Have you been coming across numerous tweets with these three letters, NFT, along with a photo of an artwork and not know what this buzz is all about? Here’s what you need to know about it:
NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. But first things first, in economics, to describe something as fungible is to indicate that it’s interchangeable and can be exchanged while holding the same value, like money and gold if it’s a physical asset and like Bitcoin, if it’s digital. On the other hand, acquiring the quality of non-fungibility means that the asset is unique and can’t be interchanged with something else, despite being in the same asset category. Physical non-fungible assets include a painting or a house while digital ones include a trademark.
NFTs are giving new understandings of what it’s meant by ownership in the digital age. Although the digital file can be copied by millions of users with ease, owning an NFT makes the buyer claim and sell the right of ownership, along with the artists retaining the copyright. It’s more about bragging rights more than anything else.
Yet ordinary people still wonder what the point of NFTs is, but with how most of our possessions and activities are accessed online, from movies being released solely on streaming platforms and online banking, it’s no surprise people are collecting artworks in the digital form. From a more practical perspective, both the artist and buyer are in favor of NFTs because physical objects do have their own set of obstacles and expenses, while NFTs don’t have to be shipped, lost, or destroyed along the way as well as they’re easier to store and harder to lose as long as your account doesn’t get hacked.
Although NFTs blew up with the beginning of 2021 as the first NFT of digital artwork, ‘The First 500 Days’ by the American digital artist, Beeple, was auctioned and sold for $69.3 million, making it the third most expensive artwork sold by a living artist, the term NFT isn’t foreign within the technological world. The first emergence of NFTs was in 2012 in a form of very small colored units of Bitcoins.
Not only are paintings and artworks being auctioned and sold as NFTs, but also musicians are taking part. Kings of Leon was the first band to release an album as an NFT. Besides being available on streaming services, the album is part of a series called ‘NFT Yourself’ which includes two other kinds of tokens: front-row seats for life and exclusive audiovisual art.
Like anything else that has made its way to social media, celebrities and influencers were among the first people to hop onto the trend of NFTs. Paris Hilton sold a painting of her cat for $17,000. USD. The Weekend’s, The Acephalous collection, a limited edition NFT raised over $2 million. The collection was inspired by neo-futurism and dystopia. Grimes sold over $6 million worth of digital artworks.
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Do you think this is all? Absolutely not. Here’s a list of rather bizarre things auctioned as NFTs, and their insane prizes:
The first tweet of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey from 2006. It was sold for $2.9 million and the proceeds were donated for charity:
just setting up my twttr
— jack (@jack) March 21, 2006
A quote by the billionaire Mark Cuban says, “Nobody ever changed the world by doing what everyone else was doing – Mark Cuban.”. It was sold for $1,700 US.
The Nyan Cat meme, an animated flying cat with a Pop-Tart body, was sold for $600,000
‘Good Luck Brian’ meme which was popularized in 2012 was sold for $36,000:
What do you think of NFT now? Have you been intrigued with the concept of NFTs and want to try it yourself? If yes, all you need to do is join a marketplace such as Nifty Gateway, SuperRare, or OpenSea, whether you want to be a seller or a buyer. Just be aware you’ll have something to risk since the Ethereum blockchain is used and according to experts, this system seems untenable, making them unable to predict the future of NFTs.
Studying mass communication by day, having tea with Murakami by night. Nour goes back and forth between Cairo and Dubai which makes her curious about the diverse cultures in the world!