In the market for an interesting holiday gift? Maybe consider a unique piece of digital art.
An NFT could be both valuable and sentimental, said Kosala Hemachandra, the cofounder of MyEtherWallet.In the next five years, NFTs could be come a more mainstream Christmas present, he added.
Instead of giving someone cash or a gift card for Christmas this year, how about an NFT?
It's unique. It's trendy. Its crypto.
An NFT "adds that extra value. It just adds a little bit of emotion to it because you know something about that person," said Kosala Hemachandra, the cofounder and head of MyEtherWallet, or MEW.
Hemachandra, who created NFT project ETHBlocks, said you can find the perfect piece of digital art for the nature enthusiast, the robot-obsessed, or the art lover in your life.
People this year have been clamoring for NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, which are pieces of digital art minted on the blockchain. The market is set to hit a record $17.7 billion by the end of 2021, boosted by mega sales of items like Beeple's $69 million sale of "Everdays" and metaverse hype.
So how does one gift an NFT?
For one, be prepared to spend a minimum of $200-$500 on your gift. Just because the NFT itself might be a meager $10, the red-hot transaction fees on ethereum tack on a big price tag, Hemachandra said.
To start, take a look on one of the popular NFT marketplaces and browse some collections. OpenSea is a popular site for NFT sales, and items can be filtered by price.
Once you've zeroed in on a piece, the easiest way to buy an NFT is with a crypto wallet, which can be set up with an app like MEW or MetaMask, for example. Many popular crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken also have wallet services. You'll have to purchase some ethereum on an exchange and then move the crypto to your wallet (ethereum is trading around $4,020 as of Friday afternoon but you can purchase any amount you like).
If the recipient doesn't have their own wallet for you to transfer the NFT to or isn't well-versed in crypto, you can set up the wallet for them and transfer the NFT and provide them with the details after you've given the gift. The recipient can also claim the NFT with a phone number or email. This, however, sort of goes against the concept of "decentralization," said Hemachandra.
When the crypto newbie "unwraps" the gift, take a simple approach to explaining what it is, Hemachandra said. You can say, "This is for you; you own it, and if you ever decide to sell it for a higher price, you can go ahead and do that."
The more likely scenario, though, is that one crypto enthusiast will gift another crypto enthusiast a piece of digital art, he said. But, within the next five years, Hemachandra sees NFTs becoming a more a common Christmas gift.