What the fung are (NFT) Non-Fungible Tokens that have the whole world talking? Here are 5 things you should know about NFT’s...
1. Think of it as the digital version of Pokemon cards, each NFT is unique to you
Non-fungible means that you cannot exchange one NFT for another. It’s a completely unique blockchain token (e.g a digital certificate of authenticity) associated with digital art, music, videos, or collectibles that cannot be replicated. One of the first examples of NFTs that later inspired the larger crypto art movement started in 2017 with unique collectibles called Crypto kitties and Crypto punks. No two punks or kitties are alike.
Crypto kitties, Ethereum game
2. It proves ownership of digital art and collectibles
But what’s the hype around having ownership over these increasingly pricey digital works if anyone can view them online? Beeple, renowned NFT artist Mike Winkelmann explains: ‘it's similar to when you look at or take a picture of the Mona Lisa. Having that picture doesn’t mean you own it.’ With NFT, the accompanying token makes it known to everyone that you are the sole owner of that original work. (Think of it as your very own IP address). The history of the NFT (current ownership, market price, and previous owners) are shown and move with the piece. This puts market transparency at the forefront, something often criticized in the art industry.
3. Auction Houses like Christie's and Sotheby's are recognising NFTs as a form of art as they start accepting cryptocurrency in their future sales
Prestigious auction houses are joining in on the NFT craze too. Christie’s currently has Beeple’s ‘Everydays: The First 5000 days’ on auction at 3M with the sale closing on March 11th. This is a major milestone as it is Christie’s’ first solely digital artwork auction! Surely other auction houses are already in the works to follow.
Detail from 'Everydays', Beeple
4. It's giving power back to digital artists
While collecting digital art hasn’t yet gained the popularity that traditional art has, NFT is opening the doors for more opportunities for both collectors and artists alike. NFT empowers the artists by validating ownership, giving a platform for more artists to showcase their work, and giving them the credibility they deserve. As more people join in the movement, digital art can finally be recognized as a true art form in the eyes of the wider community.
5. It's skyrocketing in value
The market for NFTs is rapidly growing in value. The value of the NFT market tripled last year placing its current value over a mind-boggling $250M, according to a report from NonFungible.com. This gives an indication that NFTs may be here to stay, with their exponential growth and innovation possibly transforming the art world for good or not at all, we are yet to find out.
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