Remember when we went to galleries to buy art and take it home with us?
There is a new technology called NFT that may change the way we look at original art — among other things — forever.
Five things you need to know:
- NFT stands for "non-fungible token." Don’t worry — it’s not a medical condition. After an artist recently sold some of his NFT art for nearly $70 million, the idea became something worth knowing about.
- Cryptocurrency uses blockchain technology, the database on which things like bitcoin operates. An NFT is actually something that is more unique — a one-off original, like a Monet painting or Michelangelo statue. And those are exchanged for millions.
- NFT art is a way of trading a piece of original digital work — anything from pictures to video clips — for money. While the original artwork can be copied, the idea is that everyone on the blockchain — the ledger that records the buying and selling of things in online marketplaces — can see, thanks to the coding contained in the NFT showing, that it’s the original and not a copy.
- Why is this important? Well, an animated gif of a cat recently went for $600,000, for example. It’s basically a super-amped version for collectors to support artists by buying one-off works of art effectively, similar to going into a gallery and buying an original — but instead, you’re doing it online. Plus, rather than putting it on your wall, you’re either putting it in your digital wallet or storing it on your hard drive.
- There are lots of marketplaces for NFTs, and you’ll need to buy them with cryptocurrency. Anyone can create an NFT.
Confused? Don’t worry. We’re going to see more of this kind of trading as investors find ways to make greater returns on their cash, especially when traditional banks no longer offer much interest to store your hard-earned money with them.