This Is How NFTs Don’t Get Copied

NFTs have risen in popularity over the last few years, to the point where even the NBA makes them now. But an NFT is essentially just a digital image or GIF, so you’d imagine they would be easy to copy. However, that’s not the case.

NFTs don’t get copied because once minted, they’re stored on the blockchain. And once something is stored on the blockchain, it’s there for good and can’t be changed or altered. So, although it’s possible to have the same image as NFT many times over, each one will be different on the blockchain.

To better understand how NFTs can’t be copied, it’s essential to know how they’re made and minted. The rest of this article will discuss this in greater detail, so be sure to keep reading.

How NFTs Are Made

Although many may think the process of making an NFT seems complicated, it’s actually quite simple. Let’s take a look at the process below:

  1. Artwork is saved in the form of an appropriate file. Once the artist or owner has made their image, video, or audio file, they’ll need to make sure it’s in the form of an appropriate digital file such as an mp3 file for audio.
  2. The owner navigates and logs in to the NFT marketplace. There are a few to choose from, but most people use marketplaces like Opensea or CryptoPunks.
  3. The owner uploads their intended NFT to the marketplace. But it’s important to note that it’s not actually an NFT at this point, as they’ll need to upload it in the correct file format.
  4. The owner will pay any gas fees. Before the NFT can be minted, the owner must pay gas fees, which can vary but can be pretty high on the Ethereum network in particular.
  5. NFT is minted. Once the NFT is minted, it will be on the blockchain. It can take a few minutes for this process to complete, and it’s fully automatic, as the NFT owner doesn’t need to do anything. Once the NFT is on the blockchain, it cannot be copied or tampered with.

Nothing Can Be Copied on the Blockchain

Nothing on the blockchain can be copied, including NFTs. This is one of the reasons why blockchain technology has been increasing in popularity over the last few years. 

Any time something is added to the blockchain, it’s added to the chain of events. It’s also visible for anyone to see. Once it’s there, it’s there for good, and the only way to change it is to create a replacement and add it to the blockchain. 

But the original will always be there, and nothing will ever be copied.

The History of Each NFT Is Recorded

As you now know, when an NFT is minted, it gets put on the blockchain. You can think of the blockchain as an infinite number of boxes, one after the other, each one connected by a chain. 

These boxes can represent NFTs, and each one has a history that gets updated anytime a change occurs.

The newest NFT to get minted is added to the very back of the blockchain. Then, the next thing that gets added goes behind that, and so on. To better understand how it can’t be copied, you can think of it like this: 

The NFT now has a chain of items behind it and a chain of items in front of it, so it can’t escape. It’s stuck there forever and has no way out.

Although this is the case, the history of the NFT will always be recorded. 

For example, if someone buys an NFT from an artist, keeps it for a year, and then sells it, the NFT’s information will be updated. Some artists may even receive a commission each time the NFT is resold if they make such a contract. 

Anyone can see the trading history of an NFT.

NFT Content Can Be Copied

Although the NFT itself, which is now hardcoded into the blockchain, can’t be copied, the content that makes up the NFT can. For example, if someone made a painting and sold it as an NFT, the person who bought it could copy that painting and sell it as a different NFT.

However, if the artist created the original painting, they may decide to sue the copier for copyright infringement since they’ve essentially had their work stolen by someone who is now making money from it.

This is because although the artist sold their artwork as an NFT, they still have full rights to it. 

Selling an NFT to someone means that person now owns the NFT, but it doesn’t mean they own the rights to the piece of art itself, which is precisely how it works in real life, too. 

When you think about it, an artist will sell their paintings, and the people who buy them may hang them on their walls. But if the buyers were to copy the artwork completely and then resell it as their own, they would be liable for copyright infringement. 

So basically, if you wouldn’t do it in real life, you shouldn’t do it with NFTs.

Can You Screenshot an NFT?

You can screenshot an NFT, but it doesn’t make it yours. The owner is still the only one with access to the token via their crypto wallet. It’s the same thing as taking a picture of the Mona Lisa. Thousands of people take photos of the Mona Lisa every week, but none own it outright.

This is one of the main things that confuses many people regarding NFTs, so it’s best to think of NFTs as real-life paintings. Every day, people worldwide go to museums and take pictures of pieces of art. 

Can you imagine how many people have photos of the statue of David, for example? Most likely, millions! But not one of those people owns that statue, nor could they say they do.

With NFTs, it’s the same concept, and it works well because of the underlying blockchain technology. 

How To Tell an NFT Is Fake?

To tell an NFT is fake, you should research the seller first. Check whether they have a blue tick, which indicates that they are verified. Also, note the selling price. If the NFT is selling for a low price and similar ones are more expensive, it could be fake.

Research on Google to ensure there aren’t other NFTs of the same artwork. It’s essential to research as much as possible before taking the plunge and buying an NFT because once you purchase it, there’s no chance for a refund. 

You may be stuck with it forever if people find out it’s fake and don’t want to buy it.

Conclusion

NFTs don’t get copied because they’re stored on the blockchain, where nothing can be altered. The owner of the NFT is the only person with access to the token, so even though anyone can take screenshots of it, they won’t own or have any access to the original NFT.

However, people can copy the content that makes up an NFT, so beware of fakes. 

Before buying one, make sure to research the seller. If you’re unsure of their legitimacy, you should avoid purchasing the NFT because you can’t reverse the transaction once it’s complete.

Sources

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