In today’s world, many of our most valuable assets are things we can’t hold in our hands. Things that were once only physical, such as any kind of currency, are now also digital, and in some cases, the digital versions now hold a much higher value than the physical ones. It only makes sense that we would necessarily develop technology to provide proof of ownership for these digital assets, such as digital works of art.
Much to the benefit of digital artists and digital collectors, NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a newer technology that operates like a certificate of ownership. Every NFT is unique and it contains information such as the name of the owner, the name of the creator or artists, and in some cases, features that enable the artist to get paid a portion any time the NFT is sold to a new buyer.
NFTs are helpful to collectors as well since digital works are so easily duplicated. Anyone can download a digital file, but only the owner has the right to sell it. NFT owners can use these digital files as their profile pictures or can post them anywhere online, and most of them view these purchases as investments, expecting the value to increase so they can see a ROI in the future.
NFTs have been around since 2015, but their popularity is just beginning to skyrocket. In the first six months of 2021, NFT sales totaled 2.5 billion dollars, which was a huge leap from the 13.7 million just the year before.
One of the biggest NFT sales is the purchase of the first purely digital work of art, “Everydays: The First 5000 Days”, for 69 million dollars. Interestingly enough, the purchase was made by a crypto investor and “Beeple”, the artist himself, as a means of increasing the value of NFTs overall.
Other large purchases, such as the purchase of Jack Dorsey’s digitally autographed first tweet, for 3 million dollars, have brought NFTs to the forefront of digital investment. Learn how NFTs work in the infographic below: