A New Age of Digital Collectibles: NFTs

Jeslyn Cho, reporter

Collectibles are a powerful force of pop culture and a centered mirror of the public’s current interests. But, gone are the days of searching for limited edition pokemon cards and superhero figurines. NFTs, also known as “non fungible tokens” are the latest mainstream collectible on the market, and it’s completely digital.

According to Forbes Magazine, “An NFT is a digital asset that represents real world objects like art, music, in-game items, and videos.” People buy NFTs of prized work from small artists to memes such as the famed Nyan Cat. The NFT business is strange in present-day times because these memes and artwork are still publicly available to view and download for absolutely anyone.

The only difference is the digital bragging rights that validate consumers after buying a pricey NFT. For instance, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, sold his first tweet on the app as an NFT for over $2.9 million dollars. A controversially “valuable” piece of culture that consisted of the 5 word sentence, “just setting up my twttr.”

As silly as NFTs may seem, some argue that the meaning of NFTs is important to sustaining artists and creative liberty. Artists get the opportunity to sell their work without a limited medium such as an art gallery or auction house, allowing for more profit. However, Hollywood has hungrily hopped on the NFT train, causing mixed reviews.

Contrary to its thoughtful purpose, the top of the NFT market doesn’t consist of works parallel to da Vinci and Picasso, but instead, animated monkeys owned by Paris Hilton and Jimmy Fallon. It is fascinating how seemingly useless pieces of work can gain a grandiosity of monetary value due to a celebrity promoting it. Celebrities continue to endorse meaningless products, while using their status and fame to accumulate more wealth. From stamps, to pokemon, and now NFTs, our culture has emerged into a new age of digital collectibles.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/investing/nft-non-fungible-token/#:~:text=Essentially%2C%20NFTs%20are%20like%20 physical,one%20owner%20at%20a%20time.


Senior Irene Cho looks into buying an NFT during AP Psychology Class.

Photo Credit: Jeslyn Cho

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