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What are NFTs and why are some value millions?
A digital-only artworkwork has sold at Christie's public sale house for an eye-watering $69m (£50m) - however the successful bidder will not obtain a sculpture, painting or perhaps a print.
Instead, they get a novel digital token known as an NFT.
Where Bitcoin was hailed as the digital reply to currency, NFTs are now being touted because the digital answer to gatherables.
But there are many sceptics who think it is all a bubble that is going to burst.
What's an NFT?
NFT stands for non-fungible token.
In economics, a fungible asset is something with units that may be readily interchanged - like money.
With cash, you may swap a £10 note for 2 £5 notes and it will have the same value.
Nonetheless, if something is non-fungible, this is inconceivable - it means it has unique properties so it can't be interchanged with something else.
It might be a house, or a painting such because the Mona Lisa, which is one among a kind. You may take a photograph of the painting or buy a print however there will only ever be the one original painting.
NFTs are "one-of-a-kind" assets in the digital world that can be purchased and sold like another piece of property, but they haven't any tangible type of their own.
The digital tokens may be considered certificates of ownership for virtual or physical assets.
How do NFTs work?
Traditional works of artwork similar to paintings are valuable because they are considered one of a kind.
However digital files might be easily and finishlessly duplicated.
With NFTs, artworkwork will be "tokenised" to create a digital certificate of ownership that can be bought and sold.
As with crypto-currency, a report of who owns what's stored on a shared ledger known because the blockchain.
The records can't be forged because the ledger is maintained by 1000's of computer systems across the world.
NFTs may also include smart contracts which will give the artist, for instance, a minimize of any future sale of the token.
What's stopping individuals copying the digital art?
Nothing. Millions of people have seen Beeple's artwork that sold for $69m and the image has been copied and shared relyless times.
In lots of cases, the artist even retains the copyright ownership of their work, so they can proceed to produce and sell copies.
However the purchaser of the NFT owns a "token" that proves they own the "original" work.
Some individuals evaluate it to purchasing an autographed print.
People are paying millions of dollars for tokens?
Yes. It is as wild as it sounds.
How much are NFTs price?
In concept, anybody can tokenise their work to sell as an NFT but curiosity has been fuelled by current headlines of multi-million-dollar sales.
On 19 February, an animated Gif of Nyan Cat - a 2011 meme of a flying pop-tart cat - sold for more than $500,000.
A few weeks later, musician Grimes sold some of her digital art for more than $6m.
It isn't just art that's tokenised and sold. Twitter's founder Jack Dorsey has promoted an NFT of the first-ever tweet, with bids hitting $2.5m.
Christie's sale of an NFT by digital artist Beeple for $69m (£50m) set a new file for digital art.
But as with crypto-currencies, there are issues about the environmental impact of sustaining the blockchain.
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