If you had asked anyone this time last year what an NFT was, the chances are good that you would’ve received nothing but a blank stare of confusion. Now, people are slowly becoming more aware of this occasionally-mystifying digital topic, but plenty of questions still remain.
So let’s get down to business: what is an NFT? Well, in basic terms, an ‘NFT’ is an initialism of the phrase ‘non-fungible token’, which means it’s a token that is unable to be replaced by anything else.
Still confused? That’s fine, it’s a difficult topic to grasp. As The Verge explained a while ago, “a bitcoin is fungible — trade one for another bitcoin, and you’ll have exactly the same thing. A one-of-a-kind trading card, however, is non-fungible. If you traded it for a different card, you’d have something completely different.”
That right there is what NFTs are, in their most basic form: a digital trading card (or token), of sorts. Of course, you can then get a little bit more in-depth when it comes to breaking down just how they work, but if you’re not quite across terms like crpyto, blockchain, and Ethereum, then you might want to try risking the NFT Wikipedia page.
But why have NFTs suddenly become a ubiquitous topic when it seems like the general public don’t really understand it? Well, that’s anyone’s guess, but in part, it’s due to the versatility of the idea.
NFTs have exploded in popularity over the last year due to the numerous applications that they have. While the likes of Australia’s Flume & Jonathan Zawada offered their artwork for trade as NFTs, so too has the ever-controversial Azealia Banks sold her sex tape as an NFT, while Kings Of Leon gave fans the chance to nab front-row tickets for life.
So while just about anything digital can be sold as an NFT, it’s the art world that has seen the most demand for the concept, with numerous artworks selling for inexplicably high prices in the NFT market. Just how inexplicably high are we talking? Well, US artist Mike Winkelmann (otherwise known as Beeple) has apparently cornered the entire NFT market, having not only sold the most expensive NFT artwork to date (USD$69 million), and the second and third most expensive, too (USD$6.6 million and USD$6 million, respectively).
Whether it’s a topic you’ve been able to get your head around or not, it definitely appears as though NFTs are the way of the future for content creators, at least right now. Who knows, maybe the years to come will see things change with an entirely new way of buying and selling digital content, but in the meantime, it seems that NFTs are here to stay.
To give you a bit of an insight into the value of NFTs, we’ve constructed a little quiz to test your knowledge (and sense for expense), giving you the task of picking which of the following NFTs sold for a higher price.