What are PFP NFT Collections? 2D avatars take over Twitter

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Pixelated Bored Ape portraits CryptoPunks2D avatar NFTs, commonly referred to as PFPs or profile picture NFTs, have come to dominate the NFT market.

Non-fungible tokens (NFT) are unique blockchain tokens that signify ownership, but for many the term NFT is synonymous with PFPs such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks.

However, these PFPs are actually distinct from block chain token to which they are connected. PFP images, like that of a Bored Ape, are actually the associated metadata related to NFTs.

What is a PFP NFT?

In short, it is an image, usually static and two-dimensional, which can be bought and sold as NFTs. Typically, they take the form of a head and shoulders portrait of an anthropomorphized animal, person, or other creature.

A CryptoPunk, Bored Ape and Moonbird NFT. Images: OpenSea

PFP NFTs usually have a random set of traits, with varying degrees of rarity (such as color, accessories like hats and sunglasses, and other more esoteric characteristics). Rarer traits can make a PFP valuable; there are only nine Alien CryptoPunks, for example, and they’ve traded hands for tens of millions of dollars.

How does an NFT PFP work?

NFT PFPs can either be created from the NFT Collection website or purchased from a secondary NFT marketplace like OpenSea or magic eden. Once purchased, the NFT will appear in the user’s supported cryptocurrency wallet (such as Metamask Where Phantom) as well as on their profile page of the NFT market where they purchased the asset.

Ethereum PFP NFT owners can connect their crypto wallets to their Blue Twitter accounts to check their profile picture NFTs for a “hexagon” shape, or show their NFTs on Instagram or other social media accounts.

What can PFP NFTs be used for?

Not all PFP NFTs are created equal. Some, like the Mfers Where goblintown NFT, emphasize that they offer few benefits to licensees beyond purchased images; they are often published in the public domain or under Creative Commons licensesmeaning that anyone can reuse images from NFTs, regardless of ownership.

Other PFP NFTs, such as Lunar birdspromise specific benefits to holders that go far beyond just using the purchased art image, like staking for token rewards, exclusive merchandise, and access to the Discord community, for example.

And some PFP NFTs are Dynamic NFTsmeaning their avatar images may change over time based on community events or lore changes.

How are PFP NFTs different from other NFTs?

PFP NFTs mainly focus on the fact that each NFT is an avatar that can be used as an internet alias instead of a personal photo. But an NFT can be associated with many other types of metadata beyond 2D art.

For example, blockchain-based metaverses like The sandboxYuga’ Laboratories Other sideand Decentralized sell virtual land as NFT, and the PROOF Collective sold NFTs which do not offer art but rather act as a membership card to access other types of benefits.

Why are PFP NFTs important?

PFP NFTs arguably kickstarted the wider NFT cultural phenomenon and are often what first come to mind when thinking of an NFT.

They are a starting point for NFT technology and offer crypto-curious a glimpse of what the technology could offer in the future.

Outside a store with tinted windows and images of an Ape CryptoPunk NFT and Cryptoskull NFT.
Outside the Psyborg Gallery in Shoreditch in London, England, which displays a number of CryptoPunk and CryptoSkull NFTs and offers viewing by appointment only. Image: Kate Irwin

The future of PFP NFTs

While in-game character NFTs for Axie Infinity are the most-traded collection of all time by volume according to data from CryptoSlam, PFP NFT collections from the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Crypto Punks and Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) fill the remaining top four spots, with billions dollars in total volume traded.

But do PFP NFTs have a future? Some believe that the avatar craze is just a fad and will eventually be supplanted by virtual lands in the metaverse, membership cards, blockchain games and the like. NFT utilities.

But for the moment, PFP NFTs act as an exclusive club membership badge; Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT Holders Count The Likes Of Snoop Dogg and Madonna among their peers, and enjoy access to special events like Ape Fest.

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