Lately, we can hear about this «unknown animal” from everywhere, and usually it comes in hand with big money.
“Grimes sold $6 million worth of digital art as NFTs” – the Verge
“Quentin Tarantino To Release Unseen ‘Pulp Fiction’ Scenes As NFTs” – the Screencrush
What is this? Is this even real? For what people paying these amounts? Let’s dive into.
Non-fungible tokens use blockchain technology to certify the authenticity and ownership of a specific and unique digital object.
Non-fungible means irreplaceable, what also means it’s kinda untradable, because, for example, you can trade one bitcoin for another and you will have the same thing, so it’s tradable, but with NFTs it doesn’t work like that. Why? Because it’s art and in fact an evolution of art (probably it’s correct to say digital art*) collecting. It implies that basically you can buy everything ever done in internet: videos, photos, tweets, posts, music, images, digital art, design, your brain downloaded and turned into an AI etc.
Basically at allows you to buy and sell the ownership – something that can’t be copied. You get to own a piece of digital work that no one else can possess*. It’s possible to prove who owns a given NFT at any moment in time and trace the history of prior ownership.
*BUT digital assets of an NFT can be duplicated as easily as downloading a jpeg to your desktop. The point is the ownership which is carved in stone in the blockchain (though the artist can still retain the copyright and reproduction rights, just like with physical artwork). To put it in terms of physical art collecting: anyone can buy a Van Gogh print. But only one person can own the origina
Which NFTs are popular?
One of the most successful collections in the nonfungible token space – BAYC (Bored Ape Yacht Club) launched in April and consists of 10,000 Bored Apes. The cheapest you can buy one for now is 49 ether = $231,000. Post Malone, Jimmy Fallon and Steph Curry are among today’s most prominent owners. Basically it’s like Pokémons for rich. Bored Ape Yacht Club was launched by a team of four pseudonymous developers: Gargamel, Gordon Goner, Emperor Tomato Ketchup and No Sass. It took 12 hours for all 10,000 to sell out at a price of 0.08 ether ~ $190.
What makes BAYC or any other NFT collection valuable is questionable in the same way as questionable every price tag for physical art is. Value is in the eye of the beholder.
What about NFT’s future? Is it going to thrive on, or, in the same way as it gained quite an overnight success, it’ll loose it’s popularity in the in a heartbeat?
In my personal opinion it will thrive and prosper, because if we take a look into the history, we see that none of art forms has disappeared. None. Art is the most irrational process and obviously we could have managed without painting our clay dishes, but we still do this to this day. NFT is one of the new forms of art, so in the same way as cinema, music, pottery etc didn’t die out, NFT won’t die out.