FEED Summer 2021 Web

FTs are the hype du jour in 2021. You can hardly look at your social feed without getting ’splained by some goateed libertarian about the advantages of NFTs, or becoming infuriated that an NFT of an 8-bit flying Pop-Tart cat gif has sold for

self-portrait dedicated to Gauguin from 1888 is n ot the same as his self-portrait with bandaged ear from 1889. It’s my adorable beagle puppy, not your adorable beagle puppy. A non-fungible token is a unique identifier on the blockchain, certifying the ownership of a specific item. NFTs have been around for a while, but a number of recent high-profile stories, involving artists using NFTs to distribute their content, has generated excitement. There is all manner of talk about how they could provide content owners with new ways to earn revenue, particularly in the digital realm. American southern rock band Kings Of Leon recently sold NFTs to their fans. They offered three different, limited-edition tokens. One was a special album package, the second offered live show perks and the third provided access to exclusive audiovisual art. Music artist and Mars enthusiast Grimes recently released sold NFTs for some of her digital art, worth almost $6 million. One of the most attention-grabbing NFT transactions was the sale of Nyan Cat – a ten-year-old gif animation of a flying feline/Pop-Tart hybrid for 300ETH (Ether is the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network – around $583,000). And then there was an NFT for a piece by digital artist Mike Winkelmann (aka Beeple), sold at Christie’s for $69,346,250 in March. There is certainly a lot of hype, but NFTs – and the blockchain itself – can create limited runs, leading to manufactured scarcity. That means creating demand in a digital world, where there has traditionally been too much product and not enough buyers. ONE BIG MISCONCEPTION ABOUT NFTS ISTHATTHEYDONOT PREVENTCREATINGEXACTCOPIES

half a million dollars. So, what is an NFT? No, it’s not the National Film Theatre – don’t be so analogue! NFT stands for ‘non-fungible token.’ Still none the wiser? Well, what’s a ‘non-fungible token’ – and should you even care? First, let’s look at fungible tokens. ‘Fungible’ means ‘interchangeable.’ A fungible token may be a dollar bill or a €5 note – shares in commodities or stock options are also fungible. That means it doesn’t matter which specific item I own of the material in question, one is as good as another. The serial number on the $100 bill you’re about to hand over to take your family to the newly reopened movies doesn’t matter – its value remains the same. One note is as good as another. However, something that is non-fungible has its own unique identity. A $100 bill has the serial number H387672956, while another is identified with serial number H387672957. Van Gogh’s

PUNK PAYMENTS Collectors of Larva Labs’ CryptoPunks can keep track of the latest sales. The blockchain makes all transactions public and transparent


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