NFT Canon

TABLE OF CONTENTS

    The NFT Canon is a go-to resource for artists and creators, developers, corporations and institutions, communities and other organizations seeking to understand or do more with non-fungible tokens.

    It’s a curated list of readings and resources on all things NFTs (inspired by the a16z Crypto Canon), and is organized from the big picture of what NFTs are and why they matter to how to mint, collect, and do more with them — including FAQs, ecosystem overviews, and various applications such as art, music, gaming, social tokens, creator DAOs, and others. 

    We will continue to update this as more people try out new things, share their work, or publish resources for learning about NFTs. If you have suggestions for quality pieces to add, let us know @a16z.

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    The Big Picture

    Life Is Non-fungible: The Evolution of Ownership, Assets, and Us  — ownership is deeply human; collectibles for self-expression, identity, money, trade
    by Roham Gharegozlou
    https://youtu.be/u894J50AqOs 

    NFTs and a Thousand True Fans — evolution of the internet and better economics for creators
    by Chris Dixon
    https://a16z.com/2021/02/27/nfts-and-a-thousand-true-fans/ 

    Stories, Scarcity, and Mimetic Desire — how NFTs turn millions of stories into scarce assets
    by Nick Tomaino
    https://thecontrol.co/stories-scarcity-and-mimetic-desire-c4a344fa74e1 

    NFTs invert the ownership model of media — offering creators, their audiences, and developers who build for them a viable alternative to platform-driven monetization
    by Jesse Walden
    https://variant.mirror.xyz/T8kdtZRIgy_srXB5B06L8vBqFHYlEBcv6ae2zR6Y_eo 

    NFT subculture — properties of disruptive subcultures
    by Denis Nazarov
    https://d.mirror.xyz/OQrTGdbiDDKs-7it-URF2NYRG9xLMYEQcNnET8fah3I 

    Creators, communities, and the gray space in the middle where they meet — the next evolution of communities (belonging and stakeholders); how creators can create their own markets; programmable art
    by Nichanan Kesonpat
    https://www.nichanank.com/blog/2020/10/9/gray-space-in-the-middle

    Proof of passionconnecting the history of the social internet to NFTs today
    by Tal Shachar and Jonathan Glick
    https://tals.substack.com/p/proof-of-passion

    Crypto changes value, NFTs change society — how NFTs change internet, work, economics, business models
    by Andrew Steinwold
    https://andrewsteinwold.substack.com/p/crypto-will-change-value-nfts-will 

    Crypto fundamentals and NFTs — eras of the web, blockchain architecture, last decade in crypto;
    rise of NFTs, future of NFTs
    by Patrick Rivera
    [link to presentation in Google Slides]

    Beginners Guides and Explainers

    A beginner’s guide to NFTs — what they are, why they’re interesting, applications
    by Linda Xie
    https://linda.mirror.xyz/df649d61efb92c910464a4e74ae213c4cab150b9cbcc4b7fb6090fc77881a95d 

    What is an NFT? — properties of blockchain-based non-fungible tokens
    by Devin Finzer
    https://opensea.io/blog/guides/non-fungible-tokens/#What_is_a_non-fungible_token 

    All about NFTs — the what, why, and how of NFTs, their applications, and process as well as common questions & misconceptions
    by Jesse Walden, Linda Xie, Sonal Chokshi
    https://a16z.com/2021/03/27/nfts-explainer-faqs-hype-reality-innovation-crypto-creator-economy 

    8 Reasons why crypto art > art — and the new economy of digital creativity
    by Scott Belsky
    https://scottbelsky.medium.com/the-furry-lisa-cryptoart-the-new-economy-of-digital-creativity-6cb2300ea081 

    Demystifying NFTs — ‘monetized memes’, NFTs tokenize all the things, authenticate the world
    by Naval Ravikant
    https://twitter.com/naval/status/1378954767863443461

    What Critics Don’t Understand About NFTs — the paradox of certain digital goods; NFTs’ value don’t convey anything resembling traditional ownership
    by Jonathan Zittrain with Will Marks
    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/04/nfts-show-value-owning-unownable/618525/

    NFTs, the trend — overview, projects, players, lessons, haters, opportunities
    by Dru Riley
    https://trends.vc/trends-0050-non-fungible-tokens-nfts/ 

    The new magic of NFTs the cases, the elements of crypto, and how it’s about so much more
    Katie Haun interviewed by Tim Ferriss
    https://tim.blog/2021/02/24/katie-haun-transcript/ 

    NFTs
    by Saturday Night Live
    https://youtu.be/mrNOYudaMAc 

    Building Blocks & Technical Foundations

    NFT metadata — on-chain, off-chain, storage, more
    by Devin Finzer
    https://opensea.io/blog/guides/non-fungible-tokens/#Non-fungible_token_metadata 

    Do You Really Own Your NFT? — data storage, URLs vs IPFS, off-chain, more
    by Dan Kahan
    https://thedefiant.io/do-you-really-own-your-nft-chances-are-you-dont/ 

    Non-fungible token standards — from Ethereum to non-Ethereum standards
    by Devin Finzer
    https://opensea.io/blog/guides/non-fungible-tokens/#Non-fungible_token_standards 

    What is ERC-721? — non-technical explanation of how the original standard powering NFTs on blockchains works
    by William Entriken
    https://fulldecent.blogspot.com/2018/06/nontechnical-what-is-erc-721.html 

    ERC-721 Non-Fungible Token Standard — powering unique, rare, collectible tokens on the Ethereum blockchain
    https://eips.ethereum.org/EIPS/eip-721 

    Crypto Glossary: Cryptocurrencies & Blockchains — key concepts and terms to know that relate to NFTs (cryptography, proof of stake, more)
    by Alex Pruden and Sonal Chokshi
    https://a16z.com/2019/11/08/crypto-glossary/ 

    Crypto Wants to Be Seen — experiencing crypto in ways that enable creators to master it and be immersed in core concepts
    by Kayvon Tehranian
    https://thedefiant.io/crypto-wants-to-be-seen-op-ed-by-kayvon-tehranian/ 

    Arts, Music, Gaming, Other Applications… and Creator Stories

    The Creator Economy: NFTs and beyond — how musicians, artists, and writers can think about NFTs and social tokens; how different types of assets can interact to create models that haven’t existed before
    by Kevin Chou, Jesse Walden, Chris Dixon
    https://a16z.com/2021/04/03/creator-economy-beyond-nfts-podcast/

    Tips for Creators Getting Into Crypto
    by Patrick Rivera
    https://p.mirror.xyz/WQQywdjjfnksMRPMaNKBMxPBqfE5k8nL6pCLe1roGyw 

    How I Got Into NFTs — “at first, I gave absolutely zero fucks about NFTs OR blockchain OR cryptocurrency in general. I didn’t understand it, didn’t really have the time and energy to understand it, and I just didn’t care”
    by Caroline Dy
    https://drawwriteplay.com/2021/04/26/how-i-got-into-nfts/

    How We Sold an NFT… — step-by-step video walkthrough of what and how, from brainstorming, designing, and selling to setup, minting, and more
    by Colin and Samir
    https://youtu.be/BSXMM9Y1blk 

    Ideas for building in NFTs — community as art, more [thread]
    by Dylan Field
    https://twitter.com/zoink/status/1372561281002004481

    On NFT consumption, audience, utility — third-party consumption experiences and what’s needed
    by Jarrod Dicker, Tal Shacher, Jonathan Glick
    https://darkstar.mirror.xyz/bOWhYyX4u5mY0AfY-ObnQSOOcMVEmJQPVUFSw1qJsdc

    Musicians meet audio NFTs — an overview of audio NFTs, limited edition audio/visuals experiences issued and sold as tokens on Ethereum
    by Cooper Turley
    https://coopahtroopa-eth.medium.com/musicians-meet-audio-nfts-aa495cfd2996 

    The relationship between visual art and music
    Devendra Banhart interviewed by Samantha Ayson
    https://foundation.app/blog/devendra-banhart 

    Two crypto creators — on art galleries to tokenized collectibles
    by Pak, Signe Pierce, Zoran Basich
    https://a16z.com/2020/11/22/crypto-for-creators-tokenized-collectibles-nfts/

    How the blockchain broke the auction block — how is a Beeple JPEG worth $69 million?
    by Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi and Mary Childs
    https://www.npr.org/2021/03/12/976513031/the-69-million-jpeg 

    Monetization for Gamers in the New Cryptoeconomy — how blockchain technology realigns economic relationships, collaboration, community, and creativity
    by Kevin Chou
    https://a16z.com/2020/03/09/monetization-for-gamers-in-the-new-cryptoeconomy/ 

    Community economics and the limits of today’s game economies — on the economic activity inside and outside virtual game worlds like Animal Crossing
    by Kaiser Hwang
    https://techcrunch.com/2020/07/17/animal-crossing-new-horizons-and-the-limits-of-todays-game-economies/ [also at https://www.forte.io/?p=507

    Where crypto meets the metaverse — without the assumption of a robust economic membrane, the entire concept of the metaverse quickly collapses
    by Piers Kicks
    https://metaversed.net/Into-The-Void-Where-Crypto-Meets-The-Metaverse-263f1ff8c13c455ea472f5689e01acaa

    Where Web3 meets the metaverse — NFTs & digital ownership, open vs. closed metaverse, “Direct-to Avatar Economy”, value chain of the open metaverse
    by Packy McCormick
    https://www.notboring.co/p/the-value-chain-of-the-open-metaverse  

    The Great Online Game — on the internet as an infinite, abundant game, imitating but beyond video games, including NFTs as ways to express oneself online to signal who you are and what you care about
    by Packy McCormick
    https://www.notboring.co/p/the-great-online-game-audio

    Gamers want virtual goods with real-world value — survey from Vorhaus
    by Dean Takahashi
    https://venturebeat.com/2020/12/09/vorhaus-advisors-63-of-gamers-would-spend-more-on-virtual-goods-with-real-world-value/ 

    NFTs are becoming a major source of income for crypto newbies in the Philippines to Colombia — from Axie Infinity to Yield Guild and beyond
    by Dan Kahan
    https://thedefiant.io/nfts-are-becoming-a-major-source-of-income-for-crypto-newbies-in-the-philippines-to-colombia/

    Artists on collecting NFTs
    by Samantha Ayson
    https://foundation.app/blog/why-artists-are-collecting-each-others-nfts 

    NFTs, digital art, and the value shift between IRL and virtual life
    Trevor McFedries interviewed by Dan Frommer
    https://newconsumer.com/2021/03/trevor-mc-fedries-interview-nft-fwb/ 

    Creators, Artists, and Athletes — messaging creator coins to fans in videos
    by Kurt Patat
    https://medium.com/rallynetwork/video-creators-artists-and-athletes-discussing-their-creator-coins-with-fans-e633391b59e3  

    Why I’m Collecting Black Crypto Art — on spurring a Black Digital Renaissance that could create and capture value for Black communities
    by Cuy Sheffield
    https://medium.com/@cuysheffield/why-im-collecting-black-crypto-art-c3cbba939d64 

    Understanding NFTs as digital abstraction — view from traditional art world, Christie’s auction lead
    Noah Davis interviewed by Valentina Di Liscia
    https://hyperallergic.com/624053/nft-art-goes-viral-and-heads-to-auction-but-what-is-it/

    On cryptocurrencies as content, communities, digital belonging
    by Kyle Chayka
    https://air.mirror.xyz/5A16bvvS2IJK7fVVNb2GwrrEcyey2B4UiH2l1DI_Y2I

    Forefront Profiles — communities and social tokens creators
    https://forefront.market/creators

    Artists on NFTs and more
    https://foundation.app/blog 

    “The Greatest NFT Film Ever Made” creators share views on NFTs, properties, platforms, scaling, exhibitions, more across art, music, fashion, defi, the metaverse
    The Defiant
    https://youtu.be/cY9lM73ie0Q 

    The Man Who Tokenized Himself Gives Holders Power Over His Life — on first ever Ethereum personal token sale
    Alex Masmej interviewed by Vinamrata Chaturvedi
    https://www.coindesk.com/man-who-sells-himself-now-wants-buyers-to-control-his-life

    Social Tokens, Community Tokens, Personal Tokens (& NFTs)

    Social tokens — a broad category of tokens issued by individuals and communities
    by Linda Xie
    https://linda.mirror.xyz/df649d61efb92c910464a4e74ae213c4cab150b9cbcc4b7fb6090fc77881a95d 

    The fractionalization of NFTs will lead to better social tokens — objects, communities, more
    by Brian Flynn
    https://jammsession.mirror.xyz/-xYcfFRlhDdLDSUgRMTYJAaRJBs2VG4LP34DnOV84mI 

    Loyalty Points and Social Tokens — social not just financial incentives in designing transactional communities of social tokens users
    by Wong Joon Ian
    https://medium.com/rallynetwork/loyalty-points-and-social-tokens-5046d1ca993 

    Social Tokens Year in Review (2020) — digital assets backed by reputation of individual, brand, or community
    by Cooper Turley with Jess Sloss, James Young, Scott Moore, Brian Flynn, and Priyanka Desai
    https://2020inreview.forefront.news/

    Creator DAOs, Creator Economies; Funding Innovation

    Come for the creator, stay for the economy — decentralized protocols aren’t social networks, they’re cryptoeconomic networks; milestones for phases
    by Patrick Rivera
    https://p.mirror.xyz/1EpvJwUpx_KlRcHOKLNqADEkwHL_Z1ZYKobF2uLwgBg

    Power to the person — The creator economy, NFTs, and the rise of the solo corporation
    by Packy McCormick
    https://www.notboring.co/p/power-to-the-person-audio

    A beginner’s guide to DAOs — with examples of NFT collectives for art, gaming, more
    by Linda Xie
    https://linda.mirror.xyz/Vh8K4leCGEO06_qSGx-vS5lvgUqhqkCz9ut81WwCP2o 

    On creator DAOs — how is this different from crowdfunding or membership platforms? the main difference is the notion of ownership
    by Jonathan Glick, Jarrod Dicker, Tal Schachar
    https://darkstar.mirror.xyz/Tf9IS6yNxtPXwC5mmfi_UISe8v6BOfef2bDmQSxoJao

    The DAO of DAOs — from NFTs to DAOs; progressive decentralization; why DAOs, now and next
    by Packy McCormick
    https://www.notboring.co/p/the-dao-of-daos-5b9

    Protocols and creator DAOs — analogy of cities and settlements for economic flows and cultural products around meme, message, protocols
    by Jonathan Glick, Jarrod Dicker, Tal Schachar, Brian Flynn
    https://darkstar.mirror.xyz/yEK4DdvmxwZ2l-yHWGOQs3rMsLD6RYs_phLUzSFdhAI

    “Post-Venture” Capital and the Crypto Nobel Prize
    by Matt Stephenson
    https://glyphx.medium.com/post-venture-capital-and-the-crypto-nobel-prize-29847faf3f08 

    The Most Important Scarce Resource is Legitimacy – on NFTs as public goods funding
    by Vitalik Buterin
    https://vitalik.ca/general/2021/03/23/legitimacy.html

    NFT Ecosystem, Markets, and FAQs

    Ecosystem overview — marketplaces; art, collectibles, games, virtual worlds; finance & trading
    by Andrew Steinwold
    https://andrewsteinwold.substack.com/p/-quick-overview-of-the-nft-ecosystem

    Where do NFTs capture value? — the NFT stack, breaking down the various layers, honing in on curation
    by Cooper Turley
    https://coopahtroopa.mirror.xyz/A16NP2XXi9RdHptfdF9WHR0Xq_E1XDmUgMwPmJYOG7w

    The non-fungible token market — market size & growth (2019-2020), sale mechanisms, distribution
    by Devin Finzer
    https://opensea.io/blog/guides/non-fungible-tokens/#The_Non-Fungible_Token_Market 

    Check My NFT — do you know how your NFT assets are stored?
    https://checkmynft.com/

    How to display crypto art — showcase sites, digital displays, metaverse galleries
    by William Peaster
    https://metaversal.banklesshq.com/p/how-to-display-cryptoart- 

    How to use NFT furniture — collect, display; where, how
    by Gabriella Fuller
    https://nymag.com/strategist/article/how-to-use-nft-furniture.html 

    How the CryptoPunks took physical form to participate in their first gallery show — paper wallets and a physical model for digital ownership
    https://www.larvalabs.com/blog/2019-2-1-15-1/a-physical-model-for-digital-art-ownership-the-cryptopunks-in-their-first-gallery-show 

    NFTs: A Legal Guide for Creators and Collectors — primer on just some of the considerations in the United States
    by Amy Luo
    https://www.coindesk.com/nfts-a-legal-guide-for-creators-and-collectors 

    Rankings

    OpenSea
    https://opensea.io/rankings 

    CryptoSlam!
    https://www.cryptoslam.io/ 

    CryptoArt
    https://cryptoart.io/

    Other Resources – Newsletters & Digests

    Zima Red — NFTs, virtual worlds, blockchain games
    https://andrewsteinwold.substack.com/

    The Forefront Newsletter — weekly digest of developments in social tokens, NFTs, DAOs
    https://forefront.market/newsletter

    History: Origins; Earlier and Other Forms of Crypto Art, Collectibles, & Games

    Crypto trading cards (1993) — idea to promote digital cash
    Hal Finney
    https://protos.com/bitcoin-hal-finney-predict-nft-market-joke-1993/ 

    Colored coins (2012) — earliest NFT project (tracking origin of a given bitcoin to distinguish it from the rest so it can have special properties or value for various applications)
    by Yoni Assia, Vitalik Buterin, Lior Hakim, Meni Rosenfeld
    web pdf

    History of NFTs — from and before CryptoKitties onwards, games, and other experiments
    by Devin Finzer
    https://opensea.io/blog/guides/non-fungible-tokens/#History_of_non-fungible_tokens_2017_2020 

    Rare Pepe (2017) — digital trading cards
    by Fred Wilson
    http://avc.com/2017/05/rare-pepe/ 

    Skin-in-the-game coins (2018) — reputation mining, token-curated registries, early utility tokens
    by Ryan Selkis
    https://medium.com/messaricrypto/skin-in-the-game-coins-da0afdfdc650 

    Will cryptocurrencies be the art market’s next big thing? (2018)
    by Scott Reyburn
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/13/arts/cryptocurrency-art-market.html

    Smart media tokens (2017)
    from Steemit
    https://smt.steem.io/smt-whitepaper.pdf 

    Digital collectibles and the weird future of “digibles”
    by Josh Stark
    https://hackernoon.com/digital-collectibles-and-the-weird-future-of-digibles-f75f4bf0f9aa

    How to code your own cryptokitties-style game on Ethereum (2017)
    by James Martin Duffy
    https://medium.com/loom-network/how-to-code-your-own-cryptokitties-style-game-on-ethereum-7c8ac86a4eb3

    Acknowledgements: Thanks also to Guy Wuollet and Carra Wu for their additions above as well

    image: Mona LisaCreative Commons 4.0; changes made by Greg Truesdell per Sonal Chokshi

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