Are NFTs Just JPG Images On My Computer Screen?

Some of them are just that but they can be so so so so much more. NFT is a generic term for a token that represents anything ( virtual or physical ) that is unique ( non-fungible ). We have these around us everywhere right now. The deed for land or the title for a car are “tokens” that represent that particular land or car. The county deed office and the DMV office is a centralized authority that manages these. An NFT smart contract (ERC721) can also manage tokens to represent anything that can be uniquely described. The NFT smart contract manages this in public on the blockchain.

So, how do we connect the token/deed/title to the physical item? Land has coordinate systems and cars have VINs to identify the unique physical item. The NFTs that fill the headlines today are JPG images. These images are identified by their own unique number.

So this leads us back to vinylkey. The vinylkey NFT represents a vinyl album in the real world. The NFT represents the physical album in two different ways. The first way is the album contains a NFC tag with a unique number like a car VIN. This unique number can be read by your phone by tapping the center of the album. The second way is that each album is pressed in a visually unique way and photos of the album are stored on the IPFS immutable file storage.

Tapping to read NFC chips is not something most people have done yet. Just during covid a whole lot of people learned to read QR codes if they wanted to see the restaurant menu. See our help page here how to tap a vinylkey NFC tag.

Why not just use QR code? The NFC chip also serves as an anti-counterfeiting method. It is easy to copy a QR code and make a copy of a valuable album. The NFC chips comes from the factory with an ID number built-in so it requires much more effort to clone.