By Scott Mortman
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), largely unknown a month ago, appear to be the latest investment craze. For those still unfamiliar, NFTs are one-of-a-kind cryptocurrency tokens that represent a digital asset, such as an online work of art or a prominent Tweet, which can be purchased, sold, or traded. NFTs rely on decentralized blockchain technology to track authenticity and ownership.
NFTs grabbed the public attention earlier this month when Christie’s auctioned an NFT-based digital art collage from the artist known as “Beeple” for over $69 million. Significantly, it was the first time that Christie’s accepted cryptocurrency as payment. On the back of that well-publicized auction sale, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet (which reads “just setting up my twttr”) as a NFT for over $2.9 million, the proceeds of which were converted to bitcoin and donated to charity.
As with “meme stocks”, social media quickly has taken to discussing and promoting NFTs in an effort to draw attention to and elevate pricing for particular works of digital art. A preliminary search by Cyabra on Twitter revealed well over 50k accounts discussing NFTs. Many of these accounts were created by artists who newly found Twitter and opened accounts for the express purpose of promoting their digital art in the hope of cashing in on the current NFT hype.
Whether NFTs become a long-term investment vehicle or a short-term fad remains to be seen. What’s clear at the moment is that social media users, including those new to the platforms, are using the digital space to capitalize on the sudden interest in digital art as represented by NFTs. And Christie’s recent cry online of “sold” for NFT art may not be the last word at auction.