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NFTs Boom as Collectors Shell Out to ‘Own’ Digital Art

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NFTs Boom as Collectors Shell Out to ‘Own’ Digital Art

Image courtesy of Beeple / Christie’s. Article by Gian Volpicelli. Wired – February 27, 2021.

Non-fungible tokens provide a way to invest in and own digital imagery. But is it just another crypto fad—or the future of intangible art?

It started with CryptoKitties. In December 2017, the dopey-looking cartoon cats, created by Canadian company Dapper Labs, debuted as tradable collectibles, like Pokémon cards for the bitcoin era. Each image was associated with a unique string of digits—a cryptocurrency “non-fungible token,” or NFT—that could be traded on the Ethereum blockchain platform as a title deed granting the holder ownership of a particular kitty.

The trading game quickly caught on among the crypto-initiated, so much so that CryptoKitties-related transactions clogged and slowed down Ethereum. That was eventually solved—and that was, for most people, the last they heard of CryptoKitties. But the process the goggle-eyed cats set off did not end there. Its end point is an auction that started on Thursday, in which a token associated with a digital collage of 5,000 images by graphic designer Beeple went under the hammer at auction house Christie’s. Cryptocurrency payments were of course accepted. […]

Related articles:

Why an Animated Flying Cat With a Pop-Tart Body Sold for Almost $600,000 – The New York Times

Grimes sold $6 million worth of digital art as NFTs – The Verge

The beginners guide to creating & selling digital art NFTs – OpenSea

The NFT craze encapsulates the absurdity of the art world—and its obsession with authenticity – The Art Newspaper

How Crypto-art Might Offer Artists Increased Autonomy – Hyperallergic

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