NFT Canon - Andreessen Horowitz


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 various applications such as art, music, gaming, social tokens, 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, Beginners Guides, & FAQs

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

NFTs and a Thousand True Fans — evolution of the internet and better economics for creators by Chris Dixon

Stories, Scarcity, and Mimetic Desire — how NFTs turn millions of stories into scarce assets by Nick Tomaino

A beginner’s guide to NFTs — what they are, why they’re interesting, applications by Linda Xie

What is an NFT? — properties of blockchain-based non-fungible tokens by Devin Finzer

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

The new magic of NFTs — the cases, the elements of crypto, and how it’s about so much moreKatie Haun interviewed by Tim Ferriss

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

NFT subculture — properties of disruptive subculturesby Denis Nazarov

8 Reasons why crypto art > art and the new economy of digital creativityby Scott Belsky

Crypto Will Change Value, NFTs Will Change Society — how NFTs change internet, work, economics, business models, more by Andrew Steinwold

NFTs, the trend — overview, projects, players, lessons, haters, opportunities by Dru Riley

Building Blocks & Technical Foundations

NFT metadata — on-chain, off-chain, storage, more by Devin Finzer

Do You Really Own Your NFT? — data storage, URLs vs IPFS, off-chain, more by Dan Kahan

Non-fungible token standards — from Ethereum to non-Ethereum standards by Devin Finzer

What is ERC-721? — non-technical explanation of how the original standard powering NFTs on blockchains works by William Entriken

ERC-721 Non-Fungible Token Standard — powering unique, rare, collectible tokens on the Ethereum blockchain

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

Crypto Wants to Be Seen — experiencing crypto in ways that enable creators to master it and be immersed in core concepts by Kayvon Tehranian

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

Tips for Creators Getting Into Cryptoby Patrick Rivera

Ideas for building in NFTs — community as art, more [thread] by Dylan Field

Musicians meet audio NFTs — an overview of audio NFTs, limited edition audio/visuals experiences issued and sold as tokens on Ethereumby Cooper Turley

The relationship between visual art and musicDevendra Banhart interviewed by Samantha Ayson

How the blockchain broke the auction block — how is a Beeple JPEG worth $69 million? by Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi and Mary Childs

Monetization for Gamers in the New Cryptoeconomy — how blockchain technology realigns economic relationships, collaboration, community, and creativity by Kevin Chou

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 [also at]

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

Gamers want virtual goods with real-world value — survey from Vorhaus by Dean Takahashi

NFTs, digital art, and the value shift between IRL and virtual lifeTrevor McFedries interviewed by Dan Frommer

Creators, Artists, and Athletes — messaging creator coins to fans in videos by Kurt Patat

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

Forefront Profiles — communities and social tokens creators

Artists on NFTs and more

“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

The Man Who Tokenized Himself Gives Holders Power Over His Life — on first ever Ethereum personal token sale Alex Masmej interviewed by Vinamrata Chaturvedi

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

Social tokens — a broad category of tokens issued by individuals and communities by Linda Xie

The fractionalization of NFTs will lead to better social tokens — objects, communities, more by Brian Flynn

Loyalty Points and Social Tokens — social not just financial incentives in designing transactional communities of social tokens users by Wong Joon Ian

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

NFT Ecosystem; Funding Innovation, Orgs; Markets

Ecosystem overview — marketplaces; art, collectibles, games, virtual worlds; finance & trading by Andrew Steinwold

How to display crypto art — showcase sites, digital displays, metaverse galleries by William Peaster

How the CryptoPunks took physical form to participate in their first gallery show — paper wallets and a physical model for digital ownership

NFTs: A Legal Guide for Creators and Collectors — primer on just some of the considerations in the United States by Amy Luo

Where do NFTs capture value? — the NFT stack, breaking down the various layers, honing in on curation by Cooper Turley

The Most Important Scarce Resource is Legitimacy – on NFTs as public goods funding by Vitalik Buterin

“Post-Venture” Capital and the Crypto Nobel Prizeby Matt Stephenson

A beginner’s guide to DAOs — with examples of NFT collectives for art, gaming, more by Linda Xie

The non-fungible token market — market size & growth (2019-2020), sale mechanisms, distribution by Devin Finzer


Other Resources – Newsletters & Digests

Zima Red — NFTs, virtual worlds, blockchain games

The Forefront Newsletter — weekly digest of developments in social tokens, NFTs, DAOs

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

History of NFTs — from and before CryptoKitties onwards, games, and other experiments by Devin Finzer

Rare Pepe (2017) — digital trading cards by Fred Wilson

Skin-in-the-game coins (2018) — reputation mining, token-curated registries, early utility tokens by Ryan Selkis

Will cryptocurrencies be the art market’s next big thing? (2018)by Scott Reyburn

Smart media tokens (2017)from Steemit

Digital collectibles and the weird future of “digibles”by Josh Stark

How to code your own cryptokitties-style game on Ethereum (2017)by James Martin Duffy

Crypto trading cards (1993) — to promote idea of digital cash Hal Finney

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

image: Mona Lisa/ Creative Commons 4.0; changes made by Greg Truesdell per Sonal Chokshi

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