To understand the history of NFTs, we must rewind the clock and embark on a journey through the evolution of this groundbreaking technology. NFTs made their first notable appearance in the realm of blockchain with the launch of Ethereum in 2015. This blockchain-based platform enabled the creation and trading of unique digital assets, effectively transforming the way we authenticate and transfer ownership of digital items.
We deem historic NFTs those tokens that pioneered or were early examples of a new technology, genre or theme, and that had a long lasting effect over the collections that followed suit. A historic NFT can take various forms, ranging from iconic avatar/PFP collections to on-chain generative artworks. Each item carries a unique timestamp, providing an immutable link to its origins.
Unraveling the NFT Story: Unlocking Historical Significance
Historical NFTs unlock a world of discovery, enabling enthusiasts to delve into significant events, milestones, and figures that have shaped the history of NFT technology. Whether it's owning a Cryptopunk -the original NFT collection that implemented the ERC720 standard- or an early example of on-cahin generative art like Authoglyphs, historical NFTs breathe life into the narratives of our shared heritage.
Historical NFT ranking
Just as historical artifacts hold different levels of significance and value, historical NFT items also have their own rankings within the digital realm. Factors such as rarity, provenance, historical relevance, and artistic merit contribute to determining the worth of a historical NFT. Our dashboard is the best tool for collectors eager to explore these tokens, not only for their potential monetary value but also for the intrinsic satisfaction of celebrating the past.
When were NFTs invented, and when did they first capture the imagination of the digital world? As a revolutionary concept in digital asset ownership, NFTs have transformed the way we perceive and interact with digital art, collectibles, and various other virtual items. To understand the origins of this phenomenon, let's delve into the NFT history and explore when were NFTs created, when was the first NFT crafted, and when did NFTs become popular among the masses.
The foundation of NFTs can be traced back to 2012 with the introduction of colored coins on the Bitcoin blockchain. Some people consider Quantum, launched in 2014 on Namecoin, as the first real NFT asset ever. Other collections would follow suit as Spells of Genesis and the popular Rare Pepes on the Counterparty blockchain.
However, the concept truly took shape with the advent of Ethereum, which provided a more versatile platform for NFT development. The first ERC-721 compliant NFT ever created on the Ethereum blockchain was CryptoPunks in June 2017. This collection of 10,000 unique, pixel-art characters quickly gained popularity and value. Although cryptoart trading card projects like Curio Cards predated CryptoPunks, they were not technically 100% NFTs.
When was NFT created as a term?
The term "Non-Fungible Token" (NFT) was first introduced by ERC-721, a token standard on the Ethereum blockchain, which was proposed in late 2017. This groundbreaking standard allowed for the creation of unique, indivisible tokens that represented a wide array of digital assets.
When did NFT started to truly make waves in the digital realm?
The answer lies in the viral success of CryptoKitties in December 2017. This blockchain-based game allowed users to breed, trade, and collect virtual cats, each with unique attributes and characteristics. As the game's popularity soared, it put a spotlight on the potential of NFTs and their various applications.
When did NFTs become popular on a larger scale?
The year 2020 marked a turning point, as NFTs began to garner mainstream attention. High-profile sales of digital artwork and collectibles, as well as collaborations with renowned artists and celebrities, fueled the NFT craze. On-chain generative art projects like Art Blocks blossomed. This boom in interest led to a surge in NFT marketplaces and platforms, ultimately solidifying the NFT's place in the digital landscape.
As the world of digital assets continues to evolve, many wonder where the NFT started and which was the oldest NFT to emerge. This curiosity about old NFT projects is a testament to the growing influence and impact of non-fungible tokens in today's digital landscape. To answer the question of the first NFT ever, we must journey back in time and explore the NFT origin, the pioneering projects that laid the foundation for this groundbreaking technology, and the first NFT sold to create a lasting legacy.
There were several proto-NFT projects that paved the way for the emergence of the current ecosystem of non-fungible digital assets. As we mentioned above, colored coins on Bitcoin and projects like Quantum on Namecoin are considered by many direct ancestors of the phenomenon.
But if we have to highlight on proto-NFT project because of the influence it exercsied over the projects that followed suit, that would be Rare Pepes, launched in 2016 on the Counterparty blockchain.
Tha being said, the first NFT project that truly captured the essence of what we now understand as NFTs was CryptoPunks. Launched in June 2017 on the Ethereum blockchain, CryptoPunks featured 10,000 unique, 24x24 pixel-art characters that users could claim, trade, and sell. Each character boasted distinct traits, making them highly collectible and valuable. Although not explicitly labeled as NFTs at the time, CryptoPunks were the earliest example of digital assets that displayed the characteristics of modern NFTs.
Shortly after the emergence of CryptoPunks, the term "Non-Fungible Token" was coined by the ERC-721 token standard, proposed in late 2017. This standard allowed for the creation of unique and indivisible tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, paving the way for the first NFT as we know it today.
The first NFT sold, which made headlines and set a precedent for future NFT sales, was a CryptoKitty named "Genesis." CryptoKitties, a blockchain-based game launched in December 2017, enabled users to breed, trade, and collect virtual cats with unique attributes. Genesis, the very first CryptoKitty, was auctioned for a staggering 246.9 ETH (approximately $117,000 at the time) on December 2, 2017.
As the world of digital art and collectibles continues to expand, one question often arises: who made NFTs? The journey of NFTs from a niche concept to a global phenomenon has sparked curiosity about who created the first NFT, who invented NFT technology, and who started NFTs as a whole. To truly understand the roots of this groundbreaking innovation, let's explore the individuals and projects that have played a pivotal role in the development of Non-Fungible Tokens.
When discussing who created NFTs, it's essential to recognize the contributions of the creators behind the CryptoPunks project. Matt Hall and John Watkinson, software developers and co-founders of the American software company Larva Labs, designed and launched CryptoPunks in June 2017. As the first digital assets to exhibit the characteristics of modern NFTs, CryptoPunks laid the foundation for the NFT landscape we see today.
Another key figure in the history of NFTs is Dieter Shirley, the developer responsible for proposing the ERC-721 token standard on the Ethereum blockchain. This proposal, submitted in late 2017, paved the way for the creation of unique and indivisible tokens, giving rise to the term "Non-Fungible Token." As such, Shirley was one of the crucial players who came up with NFTs as a concept and helped shape their future.
So, who created NFT as a mainstream phenomenon? The team behind CryptoKitties, a blockchain-based game developed by the Canadian company Dapper Labs, deserves recognition for popularizing the concept of NFTs. Launched in December 2017, CryptoKitties allowed users to breed, trade, and collect virtual cats, each with unique attributes. The game's immense success and the subsequent sale of the first CryptoKitty, "Genesis," for 246.9 ETH, helped catapult NFTs into the public eye.
As we continue to witness the impact of non-fungible tokens across industries and creative fields, it's essential to remember and appreciate the pioneers who started NFT technology and who made NFT digital assets accessible to everyone, enabling the current boom we are experiencing.