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NFTs are Confusing Everyone, But the Newest Internet Token is Raking in the Memes

Image credits: Twitter.

Image credits: Twitter.

While the explanation is simple on paper - the vastness of what can be a non-fungible token has confused several on the Internet - who've resorted to using memes to help decipher NFTs.

What is an NFT? At this point, the question is – what isn’t an NFT? From digital music, to movies, to TikToks, to articles, to tweets to artwork, and even memes – are now non-fungible tokens. Elon Musk may have opted out of the ongoing NFT gold rush, after he initially made an NFT on a techno song about NFTs – and then decided to not sell it, but everyone else seems to be rushing to join in. The first NFT artwork to be auctioned was by Christie’s. The first Oscar-nominated movie to be released as an NFT was Adam Benzine’s “Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah.” The first tweet by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey was sold as an NFT. The first NFT album was ‘Kings of Leon’s ‘When You See Yourself.’ After art and auction houses, (and billionaires) news organizations and galleries also seem to be joining in on the trend. Quartz has converted an article into an NFT, a digital asset that essentially serves as its own certificate of ownership and authenticity. They’re, however, not the first. Associated Press sold its non-fungible token artwork on March 11 for a hefty sum only eight days putting it up for auction. The artwork, titled “The Associated Press calls the 2020 Presidential Election on Blockchain – A View from Outer Space,” sold for roughly 100 ETH (+3.79%) ($180,000), according to data from NFT marketplace OpenSea. News organizations aren’t alone.

So what really, really is an NFT? NFTs are not physical assets but digital properties that exist in the blockchain. An NFT essentially symbolises ownership of a certain physical item. Since it’s stored in the blockchain, it is transparent and thus cannot be copied or stolen. James Murphy, CEO of Future Fallout, writes that ‘just like a concert ticket symbolises the ownership of the space of a seat in the concert arena, and a Bitcoin represents the underlying value of the digital currency in physical currency, an NFT symbolises the ownership of an item that has been digitised.’

While the explanation is simple on paper – the vastness of what can be an NFT has confused several on the Internet – who’ve resorted to using memes to help decipher NFTs.

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Even Elon Musk joined in with a meme (which we probably found on the Internet.)

What does the future hold for NFTS? Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s first-ever tweet was turned into an NFT and auctioned at the current highest bid of $2.5 million. Musician and Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s girlfriend Grimes’ art collection titled ‘WarNymph’ was released on February 28, and sold for $5.8 million (Rs 424,891,760) as NFT. Injective Protocol, the firm behind the auction, told the media that it is currently in talks with another popular artist who has signed on to convert his artwork into a digitised token. NFT represents an interesting intersection between art and technology. According to artist Trevor Jones, the digital art market is poised to grow and might easily reach US$67 billion in size in the near future.

first published:March 22, 2021, 07:58 IST