How NFT Started From 2015

While the NFTs boom started in 2021 with $2.5 billion sales in the first half of 2021, NFT was started much earlier in 2017. 

How NFT really started? In October 2015, Etheria was the first Ethereum Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) representing tile ownership. On 9 May 2017, Curio Cards created the first digital art NFTs. Cryptopunks then kickstarted the Profile Picture NFTs (PFP NFT) trend in June 2017. On 24 Jan 2018, Ethereum Improvement Program 721 (EIP-721) proposed a standard API for NFTs within Ethereum smart contracts. This standard provides basic functionality to track and transfer NFTs under ERC-721 tokens.

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum co-founder also shared in 2021 that NFT was the most surprising Ethereum Use Case.


Why NFTs was started from 2015

In October 2015 just 3 months after Ethereum was created, a virtual open world created by "Etheria.World" is composed of hexagonal tiles that can be bought, sold, and built on as non-fungible tokens (NFT). Each piece originally sold for 1 ETH.


On May 9th, 2017, the Curio Cards digital art gallery was released to the public on Ethereum. The project was created by Thomas Hunt (Mad Bitcoins), Travis Uhrig, and Rhett Creighton, a group that has long-standing roots in the cryptocurrency world.

In Jun 2017, CryptoPunks was created as the first Profile Picture Ethereum blockchain NFT (PFP-NFT). American studio Larva Labs, a two-person team consisting of Canadian software developers Matt Hall and John Watkinson, then started an experimental project was inspired by the London punk scenes to create the collectible punk series. Each piece originally was free.

Start of ERC-721 NFT 

On 24 Jan 2018, Ethereum Improvement Program 721 (EIP-721) was started due to the original ERC-20 tokens being severely insufficient for tracking NFTs because

  • each asset is distinct (non-fungible) whereas each of the ERC-20 tokens is identical (fungible). To note, NFT does allow multiple copies of the same art but each is still tracked separately.
  • Besides that, NFT allow the commission fees When an artist mints a new NFT, they attach a built-in commission (usually 10-30%) that they will receive any time that works are resold in the future. This provides an alternative to the centralized fees where traditional art brokers, auction houses, often take up to 40%. 

Creating of NFTs (“minting”) and destruction NFTs (“burning”) is not included in the EIP-721 specification. This allows the contract developer the flexibility to implement these by their own means. For example,

  • some NFTs do a random minting that will only be revealed at a later stage; and
  • some artists also provide the owner a choice of owning the physical art whereby the digital version of their NFT will be burnt away.

NFTs have provided the opportunity for artists and touring musicians to recuperate lost income due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in music industry revenues falling nearly 85%. (

However, NFT raised several concerns of being a bubble with no end in its growth and zero utilities in the tokens. In August 2021, clip art of rock, better known as Ether Rock sold for $400,000 Etherum (estimated $1.3 million).  NFTs have become one of the hottest crypto trends of 2021, with overall sales up 55% already since 2020, from $250 million to $389 million. (

Loot NFT started in 2021 as a text-based NFT, bringing back the old school text-based adventure. This was well-liked and caught fire quickly by the NFT collectors.

OpenSea, the most popular NFT marketplace, had grown into a unicorn company valued at $1.5 billion in 2021 due to the growing demand. 

Metaverse is the next arena whereby people are selling 3D houses in the virtual world and even FaceBook declaring Metaverse as an important goal ahead, with its acquisition of Oculus.


NFT started from an interest in collectibles, without the expectation of being a billion-dollar market. It had created a demand for digital arts and also created new unicorn companies like OpenSea, the most popular NFT marketplace. 

The trend will continue, even with the expected regulation or taxation of NFT and the service providers, similar to how crypto exchanges co-exist with fiat currency.

Sky Hoon. Read Full Bio
Website Owner, Twitter-er
He has been trading since 2008. He started this blog to share the journey about option trading. He dabbled in stocks, bitcoin, ethereum (in Celsius Network), ETF (lazy Dollar Cost Averaging) and also built websites for fun. He used this as a platform to share my experiences and mistakes in trading, especially options which I just picked up.

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