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How to turn your 360 photos into NFTs for free (tutorial and FAQ)

Turn 360 photo into NFT
Turn 360 photo into NFT

You’ve heard of artists earning thousands of dollars from selling their art as NFTs.  Now how would you like to turn your 360 photos into NFTs?  One way to do that is through Orbix360, which can now convert your 360 photos into NFTs automatically.  Here’s a tutorial and a FAQ.

360-photo-nft.mp4 from Orbix360 on Vimeo.

NFT beginners FAQ

1. What is an NFT?

NFT (non-fungible token) is like a digital certificate of ownership that cannot be duplicated or forged but can be easily transferred.  It can be used to show ownership of anything, whether a digital photo, a video, a physical object, or a 360 photo.  When it is sold, the transaction is recorded on a blockchain (see below), which makes it possible for anyone to trace its history of ownership accurately.

2. What is an NFT for?

NFTs have two primary purposes: First, artists and creators can sell NFTs their digital photos or other artwork.  Second, some people also buy or resell NFTs as investments.

3. I can download most photos, so why would anyone want an NFT?

Most digital photos can be easily downloaded, so why would an NFT of that photo be worth anything?  An analogy is the Mona Lisa.  Everyone knows what it looks like, and you can download photos of the Mona Lisa.  But just because you have a photo of the Mona Lisa doesn’t mean you own the Mona Lisa, and despite millions of photos of the Mona Lisa, the Mona Lisa itself is still priceless.

Now suppose there was a certificate of ownership for the Mona Lisa that certifies that whoever owns it owns the Mona Lisa, and everyone in the world could easily verify that the certificate is authentic and anyone could trace its provenance accurately (thus proving that someone really does own the certificate legitimately), then that certificate of ownership should theoretically be worth as much as the Mona Lisa itself.  NFTs are like that hypothetical certificate of ownership.

4. Is an NFT a photo?

Not necessarily.  An NFT can be in the form of a photo, but it’s really just a digital file.  The underlying photo doesn’t have to be part of the NFT itself.  For example, if you had a movie that was several gigabytes, you don’t need to put the entire movie into the NFT file.  Rather the NFT is a token that represents ownership of the underlying asset, such as the movie or even a physical object.

5. What is a blockchain and what does it have to do with NFT?

When NFTs are transferred from one person to another, the transaction is recorded on a blockchain, which is a public ledger of all the transactions on that blockchain.  Because transactions are linked to each other, it is not feasible to alter the record to fool everyone else into thinking that you are the rightful owner of an NFT unless the owner really did transfer the NFT to you.

6. Why are NFTs valuable?

NFTs are bought and sold by people as a way of supporting an artist or as a type of investment.  But not all NFTs are valuable.  Whether an NFT is valuable or not depends on many factors, such as whether it has historical importance, or was created by a famous artist such as Banksy.  Famous examples include the first ever Tweet by Jack Dorsey, which was sold for $2.9 million.

A secondary factor is the cryptocurrency used to trade the NFT.  All NFTs are sold with cryptocurrency.  If the cryptocurrency appreciates, then the money you received would be worth more.

7. Does NFT give you the copyright for the photo?

Generally no.  You’ll have to read the terms of the blockchain you’re using to whether the selling an NFT on that blockchain also transfers the copyright for the underlying asset.  Sometimes, however, the NFT creator might add specific rights such as a transfer of the copyright.  But generally speaking, you should not assume that buying the NFT confers copyright or other rights over the underlying work.

8. How do I turn my 360 photo into an NFT?

One way to do it is to use the Orbix NFT minter.  Minting is the process of creating an NFT for your 360 photo.  Orbix360 creates an NFT for your photo on the Tezos blockchain.  All you need is a wallet that has Tezos cryptocurrency.  See the tutorial above.

Besides creating an NFT for your photo, Orbix360 can also show the 360 photo in 360 view, and can even be viewed on a VR headset using a VR browser, so prospective buyers can see the photo in 360, which can help them purchase it.

9. How do I sell my NFT?  Are there commissions?

Conveniently, Orbix360 also has a marketplace for NFTs.   Just set a price for your NFT in Tezos (a cryptocurrency currently worth around $4.25) instead of dollars.   The Tezos can be converted into dollars, other currency or other cryptocurrency on an altcoin exchange.

Note that when you sell an NFT on most blockchains, you’ll need to pay a transaction fee.  The transaction fee on the Tezos blockchain is among the lowest, at around $0.01 as of February 2022, compared to around the gas fees for the more well-known Ethereum blockchain, which are extremely volatile, varying hour by hour and can be as much as $97 (or more).

10.  Can you sell NFT for US Dollars instead of cryptocurrency? (added: February 12, 2022)

Somewhat.  Most NFTs are traded with cryptocurrencies that are usually very volatile because they have no underlying value.  However, there are cryptocurrencies that are backed by real world assets (such as gold), called stablecoins.  One example is USD Coin (symbol: USDC), a stablecoin that is pegged 1:1 to the US Dollar.  Looking at the chart below, you can see that in the past year, the value of USDC has almost always between 0.999 to 1.001 of a US Dollar, a variation of less than 1/10th of a single penny.

So, although you can’t sell your NFT for US Dollars directly, you can sell your NFT as USDC on some NFT markets such as Opensea.io, and USDC can be converted into US Dollars on a 1:1 basis (with no fees for Coinbase users).  Please note that Opensea charges a 2% transaction fee.

USD Coin to USD conversion rate vies from 0.999 to 1.001 almost all the time
USD Coin to USD conversion rate vies from 0.999 to 1.001 almost all the time

11. Do NFTs harm the environment?

On many blockchains, including Ethereum, recording a transaction uses “proof of work” for verification, which requires intense computation by many computers and therefore uses a lot of electricity.  However, Orbix360 uses Tezos, which is much more energy-efficient method of verifying transactions called “proof of stake.”  Tezos claims that their entire carbon footprint is the same as just 17 people.

12. Can I create an NFT of someone else’s artwork?

Generally no.   Creating an NFT of someone else’s artwork or other property is considered fraud and you will probably be liable for a copyright infringement unless the artist authorized you to do so.

13.  How do I know whether an NFT was really made by a certain artist?

This is one of the risks of buying an NFT.  Even if creating an NFT using someone else’s work is illegal, scam artists try to do it anyway.   Before buying an NFT, you should confirm that it was truly made by the artist or was authorized.  For example, you can contact the artist to confirm whether they were the ones who made the NFT.  You can also confirm the artist’s real social media accounts and see if they posted about the NFT on their real account.

14.  Why do some people say NFTs are scams?

All NFT require cryptocurrency, and most cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin, have no underlying value (however, there are a few that are tied to actual assets such as gold or the US dollar — see FAQ #10 above).  Critics argue that their value lies primarily in the fact that there are other people who are willing to pay for them, and therefore they argue that crypto is similar to a pyramid scheme that will eventually and inevitably collapse.  Some cryptocurrency advocates respond that many fiat currencies, including the US Dollar, are no longer tied to assets either (the gold standard was abandoned in 1971).  Some NFT advocates also argue that NFTs can be used as an inflation hedge.

My personal opinion about NFTs

As I mentioned in FAQ #2 above, there are two primary reasons for purchasing an NFT: supporting an artist and as an investment.  For supporting artists, I believe NFTs are a very useful tool.  There are some artists who have been able to make a living from their art using NFTs, and if you are an artist, minting NFTs for your own work carries low risk.

As an investment, I personally think NFTs are highly speculative, and I wouldn’t spend more than what you can afford to lose completely.  The biggest weakness of NFT in my opinion is the subjective link between the NFT and the underlying work.  The purpose of this article was to explain what NFTs are and what they are not, and I hope that the information here can help you make an informed decision.  If you do purchase them, I would suggest doing so only as part of a diversified portfolio to limit your exposure so that you aren’t crushed in case things go sour.  In any case, I would strongly recommend confirming that the NFT you are purchasing was created or authorized by the actual author of the work.

About the author

Mic Ty

8 Comments

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    • Thanks Maleroy. Yes, you can create an NFT for anything, including 360 videos. But since 360 videos are usually very large, then you shouldn’t upload it into the Orbix360 minter. Rather you would upload something such as a screenshot or thumbnail, or whatever, to represent the 360 video. Then in the description for the NFT you would specify that the NFT is for the 360 video (and maybe post the video somewhere for people to see).

      • Thanks for your answer. Is there any 360 videos viewer compatible with NFTs? I mean, to get royalties every time someone watch that 360 video somewhere on the web?

  • finally a clear explanation of nft, it’s been a while since I thought of selling my 360 photos. But I’m not clear some things…I tried to create an NFT with my photo360, but I don’t know where it ends, I can’t find it anymore! and I do not understand how to create a portfolio on the blockchain of Tezos!

  • Hey, Mic!

    It’s been a few months since you posted this article. Have you created an NFT and listed it for sale yet? If yes, can you describe the process you went through? Stablecoins took a huge hit recently as you’ll learn in this video: https://youtu.be/3KZY41SqaTI