NFTs: the art of the future


Graphic courtesy of Canva.

Liam Kennedy, Opinion Contributor

This previously ran in our February 2022 print issue.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are cryptographic assets that have taken the attention of crypto-investors and celebrities interested in getting an exclusive piece of art.

NFTs use unique identification codes and metadata to distinguish themselves from each other, but they differ from cryptocurrencies because you’re unable to spend NFTs in the form of currency. Just about anything can be a NFT as long as it’s digital – a drawing, music, a video, or even your own face. 

The benefits of purchasing an NFT include supporting one of your favorite artists, usage rights to the image, a cool profile picture, and bragging rights.

But what’s the point in buying a picture that you can just screenshot? Essentially, you can sell that screenshot. Every NFT is unique; they all belong to a certain blockchain that cannot be replicated. So when you buy the NFT you have the blockchain and the rights to the art. That’s where the money is.

During 2021, the popularity of NFTs skyrocketed and has been increasing ever since. 

The tokens have become so popular celebrities like Shawn Mendes, Snoop Dog, and even Ellen DeGeneres have purchased their own. NFTs have also made an impact on the world of sports, with big-time athletes like Steph Curry, Serena Williams, and Dez Bryant owning Bored Ape.

Bored Ape is one of the biggest NFTs on the market right now. It has over 6,000 owners generated over $1 billion in total revenue. Over 10,000 Bored Apes have been sold. Not only do the apes act as a fun piece of artwork, but this specific NFT doubles as a Yacht Club membership card that gives you access to member-only perks. One of the first perks is “The Bathroom”, a collaborative graffiti board. You can unlock more perks and areas through the community with roadmap activation.

Cryptopunks, launched in mid-2017 as a fixed set, consists of 10,000 items and has about 3.4 thousand owners. It has grossed about $1.18 billion in lifetime sales. The art has been featured in The New York Times and Christie’s art gallery in London.

The most spent on an NFT was $69.3 million, a token by Beeple called “The First 5,000 Days” sold at Christie’s Auction House in March 2021. The piece shows 5,000 pieces of digital art shows made over 5000 days, straight from 2007 to January 2021. 

A lot of marketplaces have popped up surrounding NFTs, allowing consumers to sell and buy. The biggest places to purchase the tokens are OpenSea, Rarible, Grimes’ choice, and Nifty Gateway.

When it comes to NFTs, It really depends on what you’re purchasing and how you are using it. I agree with NFTs, as long as you use them for good, and are smart with your money. The ones that are stupidly overpriced, are the NFTs that are ridiculous and I do not support. Would I spend my money on an Ape that’s dressed like a human? If I am being completely honest, yes, I would. After doing the necessary research, I’ve learned that NFTs aren’t as bad as people make them out to be.