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April 25, 2022

NFT Deep Dive: What are NFT collections and how are they created?

Welcome to the cryptohunt jam where we spend one minute a day to explain crypto. In plain english.

Bored Ape Yacht Club or Cryptopunks: You might have heard these collection names in the news. But what exactly are those and how do they work?

Welcome to the strange new world of NFTs which we'll cover in more depth in this week's mini series.

NFT collections are a group of digital artworks based on the same concept, with each of them distinguished by specific traits. Let’s unpack that!

It helps to look at traditional art. Picasso and Warhol for example, two of the most influential modern artists, created collections long before NFTs were a thing. They created a series of paintings in one run, all focused around a specific subject. Or a series of numbered prints, where things like colors varied from piece to piece.

NFT collections are like that too, but they accomplish it with computer aided design, cranking out not 10, but often thousands of slightly different art pieces per collection. Cryptopunks, for example, are all pixelated images of cartoon faces. But when they were created, variations were made with a computer program: There are zombie faces for example, ear rings, hair styles, and many more. And because that scales easier than painting by hand, the program could spit out 10,000 cryptopunks into the collection.

Once minted, those are all on the blockchain, you can actually compare those so-called traits within a collection - how many have a Zombie face for example, and how rare one with a hat is. And the more rare the combination, the more collectible they tend to be.

So collectible in fact, that those Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs combined are worth $3.6bn dollars right now, and the Cryptopunks $2.4 billion. 

And next time we take a deeper look at the history of how they became so expensive.

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