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May 29, 2021 | Trends

NFTs have taken digital art and collectibles by storm. NFTs are tokens used to represent ownership of unique items, including drawings, collages, music, or any other unique digital property. NFTs are “one-of-a-kind” digital assets that can be purchased and sold like any other piece of property but have no tangible form of their own.

The first NFTs were issued in the spring of 2017, when Matt Hall and John Watkinson, two programmers in Brooklyn, created a set of collectible characters consisting of little pixelated heads of punk-rock-looking creatures they called CryptoPunks. Here are some NFT highlights:

  • Definition – NFT stands for “non-fungible token.” In economics, a fungible asset is something that can be readily interchanged, like money. Non-fungible means it has unique properties and cannot be readily interchanged with something else. Ethereum’s ether (ETH) coin is a cryptocurrency, like bitcoin, dogecoin, or litecoin, but its blockchain stores extra information that tokenizes art, collectibles, and even real estate. Ethereum was architected to facilitate blockchain-based smart contracts, explaining why most NFTs are based on this blockchain platform.
  • Charlie Bit My FingerOrigin Protocol sold the iconic viral video, “ Charlie Bit My Finger” for $760,999 to 3F Music, according to a company tweet. Dubai-based music studio 3F Music clearly has capital to invest in this emerging market, having also purchased several other high-priced NFTs, including “Overly Attached Girlfriend” ($411,000), The New York Times’ meta NFT-column ($560,000), and Disaster Girl (see image below).
  • CryptoPunks – Christy’s once again reaffirmed the strength and depth of the NFT market when it auctioned a collection of 9 CryptoPunks for $16.9 million on May 11. Created by Larva Labs in 2017, CryptoPunks is one of the earliest NFT projects and consists of 10,000 small pixel-art portraits of people, zombies, aliens, and apes. Each one was algorithmically generated and features such different attributes as hairstyle or glasses — a uniqueness that made CryptoPunks valuable as collector’s items.

Disaster Girl NFT“Disaster Girl” — a photo taken by Zoë Roth’s father in 2005 that became a meme due to her smirking while a house burned down in the background — was sold as an NFT for 180 Ether, about $500,000, to Dubai-based 3F Music on Apr. 17, 2021.

  • Virtual real estate – Toronto-based artist Krista Kim sold the first digital home, named Mars House, for 288 Ether, or $512,000, on non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace SuperRare on Mar. 22, 2021.

The “first NFT digital house in the world” sold for more than $500,000 as global interest in virtual design continues unabated.

  • Beeple – The preceding three NFT sales records were topped on Mar. 11 when Christy’s auctioned an NFT of a collage of 5,000 mostly digital illustrations by Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple, for $69 million.
  • Grimes – On Feb. 28, Canadian musician Claire Elise Boucher, known as Grimes, sold $6 million worth of artworks on Nifty Gateway.
  • NyanCat – On Feb. 19, artist Chris Torres sold a version of his 10-year-old Nyan cat for $534,159 or 300 ether.
  • NBA Top Shot – One of the first high-profile NFTs was a video highlight known as a “moment,” which showed a LeBron James dunk. The NFT sold for $213,000 on Feb. 6, 2021, via NBA Top Shot. NFTs certify ownership of an original asset, even though everyone can see and download the same video clip for free.
  • Mainstreaming – Proving that the NFT concept is mainstreaming, fast-food chain TacoBell got in on the action offering the NFTacoBell on NFT marketplace Rarible.

Members of the voice-only social network Clubhouse know that NFTs are a hot topic these days, which is music to the ears of all artists. What we’re witnessing is a fundamentally new trend, the digitization of assets.

Ubertrend Categorization: Digital Lifestyle.

NFT Gallery (with more TK)

On Apr. 25, 2021, Nifty Gateway auctioned a Paris Hilton NFT, “Iconic Crypto Queen,” for $1.1 million. Part of Hilton’s new series called Planet Paris, the artwork was created in collaboration with designer Blake Kathryn

Michael Tchong

Michael Tchong

Founder, Author, Adjunct Professor, Futurist

Michael Tchong is a distinguished analyst renowned for his expertise in scrutinizing and dissecting societal, cultural, and technological trends. His invaluable insights serve as a cornerstone for guiding businesses and organizations towards more informed decisions regarding their products, services, and innovation strategies.
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