Have you heard about #NFTs? It’s probable that you, like me, have heard about #NFTs many, many times and, like me, have had #NFTs explained to you many, many times and despite that (again like me) been left completely none the wiser as what on earth #NFTs actually are.
Clearly, I’ve already outed myself as someone who is completely unqualified to demystify this very complicated topic and yet, here I am, doing it anyway.
Much like a very un-self-aware man at a party who wears loafers without socks and a signet ring on his pinky finger, I am about to badly explain this area of crypto currency to you completely against your will. You’re welcome.
Would it help if I told you that the initialism #NFT stands for ‘Non-Fungible Token’? No? That wildly vague phrase doesn’t clear anything up at all? Baffling.
Pictured: NFT's cannot be copied - they are completely unique.
Blimey, this is going to be more work than I expected... so first thing’s first: fungibility is an economic term describing a commodity which is replaceable because there is a reliable supply of identical equivalents of that commodity. So, currency is a good example of a fungible commodity because one £5 note is interchangeable with another £5 note. Therefore – bear with me – a non-fungible commodity is the opposite of that, and no identical equivalent of that commodity exists therefore it is neither interchangeable nor replaceable.
So, AS I UNDERSTAND IT: an #NFT is essentially some fancy coding and shenanignans with blockchain and crypto-technology which creates a non-fungible (a totally unique and irreplaceable) token which gives sole ownership to digital assets which could be anything from artwork to video clips and GIFs, or music etc.
I have neither the time, nor the word count to explain this aforementioned fancy coding and blockchain shenanigans in detail, so it would mean a lot to me if you could just blindly accept this insufficient explanation in the same way that we all blindly accept that tech billionaires are plotting to colonise space. Ta very much.
Pictured: If you own an NFT photo, video or song, you have are the sole owner of that piece.
Essentially, #NFTs are files which represent digital assets which could be images, videos, songs and with it, the irrefutable ownership of that asset. Even though others could screenshot, download and use copies of that digital asset, if you own the #NFT, you own the original asset – and the #NFT cannot be copied, replicated or replaced.
And it’s this one-of-a-kindness which earns the owner of an #NFT a very exclusive status and also explains why certain #NFTs sell for multi-million-dollar price tags.
Here’s an example. Let’s say that when I, Martha MacDonald, become rich and famous – these columns that I’ve written for CONNECT magazine may start to become something of a commodity. I could decide to start selling copies of my columns and I may even decide to sell some lucky punter the original documents. Whilst I will always retain ownership and copyright over my writing work, the person who own copies may get a semblance of what it would be like to own an original Martha MacDonald (REGISTERED TRADEMARK), but the person who actually owns the original Martha MacDonald will be forever heralded as someone with exquisite taste and (naturally) a very healthy bank balance with which to afford such a delicacy. That’s the best analogy I could come up with to explain #NFTs and if you’re still confused, then just imagine how I feel.
Take my confusion as a token of my non-fungibility.
Express previously aimed to clear some of the mystery and misunderstanding around NFTs with local art dealer and gallery director Chris Clifford, who isn't at all impressed with the trend...
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.
There are no comments for this article.