTs? First, you’ll need a solid understanding of how the investment process works.
If you want to buy an NFT, there are four key stages:
- Go to an NFT marketplace. OpenSea, Rarible, and NiftyGateway are three majors players.
- Fund your crypto wallet. Each NFT marketplace is compatible with specific crypto wallets, which you must use to trade and store NFTs on the platform. MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet are popular choices.
- Buy your NFT. Either through an auction or for a fixed price.
- Store your NFT. As you would if you were investing in cryptocurrency, you need to store your NFT in a wallet after you buy it.
However, to ensure a smooth process, you need to know you’re approaching things in the right way. For example, are you trying to buy the right kind of NFT from the right kind of marketplace? We’ll answer all this and more.
Which NFT Should You Buy?
If you invest in NFTs, you want to invest in the assets that will yield the greatest returns. Unfortunately, there’s no cheat sheet to figure that out, especially when the NFT market is new and volatile. So it’s best to start small, and if you can, invest in an area you know something about already.
Although digital art attracts the bulk of the attention in this space, you can also buy the following assets in the form of NFTs:
- Trading cards
- In-game items (e.g., an avatar for a metaverse game)
- Virtual real estate (check out Decentraland)
- Physical items with a digital representation
If you happen to be interested in and knowledgeable about one particular area, that’s probably your best bet for a profitable NFT investing experience. Even if you don’t have any knowledge now, you’d be better off picking something you could at least develop an interest in. For example, you may not know much about trading cards, but you’re interested in sports.
Which Marketplace Should You Use?
Once you have an idea of the types of NFTs you’d like to buy, you can select a marketplace that’s a good fit for your priorities. OpenSea is the biggest NFT marketplace, and it’s known for offering a wide range of NFT types.
Other marketplaces are more niche. At the extreme end of the spectrum, we have something like NBA Top Shot, which exclusively provides NFT collectibles related to the NBA. Meanwhile, Nifty Gateway has more of an indie, alternative reputation for art collections.
However, the types of NFTs available aren’t the only factor to consider. As is the case when you use a cryptocurrency exchange (or even a traditional brokerage), you need to consider the fees involved — some marketplaces may only charge sellers, but others will charge you too. Don’t let this take you by surprise.
You may also want to consider the wallets that integrate with a marketplace, the payment methods accepted (i.e., cryptocurrencies vs. fiat currencies), and whether the platform sells NFTs in the form of auctions, fixed prices, or a mixture of the two. It will be a mix in most cases, but it’s best to be sure.
Ready to Beat the Crowds?
With the way things are going, it doesn’t seem like NFTs will disappear any time soon, and the launch of Visa’s NFT program is the latest piece of evidence suggesting this is the case.
The good news is that getting involved with NFTs and investing yourself is relatively straightforward once you understand the basics and have your crypto wallet set up. There’s no guarantee of success, though, so don’t invest what you can’t afford to lose.
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