For those that keep up with the news regularly, you may have heard of the recent “digital art” piece that sold for $69 million. It was a piece of artwork produced by Mike Winkelmann, who is more well known by his online name of Beeple.
The piece was titled “The First 5000 Days”, and it is a collection of 5000 pieces that Beeple had created. Beeple created one image a day for 5000 straight days (over 13 years!), and he collected them all into this file. Beeple is known for doing a lot of work with celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, etc., and he has built up a large online following.
The piece Beeple sold was so significant not only because of the price, but because the piece was fully digital. There was no actual physical art exchanged in the transaction, and it was simply a digital file that was bought for $69 million. It is part of a recent craze called NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. This is the same technology that is powering NBA Top Shot, which has become the biggest success story of NFTs so far.
While it may seem crazy to some people that millions of dollars are being spent on these digital objects, NFTs could be the way of the future. NFTs help artists to have more control over their artwork distribution, as well as give them additional sources of revenue. With the rise of cryptocurrency, NFTs are one of the most popular investments for people with large cryptocurrency holdings.
This YouTube video by the WSJ does a great job of giving a 5-minute synopsis of NFTs, and why they could be (if they are not already) the next big thing. Since NFTs might play such an important role in the future, it is definitely worth taking some time to learn exactly what they are!