“Side-eying Chloe” Clem, a young girl who became an online phenomenon after a photo of her looking dissatisfied went viral, is auctioning off the original image for thousands of dollars. It’s being sold as a “non-fungible token” (NFT), which allows users to possess the original digital image. NFTs are being welcomed as the digital answer to collectibles, similar to how Bitcoin was heralded as the digital answer to currency, but many sceptics believe they’re a bubble ready to explode.

What Is The Definition of a Non-Fungible Token?

In economics, a fungible asset is something that has easily interchangeable units, such as money. When it comes to money, you can exchange a £10 note for two £5 notes and have the same amount of money. This is impossible if anything is non-fungible, which means it has unique qualities that prevent it from being interchanged with something else. It could be a home or a one-of-a-kind picture, such as the Mona Lisa. You can photograph the artwork or purchase a print, but only one original painting will ever exist. In the digital world, NFTs are “one-of-a-kind” assets that may be purchased and sold like any other piece of property, but have no physical form of their own.

The digital tokens might be compared to ownership certificates for virtual or actual assets.

 

What Are NFTs and How Do They Work?

Paintings and other traditional works of art are valuable precisely because they are one-of-a-kind. Digital files, on the other hand, may be simply and indefinitely reproduced. Artwork can be “tokenized” with NFTs, resulting in a digital certificate of ownership that can be purchased and sold. A record of who owns what, similar to crypto-currency, is kept on a shared ledger known as the blockchain. Because the ledger is maintained by thousands of computers all around the world, the records cannot be fabricated.

NFTs can also include smart contracts that, for example, offer the artist a percentage of any future token sales.

 

What Is The Value of NFTs?

In theory, anyone can tokenize their work and sell it as an NFT, but recent headlines about multi-million-dollar purchases have piqued attention. An animated Gif of Nyan Cat, a 2011 meme featuring a flying pop-tart cat, sold for almost $500,000 (£365,000) on February 19.

Grimes sold some of her digital paintings for more than $6 million a few weeks later. Art isn’t the only thing that is tokenized and sold. With bids reaching $2.5 million, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has sponsored an NFT of the first-ever tweet.

One of the daily doodles is a spacesuit with crystals coming out of it.

 

Christie’s auction of a digital artist Beeple’s NFT for $69 million (£50 million) set a new high for digital art. Sorare, a French company that offers football trading cards in the form of NFTs, has raised $680 million (£498 million). However, as with crypto-currencies, there are concerns regarding the blockchain’s environmental impact. Clem will sell the iconic meme “Side-Eyeing Chloe” as an NFT.

 

What’s Keeping People from Plagiarising Digital Art?

Nothing. Beeple’s painting, which sold for $69 million, has been seen by millions of people, and the image has been reproduced and shared countless times. In many circumstances, the artist keeps copyright ownership of their work, allowing them to continue producing and selling copies. However, the purchaser of the NFT receives a “token” proving ownership of the “original” work. It’s been compared to purchasing a signed print by others. With that said, if you want to check out new NFTs, you can look up latest NFT trends.