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NFTs are the future of digital ownership and September 20 has officially been recognized as International NFT Day. On this day in 2017, the term NFT (non-fungible token) was officially coined by Dapper Labs Chief Technology Officer Dete Shirley in the form of the ERC-721 standard.
Since then, NFTs have become not only an industry of their own, but a cultural phenomenon where communities are built and people come together. Featuring incredible sports moments, breathtaking art, passionate communities, and innovative ideas, digital expression has taken a new meaning with NFTs, and continues to have a huge cultural as well as industrial impact.
International NFT Day is all about celebrating the creators and collectors in the NFT community. It’s also a day for people to learn about NFTs and get started with their own collection. For starters, NFTs are unique cryptographic tokens or digital collectibles on the blockchain. Creating an NFT is referred to as “minting,” and the ability to possess NFTs is secure, verifiable, and in total control of the owner. Any digital asset can become an NFT: images, art, music, videos – the list is endless.

In a short period of time, non-fungible tokens (or NFTs) have made their mark in the digital world as tradeable tokens, as well as a form of artistic expression. Add to this the fact that NFTs cannot be replicated or have their ownership manipulated, and the result is a thriving community that’s a haven for passionate creators and collectors.
What began as an exploration of how blockchain can be used has now taken a life of its own. On September 20, 2017, blockchain technology company Dapper Labs’ Chief Technology Officer Dete Shirley published a paper called the ERC-721 standard. ERC-721 would become the template for non-fungible tokens and was the first time the term “NFT” was used. In this proposal, the term ‘Non-Fungible Token’ was first introduced and has become the abbreviation used since the entity’s introduction. International NFT Day marks not only the annual anniversary of this revolutionary publication but also the actual birthday of NFTs.
NFTs have only grown since then, with early staples like CryptoPunks becoming status symbols, Bored Apes reaching mainstream recognition through influencers and celebrities, and huge platforms like NBA Top Shot showing the power of authentic licensed collectibles from major intellectual property. It’s been estimated that the NFT industry is en route to becoming an $80 Billion industry by 2025, an outlook that solidifies the notion that NFTs are definitely here to stay.
NFTs are more than just an industry, though. Their popularity goes beyond the dollar signs, becoming collectibles that people cherish and identify with. They’ve become a way for collectors to identify people with similar interests, sprouting communities of people that embrace this technology and where it’s headed. NFT Day is a day to rejoice as an entire community and a significant chance to reflect on the history of how we got here.

The widely considered first NFT “Quantum” is minted on the Namecoin Bitcoin fork, long before the concept of NFTs as we know them today was explored.
ERC-721 is published by Dapper Labs CTO Dete Shirley, which includes the first formal usage of the term “NFT”, and ERC-721 goes on to become the standard for building NFTs.
OpenSea, one of the most active NFT Marketplaces for the entire Web3 space, goes live — rapidly becoming a melting pot of creators, collectors, and NFT enthusiasts.
Dapper Labs launches NBA Top Shot on Flow blockchain and is widely considered the spark that sets off the NFT craze.
Bored Ape Yacht Club goes on to become one of the most recognizable NFTs in the space, with celebrities and influencers sharing their Bored Apes as a status symbol.
Five years after ERC-721 was published, International NFT Day becomes an officially recognized holiday.
Don’t worry if that sounds confusing! NFTs are just digital collectibles that exist on the blockchain. Any digital asset can be made into an NFT: photos, videos — you name it.
What makes them unique is the ability to prove ownership, meaning that an NFT can’t be replicated, changed, or moved without the owner’s permission. This provides a new level of security and utility to digital assets. Projects have taken this concept in many directions, authenticating ownership of an NFT to give access to exclusive events, rewards, airdrops, and a range of other forms of utility. All of this is made possible through the public and decentralized ledger known as the blockchain.
All it takes to start collecting your own NFTs is opening a wallet that’s compatible with the NFT you’re interested in. Then, add the currency you need to purchase the NFT you have your eye on, and choose a marketplace or drop page to purchase from. Some NFT projects have their own primary marketplace, while other collective marketplaces such as OpenSea and Rarible, among others, feature NFT collections from multiple blockchains and creators.
Get the conversation going about NFTs using the hashtag #NFTDay on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Share your favorite NFT projects and collectibles, discuss the latest NFT trends, and discover more NFTs!
Celebrate International NFT Day by attending one of the many spectacular NFT events and conventions being hosted in locations around the world! Everybody is welcome and you are sure to have a great time! Learn more about NFT and events taking place near you by visiting
Bring your original art and photos to blockchain, completely free, with a frictionless experience. Even if you don’t currently own a wallet, within minutes you can be all set up and ready to mint. We’d recommend visiting to get your very first NFT from Rarible (an NFT marketplace) on the blockchain Flow with a Blocto wallet.
The NFT market is expected to reach $80 Billion in value by 2025.
Dete Shirley founded NFT giant CryptoKitties with Dapper Labs, which famously crashed the Ethereum blockchain for driving a previously unseen amount of transactions.
It is estimated that 9.3 Million people own at least one NFT as of 2022.
Despite big ticket sales making headlines, over 50% of all NFT sales are below $200.
One of the true values of collecting an NFT is finding a community that has the same interests as you. Even better, NFT projects often give away free tickets to events, rewards, and other fun things to do together with the friends you make along the way. This is one of the reasons NFT communities are so passionate — there’s intangible value in the connections being made.
NFTs have also built communities and changed lives. The welcoming NFT community is open to all and has given creators around the world a way to channel their creativity and innovative ideas. NFTs mean a lot to people: They represent self-expression and a chance for people to own something truly unique and authentic.
Since September 20 is the day when the term NFT was officially coined, we are celebrating the birthday of this revolutionary digital entity that has opened a world of endless possibilities for immortalizing unique moments, music, art — all the things that matter most to us.
We definitely don’t want to keep NFTs all to ourselves! The beauty of the NFT community is that it is open for anyone to join anytime! From NFT beginners to passionate advanced NFT collectors and blockchain lovers — there is something for everyone!
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