Not everyone knows this, but the story of the NFTs does not begin on Ethereum but on Bitcoin. At that time they weren’t called NFTs,even though they were non fungible tokens for all intents and purposes.
They were the so-called Colored Coins, an experiment that wanted to try to expand the functionality of the Bitcoin blockchain. It was 2012 and Ethereum didn’t exist yet. Actually, a second-generation blockchain did not exist yet.
A trick was basically used to make some unique Bitcoin tokens, and therefore not fungible. The Colored Coins protocol was not very successful, although in theory it still exists.
It was in fact, not compatible with the classic Bitcoin wallets that were in use then and even today, because it required the use of specially modified wallets and nodes.
The Colored Coins were special tokens residing on the Bitcoin blockchain, within whose script a set of instructions that could only be understood by specific nodes and wallets adapted for this use, were defined. In this way it was possible to create new tokens, but with transactions recorded on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Several protocols including Mastercoin were created to use these tokens. The latter later became Omni, the platform that was used to create the world’s first stablecoin tokens (Tether’s USDT).