I just got off a fascinating webinar on NFTs hosted by Cornell University, where Susan Joseph ’81, Executive Director, Fintech at Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, and Ted Russell ’91, explained the ABC’s of this emerging innovation.

For those of us new to NFTs, here is an explanation I found helpful:

“NFT means non-fungible token, and non-fungible means that this token is unique and can’t be replaced. Let’s take Bitcoin, for example. Bitcoin is fungible since you can trade your Bitcoin for another Bitcoin. You will end up with Bitcoin in both cases. However, NFTs are more like Yu Gi Oh cards- one-of-a-kind trading tokens that if you trade one for another, you will receive a token different from the one you gave away. NFTs can be everything. They can be a jpg image, music, or digital art. You can be an artist, create a 3 minute short YouTube video by adding your images and music. BOOM. You can now sell this video as an NFT at an excellent price if it brings value to the rest of the community. It’s just like getting paintings at an art gallery but cooler.”  Tech Innovations

I like this innovation because it promises to open new revenue streams for all sorts of creators, enabling them to sell digital objects online and capture value over time when they are resold.

I wanted to see how difficult it might be to create and sell an NFT.  Turns out I was able to do this in under 20 minutes on Voice, one of the several marketplaces I found.  You’ll want to figure out which is best for you.

The process was very simple.

Upload my image.  In this case it was a photograph I’d taken of elephants at a watering hole in Africa.

Verify my identity.  This required photographing my drivers license, scanning my face biometrically for comparison, and securely sharing my social security number.  That weirded me out a little, honestly, but I figure all of this is on the web anyhow.

List my NFT for sale.  I opted to auction mine.  And now we have a history of my activity at the bottom.


If you want to experiment with this new innovation, the advice I was given was DYOR:  do your own research.  And if you decide to go forward, just know it’s easy to get started.

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