Ask Brandon, Vol. 4: What’s Up With All These NFTs?

Butter ATLMarch 16, 2021

Ask Brandon White

Whats up? I’m Brandon Butler, CEO of ButterATL.

People ask me for advice all the time. Not just any advice — real stuff. How do I get my career started? How should I make a budget? How do you start a creative business? Pretty much all the stuff they should’ve taught you in school… but didn’t. 

Since I get so many questions, I decided to help spread these keys. Send your Qs to and I’ll keep answering.

Before I started running Butter I was actually in tech. I’m a proud Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech. So when I’m not helping my family reset their Wi-Fi connections, I’m always looking for what’s new and interesting. 

Recently NFTs have blown up. And just like clockwork, people started hitting me up, wanting to know what all the fuss is about. So here’s a super-simple explanation from one of your favorite ATLiens. 

What are NFTs?

Let’s start by breaking down the two key words at play here: “Non-Fungible” and “Token.”

A non-fungible asset is something unique that isn’t readily interchangeable. Think of a pair of limited-edition Jordans, Big Block’s Donkasaurus, or a piece of land. This differs from a fungible asset like cash (a $1 bill is always worth $1, no matter who owns it, or what condition it’s in).

That was the “NF.” Now for the “T”:

A token is a type of virtual currency that lives on a blockchain (fancy word for distributed database) and represents a specific and unique asset.

So, in simple terms, an NFT is digital documentation of ownership of a one-of-a-kind asset.

Why should you care? Isn’t this just a bunch of nerd stuff?

Kinda. But believe it or not, many of the things nerds do for hobbies now end up becoming mainstream in the future. Right now it’s about artwork, but an NFT can be any type of digital file.

So an NFT is just an image? Can I just copy/paste an image and have my own?

You can take a picture of the Mona Lisa, but it’s still just a picture of the Mona Lisa. It’s not the original. 

Why would I want to buy one?

Back when Outkast’s first album came out, you could actually send in a mail-in order form and buy artwork from Andre 3000, period. I bought a limited-edition “Lady Lava” poster. The same artwork he used for his CD art on Stankonia.

Even though it came with a certificate of authenticity, it was only the paper certificate. If I ever lose it, there’s no way to prove that the one I own is actually a certified authentic copy, or is part of a limited edition.

If Dre comes out with new artwork, he can release it (or multiple copies if he wants) as NFT editions. In this case, everybody that buys it (which might include me) will have digital proof that they actually got the real thing and own artwork from Andre 3000.

That’s pretty cool.

So can anyone make an NFT and sell it for a bunch of money online?

Yep. Just like anyone can make a hit song (looking at you, Lil Nas X) go viral, blow up, and become rich and famous. But for every Lil Nas X, there’s a Lil Nas A, B, C, D, E, F, and G (and so on) that wasn’t quite as lucky. This isn’t any different. 

Most of the people selling NFTs for big money right now already have big audiences (i.e. distribution), so it’s much easier for them to make the huge bucks. Still, that doesn’t make it impossible for everyone else.

How do you buy NFTs?

There are some sites where you can buy NFTs with cash but the most common way is to use a type of cryptocurrency called Ethereum. You just go to an online exchange like Coinbase, or install a cryptowallet like MetMask on your computer, to turn your cash into crypto and buy NFTs (and lots of other shady stuff online — looking at you Deep Web…). 

Where can you buy NFTs?

Ok Brandon, so what’s the bottom line? 

All this being said, I’m bullish on NFTs for one simple reason: 

Artists that sell NFTs get royalties forever. That is major. 

Get the money.

Think about it. If a creator sells an NFT for $100 she gets paid. But if it resells for $10,000 she still gets paid. And if it sells for $1,000,000 she gets paid for a third time. Pretty sweet right? That’s the real power of the blockchain. 

There’s a very good chance that all this NFT stuff is a bubble. But what really matters is things are changing. 

The digital world is crossing over into the real world and a ton of money is being made in that transition. You can sit around and call it a bubble, or you can get ahead of the game, educate yourself and take advantage of a new gold rush. 

Either way, cryptocurrency is here to stay.