NFT Canon - Andreessen Horowitz

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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 Gharegozlouhttps://youtu.be/u894J50AqOs

NFTs and a Thousand True Fans — evolution of the internet and better economics for creators by Chris Dixonhttps://a16z.com/2021/02/27/nfts-and-a-thousand-true-fans/

Stories, Scarcity, and Mimetic Desire — how NFTs turn millions of stories into scarce assets by Nick Tomainohttps://thecontrol.co/stories-scarcity-and-mimetic-desire-c4a344fa74e1

A beginner’s guide to NFTs — what they are, why they’re interesting, applications by Linda Xiehttps://linda.mirror.xyz/df649d61efb92c910464a4e74ae213c4cab150b9cbcc4b7fb6090fc77881a95d

What is an NFT? — properties of blockchain-based non-fungible tokens by Devin Finzerhttps://opensea.io/blog/guides/non-fungible-tokens/#What_is_a_non-fungible_token

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 Chokshihttps://a16z.com/2021/03/27/nfts-explainer-faqs-hype-reality-innovation-crypto-creator-economy

The new magic of NFTs — the cases, the elements of crypto, and how it’s about so much moreKatie Haun interviewed by Tim Ferrisshttps://tim.blog/2021/02/24/katie-haun-transcript/

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 Waldenhttps://variant.mirror.xyz/T8kdtZRIgy_srXB5B06L8vBqFHYlEBcv6ae2zR6Y_eo

NFT subculture — properties of disruptive subculturesby Denis Nazarovhttps://d.mirror.xyz/OQrTGdbiDDKs-7it-URF2NYRG9xLMYEQcNnET8fah3I

8 Reasons why crypto art > art and the new economy of digital creativityby Scott Belskyhttps://scottbelsky.medium.com/the-furry-lisa-cryptoart-the-new-economy-of-digital-creativity-6cb2300ea081

Crypto Will Change Value, NFTs Will Change Society — how NFTs change internet, work, economics, business models, more by Andrew Steinwoldhttps://andrewsteinwold.substack.com/p/crypto-will-change-value-nfts-will

NFTs, the trend — overview, projects, players, lessons, haters, opportunities by Dru Rileyhttps://trends.vc/trends-0050-non-fungible-tokens-nfts/

Building Blocks & Technical Foundations

NFT metadata — on-chain, off-chain, storage, more by Devin Finzerhttps://opensea.io/blog/guides/non-fungible-tokens/#Non-fungible_token_metadata

Do You Really Own Your NFT? — data storage, URLs vs IPFS, off-chain, more by Dan Kahanhttps://thedefiant.io/do-you-really-own-your-nft-chances-are-you-dont/

Non-fungible token standards — from Ethereum to non-Ethereum standards by Devin Finzerhttps://opensea.io/blog/guides/non-fungible-tokens/#Non-fungible_token_standards

What is ERC-721? — non-technical explanation of how the original standard powering NFTs on blockchains works by William Entrikenhttps://fulldecent.blogspot.com/2018/06/nontechnical-what-is-erc-721.html

ERC-721 Non-Fungible Token Standard — powering unique, rare, collectible tokens on the Ethereum blockchainhttps://eips.ethereum.org/EIPS/eip-721

Crypto Glossary: Cryptocurrencies & Blockchains — key concepts and terms to know that relate to NFTs (cryptography, proof of stake, more) by Alex Pruden and Sonal Chokshihttps://a16z.com/2019/11/08/crypto-glossary/

Crypto Wants to Be Seen — experiencing crypto in ways that enable creators to master it and be immersed in core concepts by Kayvon Tehranianhttps://thedefiant.io/crypto-wants-to-be-seen-op-ed-by-kayvon-tehranian/

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

Tips for Creators Getting Into Cryptoby Patrick Riverahttps://p.mirror.xyz/WQQywdjjfnksMRPMaNKBMxPBqfE5k8nL6pCLe1roGyw

Ideas for building in NFTs — community as art, more [thread] by Dylan Fieldhttps://twitter.com/zoink/status/1372561281002004481

Musicians meet audio NFTs — an overview of audio NFTs, limited edition audio/visuals experiences issued and sold as tokens on Ethereumby Cooper Turleyhttps://coopahtroopa-eth.medium.com/musicians-meet-audio-nfts-aa495cfd2996

The relationship between visual art and musicDevendra Banhart interviewed by Samantha Aysonhttps://foundation.app/blog/devendra-banhart

How the blockchain broke the auction block — how is a Beeple JPEG worth $69 million? by Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi and Mary Childshttps://www.npr.org/2021/03/12/976513031/the-69-million-jpeg

Monetization for Gamers in the New Cryptoeconomy — how blockchain technology realigns economic relationships, collaboration, community, and creativity by Kevin Chouhttps://a16z.com/2020/03/09/monetization-for-gamers-in-the-new-cryptoeconomy/

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 Hwanghttps://techcrunch.com/2020/07/17/animal-crossing-new-horizons-and-the-limits-of-todays-game-economies/ [also at https://www.forte.io/?p=507]

Where Web3 meets the metaverse — NFTs & digital ownership, open vs. closed metaverse, “Direct-to Avatar Economy”, value chain of the open metaverse by Packy McCormickhttps://www.notboring.co/p/the-value-chain-of-the-open-metaverse

Gamers want virtual goods with real-world value — survey from Vorhaus by Dean Takahashihttps://venturebeat.com/2020/12/09/vorhaus-advisors-63-of-gamers-would-spend-more-on-virtual-goods-with-real-world-value/

NFTs, digital art, and the value shift between IRL and virtual lifeTrevor McFedries interviewed by Dan Frommerhttps://newconsumer.com/2021/03/trevor-mc-fedries-interview-nft-fwb/

Creators, Artists, and Athletes — messaging creator coins to fans in videos by Kurt Patathttps://medium.com/rallynetwork/video-creators-artists-and-athletes-discussing-their-creator-coins-with-fans-e633391b59e3

Why I’m Collecting Black Crypto Art — on spurring a Black Digital Renaissance that could create and capture value for Black communities by Cuy Sheffieldhttps://medium.com/@cuysheffield/why-im-collecting-black-crypto-art-c3cbba939d64

Forefront Profiles — communities and social tokens creatorshttps://forefront.market/creators

Artists on NFTs and morehttps://foundation.app/blog

“The Greatest NFT Film Ever Made” creators share views on NFTs, properties, platforms, scaling, exhibitions, more across art, music, fashion, defi, the metaverse The Defianthttps://youtu.be/cY9lM73ie0Q

The Man Who Tokenized Himself Gives Holders Power Over His Life — on first ever Ethereum personal token sale Alex Masmej interviewed by Vinamrata Chaturvedihttps://www.coindesk.com/man-who-sells-himself-now-wants-buyers-to-control-his-life

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

Social tokens — a broad category of tokens issued by individuals and communities by Linda Xiehttps://linda.mirror.xyz/df649d61efb92c910464a4e74ae213c4cab150b9cbcc4b7fb6090fc77881a95d

The fractionalization of NFTs will lead to better social tokens — objects, communities, more by Brian Flynnhttps://jammsession.mirror.xyz/-xYcfFRlhDdLDSUgRMTYJAaRJBs2VG4LP34DnOV84mI

Loyalty Points and Social Tokens — social not just financial incentives in designing transactional communities of social tokens users by Wong Joon Ianhttps://medium.com/rallynetwork/loyalty-points-and-social-tokens-5046d1ca993

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 Desaihttps://2020inreview.forefront.news/

NFT Ecosystem; Funding Innovation, Orgs; Markets

Ecosystem overview — marketplaces; art, collectibles, games, virtual worlds; finance & trading by Andrew Steinwoldhttps://andrewsteinwold.substack.com/p/-quick-overview-of-the-nft-ecosystem

How to display crypto art — showcase sites, digital displays, metaverse galleries by William Peasterhttps://metaversal.banklesshq.com/p/how-to-display-cryptoart-

How the CryptoPunks took physical form to participate in their first gallery show — paper wallets and a physical model for digital ownershiphttps://www.larvalabs.com/blog/2019-2-1-15-1/a-physical-model-for-digital-art-ownership-the-cryptopunks-in-their-first-gallery-show

NFTs: A Legal Guide for Creators and Collectors — primer on just some of the considerations in the United States by Amy Luohttps://www.coindesk.com/nfts-a-legal-guide-for-creators-and-collectors

Where do NFTs capture value? — the NFT stack, breaking down the various layers, honing in on curation by Cooper Turleyhttps://coopahtroopa.mirror.xyz/A16NP2XXi9RdHptfdF9WHR0Xq_E1XDmUgMwPmJYOG7w

The Most Important Scarce Resource is Legitimacy – on NFTs as public goods funding by Vitalik Buterinhttps://vitalik.ca/general/2021/03/23/legitimacy.html

“Post-Venture” Capital and the Crypto Nobel Prizeby Matt Stephensonhttps://glyphx.medium.com/post-venture-capital-and-the-crypto-nobel-prize-29847faf3f08

A beginner’s guide to DAOs — with examples of NFT collectives for art, gaming, more by Linda Xiehttps://linda.mirror.xyz/Vh8K4leCGEO06_qSGx-vS5lvgUqhqkCz9ut81WwCP2o

The non-fungible token market — market size & growth (2019-2020), sale mechanisms, distribution by Devin Finzerhttps://opensea.io/blog/guides/non-fungible-tokens/#The_Non-Fungible_Token_Market

Rankings

Other Resources – Newsletters & Digests

Zima Red — NFTs, virtual worlds, blockchain gameshttps://andrewsteinwold.substack.com/

The Forefront Newsletter — weekly digest of developments in social tokens, NFTs, DAOshttps://forefront.market/newsletter

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

History of NFTs — from and before CryptoKitties onwards, games, and other experiments by Devin Finzerhttps://opensea.io/blog/guides/non-fungible-tokens/#History_of_non-fungible_tokens_2017_2020

Rare Pepe (2017) — digital trading cards by Fred Wilsonhttp://avc.com/2017/05/rare-pepe/

Skin-in-the-game coins (2018) — reputation mining, token-curated registries, early utility tokens by Ryan Selkishttps://medium.com/messaricrypto/skin-in-the-game-coins-da0afdfdc650

Will cryptocurrencies be the art market’s next big thing? (2018)by Scott Reyburnhttps://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/13/arts/cryptocurrency-art-market.html

Smart media tokens (2017)from Steemithttps://smt.steem.io/smt-whitepaper.pdf

Digital collectibles and the weird future of “digibles”by Josh Starkhttps://hackernoon.com/digital-collectibles-and-the-weird-future-of-digibles-f75f4bf0f9aa

How to code your own cryptokitties-style game on Ethereum (2017)by James Martin Duffyhttps://medium.com/loom-network/how-to-code-your-own-cryptokitties-style-game-on-ethereum-7c8ac86a4eb3

Crypto trading cards (1993) — to promote idea of digital cash Hal Finneyhttps://protos.com/bitcoin-hal-finney-predict-nft-market-joke-1993/

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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