A digital 10-second clip of the Mona Lisa sold for 6.6 million, even though anyone can watch it for free online. A cat meme downloaded millions of times sold for 600,000 dollars. And a clip of Lebron James slam dunking went for 200,000 dollars, even though you may as well watch on YouTube.
Welcome to the world of NFTs. Digital objects bought with cryptocurrency. The market is booming. NFTs brought in over 86 million dollars in February alone. And in the art world, even Christies has now joined the game, putting the first ever NFT up for auction.
NFT stands for non-fungible token. When something is non-fungible it means it’s not easily interchangeable because it’s unique or scarce.
A piece of digital art is fungible: It’s not unique or scarce because it can be downloaded and copied infinitely. But when you create an NFT for it, a process called tokenizing or minting, it becomes traceably authentic and unique or scarce.
an NFT contains a specific set of data. And there’s information stored on the token about who created the content, for how much it was sold and who the owner is. That way, the token represents a certificate of ownership. And blockchain technology ensures that all that info is unchangeable and fraud proof. So while the digital object may still be online, buying the NFT, you buy the certificate of ownership for it. Ok, but if you download a meme, it still looks the same as the original, right? So who is buying these things? Is it all a scam, or is this the future of the art world?
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