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Definition: non-fungible token


An original digital file. A non-fungible token (NFT) is a digital asset that uses blockchain technology to identify it as the original creation. The first NFTs date back to the mid-2010s.

Digital versions of sports trading cards and all kinds of artwork have been turned into non-fungible tokens that in some cases have sold for huge amounts of money. For example, in March 2021, an NFT-based collage of 13 years worth of daily digital art was auctioned at Christies. "Everydays" by American artist Mike Winklemann, who goes by the moniker "Beeple," sold for USD $69 million.

March 2021 was a good month for selling NFTs, because Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold his very first tweet as an NFT for nearly $3 million. The proceeds were donated to charity.

Although an image of anything can always be copied while it is rendered on screen, only an NFT owner can claim possession of the original.

For Real or a Fad?
Proponents claim NFTs are a new form of art. Opponents say this is insanity when sale prices reach the stratosphere, and it will all come tumbling down.

However, non-fungible tokens may indeed be the way ownership rights to all kinds of intellectual property are secured in the future. The blockchain architecture guarantees proof of ownership. Stay tuned! See blockchain and Ethereum.