In October 2020, Miami-based art collector Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile spent almost $67,000 on a 10-second video artwork that he could have watched for free online. Last week, he sold it for $6.6 million.
The video by digital artist Beeple, whose real name is Mike Winkelmann, was authenticated by blockchain, which serves as a digital signature to certify who owns it and that it is the original work.
It’s a new type of digital asset – known as a non-fungible token (NFT) – that has exploded in popularity during the pandemic as enthusiasts and investors scramble to spend enormous sums of money on items that only exist online.
NFTs are exploding. Question is, is this a bubble, rapidly expanding, but without a tangible support structure to keep prices high over the long haul?
And will the climate-cost of powering digital currency mining undermine the market?
Elizabeth Howcroft and Ritvik Carvalho do an excellent job explaining NFTs, with some high flying examples.
Is this the future of collectibles?