Over the last few years, NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have risen to prominence, especially amongst those who are interested in cryptocurrencies and the latest digital trends. More recently, they have begun to take on importance in the world of online gaming and gambling. This raises the question, will NFTs become important for online bingo players? In the following article, we will try to answer this question and provide you with all the background information you need to understand what exactly an NFT is.
NFT stands for ‘non-fungible token’, and they are sometimes referred to as “nifties” for short. If something is non-fungible, it means that it cannot be replaced by something else without the value being affected. An easy-to-understand comparison is a piece of artwork. Even if there is a perfect reproduction of a painting, it won’t be as valuable as the original.
Therefore, if a person owns an NFT, it means that they possess a unique digital asset, cryptographic in nature. Only one person can own the original, but many can have reproductions.
NFTs are most commonly attached to digital art. When they are traded, their value may rise or fall, but they will always have more value than a reproduction. This may not make much sense at first, but surely there is no difference between one version of a piece of digital art and another, right? The pixels are identical after all.
NFTs get their value from ownership. In the non-digital world, a piece of art may have a certificate of authenticity and ownership that adds to its value. In the world of NFTs, this authentication is done on the blockchain. The blockchain is a secure database and together with information about the NFTs, it also verifies ownership. Therefore, the NFT proves ownership of a digital file.
One of the big advantages of NFTs is that they ensure that the creators of digital artwork receive the credit that they deserve. After creating a piece of digital art, the artists can create, or mint, an NFT. The NFT will contain important attributes such as the fingerprint, token name and symbol, all of which prove who the creator is and who the owner is. These are then stored on the blockchain, and this way a permanent record is produced of who has created, sold, and bought the NFT.
When a person buys an NFT, they are not only receiving the artwork, the important part is that they also receive ownership of the original digital asset. The artist who created the NFT will still own the copyright and have the ability to sell reproductions. It is similar to purchasing a painting. You own the original piece of art, but others will still have the right to profit from reproductions.
We mentioned the blockchain above. The blockchain is simply a form of database and it is really the only link between cryptocurrencies and NFTs. NFTs are stored on a blockchain, but that is where the link ends.
Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, can be used to make purchases whereas NFTs cannot. Furthermore, NFTs cannot be traded at equivalency, otherwise they would not be non-fungible. A cryptocurrency is fungible, 1 Bitcoin is the same as any other Bitcoin and has the exact same value.
However, the blockchain and cryptocurrencies allow for something called smart contracts. This means that it is possible to build code into an NFT that will ensure that the creator gets paid royalties every time that it is sold. Without the blockchain, this would not be possible, so NFT transactions very much rely on cryptocurrencies.
There may not be an obvious link between NFTs and online bingo, but there is certainly a place for them within the industry. For example, competing online bingo sites are forever searching for new ways to attract players. One of the many ways they do this is by offering loyalty rewards and unique game assets, and there is no reason why digital art could not become another form of reward offered. While there is still a long way to go before this will really appeal to mainstream players, as NFTs become even more common place, it is likely that they will begin to make an appearance at online bingo sites.
Many celebrities have turned to NFTs in recent times, such as Paris Hilton who owns more than 150 of them and has sold some for over $1 million. If this trend continues, then it seems inevitable that NFTs will become ever more desirable. However, as with all new trends, it is worth approaching NFTs with caution. For instance, the former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey decided to sell his first ever tweet as an NFT in an auction through Christie’s and it sold for a staggering $2.9 million. When the owner tried to sell it in April 2022, it attracted very little attention and a top bid of just $280.
Therefore, it seems unlikely that online bingo players would be very happy if they were offered NFTs rather than cash for big wins. There are a few casino sites that are currently using NFTs to provide players with special privileges such as deposit bonuses or free spins, but they are a long way from going mainstream.
Furthermore, massive amounts of computing power is required to form NFTs and just like many cryptocurrencies, they are developing a reputation for being environmentally unfriendly, which is also likely to hinder their uptake.
On the other hands, NFTs are still very much in their infancy and as the spheres of cryptocurrency, blockchain and the metaverse develop, they could yet thrive. At present, opinion is very much split. Some believe that NFTs are going to become the next big thing while others believe that they will die a quiet death and disappear. You may well see them appear at online bingo sites and if this happens, the important thing is that you understand what they are, what they are worth and what their function is. There certainly won’t be any big changes overnight, so you have plenty of time to develop your understanding and make up your own mind about the value of NFTs.