“Broken" on Nifty Gateway. Artist: FVCKRENDER - Sold for 250USD and resold for 500USD on 2020-12-12. Average resale value after 30 days: 1110.95USD.

What Tokens Are

Tokens are digital files that can be tracked. That's it. More specifically, tokens are digital files that can be tracked and that are stored on a blockchain. That's the simple definition.

You want the abstract definition? Tokens are digital ways to represent something of value on shared platforms. Few understand.

Why Tokens Matter For Creatives

Why do creatives prefer tokenized digital files as opposed to normal digital files? Creatives prefer tokens because:

  1. Tokenized digital files are easily tracked. You want to know how many times your artwork was sold, at what price, when, between which accounts? You can easily find out because all that data is recorded openly on a blockchain.
  2. Tokenized digital files are provably unique. Someone claims they own your digital photo, music, design, or artwork? You can easily prove you own it.
  3. Tokenized digital files can be easily sold. You created a cool digital design? You can easily sell or instantly buy it, all on single, global marketplace.
  4. Tokenized digital files can be easily fractionalized. That artwork is too expensive? You can buy or sell pieces of the artwork. More people can now participate.
  5. Tokenized digital files enable new creative possibilities. You want your artwork to automatically change as the sun rises and sets in Seoul? You now can.
  6. Tokenized digital files are impossible to lose. Your computer crashes? Your digital files are still there. You lost your phone? Your digital files--your artistic photograph, songs, contacts, emails, SMS--are still there.
  7. Tokenized digital files are interoperable. Someone wants to use your artwork? No problem. The buyer can easily use it in a game like World of Warcraft, in a movie like Star Wars, or on a billboard--your file works everywhere.

What Tokens Are Not

Tokens are digital files. That photo you took? That's a digital file. That Word document you created? That's a digital file. That music you listened to? That's a digital file. That artwork you created on your computer? That's a digital file.

Photos, documents, music, designs--they can be digital files. And any digital file can be tokenized. Some digital files are not tokens. Other digital files are tokens. For a digital file to become a token, you must "tokenize" your digital file. Tokenizing a digital file means storing the digital file on a blockchain.

How do you tokenize? Choose a digital file. Let's choose a photo on your phone. Go to a website connected to a blockchain, like rarible.com. Click "upload file" and select your photo. For a small fee, the website will store the photo for you on a blockchain. Your photo now exists as a token on a blockchain. That's how you tokenize a digital file.

Tokens are digital files, and these digital files are not stored on your device. Tokens are not stored on your device like your iPhone or MacBook. Tokens are not documents stored in a cloud, or some company's devices.  Tokens are stored on a blockchain. A blockchain is a network of devices that stores digital files.

Conclusion

Tokens are digital files that can be tracked and that are stored on a blockchain. These digital files are not normal files. Tokenized digital files have superpowers. Tokens are provably unique. Tokens can be transacted easily, instantly, and globally. Tokens can be fractionalized. And tokens enable new creative possibilities.

Are you tokenizing?