Blockchain / Art

I Tried To Buy an NFT and Regret It

Here are the basics I should have known

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

I am new to the topic of blockchain & cryptocurrencies.

A few minutes ago, I wanted to buy an NFT since I heard about the hype. Stupidly, I tried it before I did any research.

Here is what I should have known.

With what to pay at all?

Unlike real trading cards, artwork and music, NFTs are not usually paid for with fiat currencies. Fiat currencies are money issued by governments — euros, dollars, yen.

NFTs, on the other hand, are usually paid with cryptocurrencies, especially Ethereum. If you thought that buying an NFT is so easy, I have to fail you.
That was my first disappointment, too — I had to buy some Ether first.
But it got worse.

The fees

I bought the cryptocurrency Ether on the platform Binance — in total for $35.
So far, so good. To buy an NFT with it, I need to transfer that amount to a local wallet in my browser — but I forgot about the transaction fees.

Transferring from one wallet to another works through the Ethereum network. Such a transfer costs ether — after all, the network participants do not work for free.

However, I would not have thought that it is expensive.

For the $35, I had to pay $12 in fees. Of course, this is not a fixed percentage. When transferring more Ether, the fee's ratio gets better , but this is unsuitable for someone who wants to buy a cheap NFT.

More fees!

I finally had my Ether in my wallet in the browser. On platforms like OpenSea, you can buy NFTs with it. That’s exactly what I was going to do. I went to the site and picked out the cheapest NFTs.

Some of them are available for less than $2 — of course, I wanted to buy them. And again, a faux pas.

Performing the transaction again wastes money — this time a lot of money. The gas fee, which you have to pay to the network to buy an NFT, costs almost $42 — a brutal amount.

nft gas fee ethereum
nft gas fee ethereum

To buy a cheap NFT, of course, this is too much.
Enough costs — let’s move on to the next thing I should have known.

This is not art — it’s garbage.

I was planning to buy an NFT as a small experiment — maybe as a real investment. Only then did I realize that anyone can publish NFTs.
On platforms like OpenSea, it’s a piece of cake — create a collection and upload something — no matter if GIF or JPG.

The more I’ve been on OpenSea, the more it’s become clear — people are uploading all kinds of nonsense. Memes, nudes, and poorly done screenshots they certainly shouldn’t have made.

Meaning copyright — a lot of people upload logos of brands or companies there, and I’m pretty sure that’s not legitimate.

Summing up

I find the hype around NFTs pretty funny. However, most of the “artworks” that are published as such have no real value.

The transaction costs are huge in proportion — as is the energy required to perform the network transactions.

I believe that NFTs could be put to good use — e.g., for identity cards or other documents that should not be forgeable.

However, I will not buy an NFT artwork at the moment.
Especially not for so much money.

The Ether I had to pay for the transaction is gone. The rest is sitting tight in my local wallet. If I want to sell it again, I have to transfer it to an exchange — that costs a lot again.

Finances, Programming & Psychology. Figuring out life, one idea at a time.

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