The ‘Non-Fungible Tokens’ Craze

How the growing popularity of the unique Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) is creating new opportunities for digital art.

The NFTs

Last week, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey shared a link offered to sell the very first tweet as a non-fungible token, or NFT and it was up for bidding. The highest bid at the time was said to be $2.5 million. On another news, a 10-second video clip was sold for $6.6 million in February. The video by digital artist Beeple was authenticated by blockchain, which serves as a digital signature to certify who owns it and that it is the original work.

To understand it all — what are NFTs?

Non-fungible tokens (NFT) are cryptocurrency assets that represent a wide range of unique tangible and intangible items i.e., both physical as well as collectible sports cards, virtual real estate, or digital art. This simply means that anything online can be purchased through NFTs.

An NFT uses the blockchain to identify its authenticity. It provides an opportunity for collectors to have a digital collection where each item can be traced to its original issuer. NFTs provide a certificate of ownership of a digital object for the buyer, which also protects its value for future transactions. Each NFT is unique and acts as a collector’s item that can’t be duplicated, making them rare by design.

The craze

As per coindesk, since November 2017, there has been a total of $174 million spent on NFTs. As per another data, Token-based art sales hit $8.2 million in December compared to $2.6 million in November 2020, showing the growing popularity of this asset with crypto users and companies especially during the pandemic

The report adds that artists can sell artwork in digital form directly to a global audience of buyers without using an auction house or gallery, which will allow them to keep a significantly greater portion of the profits.

Grimes is the latest artist who recently sold digital art as NFTs, earning $6 million selling images and short videos, which has brought a lot of attention to the market. A report by Rolling Stone stated that American rock band ‘Kings of Leon’ will release a music album as a non-fungible token (NFT), making it the first-ever band to distribute digitized art.

The value

High demand from gamers, collectors and investors have ensured that they prepared to pay a lot of money for NFTs as they can become the immutable owners of in-game items and other unique assets as well as make money from them. CryptoPunks and CryptoKitties are the two most popular NFTs. Dragon the CryptoKitty continues to be one of the most expensive NFTs in the space, valued at 600 ETH (Ethereum).

Looks like spending a huge sum of money for something that’s not even real but for clips, tweets , and memes and collecting all things digital as an art form may become the new normal. Let that sink in.

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