Understanding Blockchain-powered Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

Today is #LearningThursday so I want to share a few thoughts on the ERC-721 standard for non-fungible tokens on the blockchain. I think it will benefit some persons in the ecosystem.
Lets go….
It all started with Ethereum Implementation Proposal 721 (EIP-721) in late 2017. After EIP721 got confirmed as an official, fully supported Ethereum standard (ERC-721) in March 2018, the ground for developing non-fungible solutions on the blockchain was set.
NFT Tokens are assets, that are unique and can be stored in your wallets. You can buy, sell, trade and even breed them…eg. CryptoKitties!
NFTs are completely unique in nature, with varying properties that can be distinguished from each other.
Frankly, NFT use cases go far beyond fun collectibles. They can be used in KYC (Know Your Customer) procedures, for academic degrees and other educational certificates, Real-world Assets Tokenization, Access token, Access Transfer Tokens, collectibles, badges, voting & elections, loyalty programs, in-game items, copyright, supply chain tracking, medical data, software licenses, warranties, and more.

These are the real game-changers the world has been waiting for, and the possibilities are endless!
I believe non-fungible tokens will bring the next revolution of the blockchain technology to mass adoption.
As opposed to ERC-20 Tokens, which only covers a few asset attributes like name, symbol, total supply, and balance, ERC-721 Tokens allows for more detailed attributes that make an asset special, beyond the name, balance, total supply, and symbol. It allows the inclusion of metadata about an asset and information about ownership. When validated, such additional information can add value, guaranteeing the provenance of the assets. The ability to trace the provenance of assets can be very valuable in the case of art and collectibles, but also along the supply chain of other goods and services.
Non-blockchain companies will be able to make use of the blockchain to easily incorporate the non-fungible technological features into their applications while not requiring their development team to be proficient in low-level blockchain programming.
One of the many use cases of NFT that interests me is its application on the Digital Rights of properties, like book authoring.
1) Compensating the author: Every time the license changes hands, the book author should earn some commission. It is impossible to do this with physical books.
2) Resale price: When you buy a second-hand book, the price is mostly based on the condition of the book (new, good, acceptable, etc). What if someone has done a really good job of highlighting important content, taken notes and want to sell all of it? That can’t be done with physical books but can definitely be done with online content using NFTs.
Are you seeing where am going?

For us here in Africa, and Nigeria to be specific, this whole concept of NFTs has thrown up great opportunities for both government and institutional application. A well-informed government should be looking at these innovative technologies and finding ways it can leverage it for the social-economic development of their countries.

Do you know that governments can apply NFTs in fractional assets crowdfunding of its capital projects!

import { ValueLedger } from '@0xcert/ethereum-value-ledger';

const mutation = await ValueLedger.deploy(provider, {
name: 'NGN Capital Project Token',
symbol: 'CPT',
decimals: '18',
supply: '500000000000000000000000000', // 500 mio
}).then((mutation) => {
return mutation.complete();
});

const valueLedgerId = mutation.receiverId;
import { AssetLedger } from '@0xcert/ethereum-asset-ledger';

const mutation = await AssetLedger.deploy(provider, {
name: 'Kano Rail Project',
symbol: 'KRP',
uriBase: 'https://0xcert.org/assets/',
schemaId: '0x...',
}).then((mutation) => {
return mutation.complete();
});

Fungible Tokens vs Non Fungible token: What are the differences!

Many tokens — and indeed cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, etc. — are fungible. If you send someone a Bitcoin, and get one back, you wouldn’t notice any difference. They are 100% identical. Again Fungible tokens are divisible — meaning you can send a fraction of one bitcoin, ether etc.
A lot of the time, fungible tokens are built using the ERC-20 ethereum standard.
But Non-fungible ERC-721 tokens cannot be divided and must be bought or sold whole, and maintain uniqueness and originality over its lifespan.
This presents huge opportunities and smart entrepreneurs know how to take advantage of this bit of information to create entirely new products and services.
Blockchain platforms for creating ERC-721 compatible tokens (NFTs) include Waves, Ethereum, NEO and 0xcert. There could be more… I know that Counterparty built on this idea, but went one step further and enabled users to create their own virtual assets on top of the Bitcoin blockchain.
I hope you learned something today.
Leave your questions on the comment session. Answers will be provided by community members who have a good understanding of the subject.

IT Professional & Drupal Web Developer. Trainer @ Lagos DrupalVersity. Founder, BlockSpace.Africa, Coordinator, Blockchain Nigeria User Group, 3D Printing guy!