Fabin Rasheed can be introduced with just one word – innovator. His creations in the area of AI and Design speak volumes about his potential as a thought leader in the domain. When approached to cast some light on NFTs, he was kind enough to share his valuable insights.

Q1: Every day a new public personality is jumping in the pool. Even South Park is talking about it which is sort of a benchmark in itself. In layman language, what is NFT (Non-fungible Token)?

Fabin: In layman’s terms, I would say NFT is a technology that helps buy/sell digital assets like art, collectibles etc. Going further on the definition, NFT is a token that represents the digital asset and can be traded and rests on a blockchain.

Q2: For a digital content creator like a photographer, how is it different from income-generating avenues like Shutterstock?

Fabin: Art sold as stock images are essentially sold for its utility value. For example, you sell a photo of a landscape so that it can be used by another creative as part of their designs. But art sold as NFTs are majorly for its inherent artistic value, similar to how traditional art is collected. So it is ultimately up to the creative, in this case the photographer, to see whether they want to “sell” their photo or want it to be “collected”.

Q3: Many independent content creators are excited about NFT because of its decentralized nature. How can a digital content creator start in this domain on his/her own? How can he/she convert content into NFT and where can he/she set up a marketplace?

Fabin: There is a good amount of learning and research that I would recommend to anyone starting in this space. I would say start slow and learn about blockchains and tokens first. Then understand NFTs, gas prices, etc. Post this they can try creating an NFT of their work in platforms like Opensea, Rarible, Foundation, Superrare, Makersplace, Known Origin, and more. There are numerous tutorials available now. I would recommend being active on Twitter and Discord. One forum I would recommend following is Vertical Crypto (https://verticalcrypto.art). Vertical Crypto runs residencies for artists helping them onboard to NFTs as well.

Q4: There has been considerable criticism in the context of fraud and plagiarism in this space. Additionally, both developed and developing countries are actively looking into creating a framework in respective jurisdictions to control Blockchain and related FinTech. In that context, what do you think about the future of NFT?

Fabin: Regulation is definitely needed because of the inherent problems involved, especially since the tech involves trading and finances. Having said that, a balance has to be made without interrupting the creative revolution that is happening which is ushering artists from all over the world into this journey. What I feel is that every digital asset would be an NFT in the future and the term NFT would be so common that it would be expected. So I would say the focus should be more on Digital Art and its newer possibilities than the NFT tech itself, although there are many artists (including myself) embracing the NFT tech as a medium itself. In regards to fraud and plagiarism, this is prevalent in many domains including research, academia, news and media, and more. There has also been a rise in technology that helps combat the same. Of particular interest would be something I have been part of – the Content Authenticity Initiative started by Adobe, which involves major partners like BBC, New York Times, Microsoft, and many more. This initiative tries to see how an open standard can be created for the authenticity of content and provenance. Recently this has been integrated with NFTs and platforms like Opensea have a “Content Credentials” section which essentially validates the origin of the content. I would recommend reading more about it at: https://contentauthenticity.org

PS: Previously Fabin along with collaborator Sleeba talked about Auria Kathi in this link.