What Are Non-Fungible Tokens?

March 26, 2021
Example of NFT
Created by “Suum Cuique Labs GmbH”,. Source: https://www.thehashmasks.com/terms Section 3. A., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Not fungus, unfortunately. Or wait, is it just us who’re curious about fungus? But we’re talking about Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which are pieces of digital content that you can buy using cryptocurrency (a form of digital currency). Think about it, most things you buy are tangible. You might use the internet to buy a product digitally, but when it arrives, it’s usually something you can touch and feel. Sure, there are digital products too, like a movie you buy online, but NFTs are entirely digital. And the most interesting part? There’s a constant tracking of who owns the digital piece and only one person can own the original, much like physical art. And it can’t be replaced with something else (which is what non-fungible means—who knew?!).

So the world of art is all abuzz because one piece of digital art just sold for … wait for it … $69 million. Whether artists think that’s a good thing or not, it means there’s this whole new world of digital art out there that’s only just beginning to get interesting. The digital artist Beeple produced the piece of art—a collage of five thousand images taken over the course of thirteen years—but is it really worth that much? People are divided on the answer, but hey, if Nyan Cat and Deal With It glasses GIFS can be sold, why not a digital collage that you can’t touch?