STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The NFT boom is upon us.
That’s non-fungible token, for those wondering. They’re emerging in the art world, professional sports, from YouTube clips and beyond — and some cost millions of dollars to obtain.
For example, Canadian musician Grimes sold $6 million in art as non-fungible tokens. The NBA has entered the NFT world with NBA Top Shot, which allows fans to invest in the sport’s greatest moments. On Tuesday, the Staten Island Advance/SILive.com shared a story about a viral YouTube video shared in 2007: That, too, was sold as an NFT in an auction for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Oh, and if any Staten Island pizzerias need a marketing ploy, a Los Angeles-based pizza joint unveiled an NFT that’ll result in free pizzas for life.
Each NFT is unique, as in, one-of-a-kind, but copies can exist. As the author of this The Verge story explains, “To put it in terms of physical art collecting: anyone can buy a Monet print. But only one person can own the original.”
Furthermore, says The Verge: “At a very high level, most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum is a cryptocurrency, like bitcoin or dogecoin, but its blockchain also supports these NFTs, which store extra information that makes them work differently from, say, an ETH coin. It is worth noting that other blockchains can implement their own versions of NFTs.”
If this didn’t seem confusing already, anything digital can be sold as an NFT: Music, a story, a song file online, art. Twitter’s Jack Dorsey sold a tweet. The New York Times is selling stories.
And if there’s an item to sell or buy, an actual marketplace or shop has to exist. Several are already in operation, like OpenSea, Cryptopunks and the aforementioned NBA Top Shot.