Non-fungible token (NFT)
  • In economics, a fungible asset is like money - it is something with units that can be interchanged. With money, a $10 can be exchanged for two $5, and it still has the same value.
  • If something is non-fungible, it has unique properties and cannot be interchanged with something else, such as a house, the Mona Lisa painting, etc.
  • NFTs are distinct assets in the digital world. They can be bought and sold like any other property, but they have no tangible form.
  • The digital tokens are like certificates of ownership for virtual or physical assets.

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What are NFTs and why are some worth millions?

bbc.com

Traditional art is valuable because they are unique. But digital files can be duplicated.

With NFTs, artwork can be "tokenised" - a digital certificate of ownership that can be bought and sold. A record of who owns what is stored on a shared ledger known as a blockchain.

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Nothing is stopping people from copying digital art. But the buyer of the NFT owns a "token" that proves they own the "original" work.

People are paying millions of dollars for tokens.

  • On 19 February, an animated Gif of Nyan Cat sold for over $500,000.
  • Weeks later, musician Grimes sold some of her digital art for over $6m.
  • Twitter's founder promoted an NFT of the first-ever tweet. Bids are hitting $2.5m.
  • Christie sold an NFT by digital artist Beeple for $69m.

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Beeple (Mike Winkelmann) thinks there will be a bubble.

People selling the NFTs are "crypto-grifters", David Gerard, author of Attack of the 50-foot Blockchain, said. While some artists are doing great on this stuff, most people probably won't.

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