Over the past few months, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have exploded in popularity in the worlds of visual arts, sports memorabilia, bobbleheads, and now, music. We have recently seen multiple high-profile NFT releases from artists such as the Weeknd, the White Stripes, Kings of Leon, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, and Steve Aoki, kickstarting a trend as musicians reeling from over a year without touring seek new ways to engage with fans.
Just as video killed the radio star, so did the digital transformation kill (or at least convert) traditional media. While “going digital” became the bane of many traditional media companies that struggled to make the leap to an online world, NFTs may be the digital savior that some of these companies need. Imagine that you are a company with a known brand and sizeable catalog of media with potential historical and cultural significance. Yet, you’ve found it difficult to monetize these assets in a world that abhors paywalls and often takes an overly broad view of what constitutes “fair use.” If only there were a way to highlight the unique significance of these assets and tap into the latent collector in all of us. Anyone who follows us already knows that NFTs can serve this very function.
Anyone who follows the crypto space knows that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are all the rage of late. We have written on the subject previously on multiple occasions, particularly with respect to NFTs that tokenize works of digital art. (For a primer on digital art NFTs, check out prior posts here and here.)
We previously wrote on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that represent art and how that concept is starting to be embraced by the art world. Enter Banksy, a celebrated graffiti artist and political activist whose real name and identity remain unconfirmed. For the past couple of decades, Banksy’s popularity has grown, including a celebrity following, and some of his art pieces have fetched $500,000 or more. One of Banksy’s most famous stunts was having one of his pieces, Girl with Balloon, self-destruct right after being sold at a Sotheby auction. (A shredding mechanism was built into the golden frame holding the work and, as soon as the auctioneer’s gavel fell, selling the piece for about $1.4 million, the piece started passing through the frame which started shredding the canvas.) The winning bidder ultimately opted to keep the piece in its shredded form, and Sotheby’s described the event as “the first work in history ever created during a live auction.” The piece has since been on display at a prestigious German art gallery, and experts suspect the value has increased at least by 50 percent. Go figure.
Non-fungible tokens (or NFTs) are unique blockchain-based tokens that can represent almost anything, including physical assets. NFTs have been growing significantly in popularity in recent years because of this potential to “tokenize” anything and provide a way to transfer ownership of digital assets to holders. An NFT can be described as a certificate of authenticity. Most NFTs today are based on the Ethereum blockchain, but some other blockchains like TRON and NEO also support NFTs.