Paris, March 15 (AFP/APP): “NFT” is quickly becoming the acronym of 2021, offering a new way to sell digital art online, and music stars including Kings of Leon and Grimes have been quick to jump on the bandwagon.
For many, it remains a baffling concept, but a NFT (“non-fungible token” — pronounced “nifty”) essentially offers collectors proof that they “own” a digital artwork by logging that ownership on the blockchain, the online database that underpins cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
In no time, it has taken the art world by storm. Just last week, a collage by digital artist Beeple was sold at auction for $69.3 million, reportedly the third highest-ever sale for a living artist in any medium.
Many see an opportunity to monetise digital art of all kinds, offering wealthy collectors the bragging rights to ultimate ownership, even if the work can be endlessly copied.
For investors, it’s also a new commodity to be traded. In the music world — an industry which has seen its value shredded by digitisation over the past 20 years — NFTs offer hope of a valuable new revenue stream.
Earlier this month, US rockers Kings of Leon raised more than $2 million by auctioning off NFT versions of their new album “When you see yourself”, according to Rolling Stone magazine, of which a quarter went to a solidarity fund for live event workers.
Their NFTs offered more than just the abstract notion of owning something rare. They came with tangible benefits: access to photos by band member Matthew Followill, collector’s editions of the vinyl, and at the top end, a lifetime “golden ticket” to front-row seats at their live shows.
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