By Ian Klane
April 7th, 2021
A non-fungible token or NFT for short is a unit of data on a digital ledger called a blockchain. On these blockchains, each NFT can represent a unique digital item such as a piece of art, audio recording, photograph, or other types of creative work. NFTs are not interchangeable, so while one could easily screenshot and duplicate the item, the NFT helps track the original item and provide proof of ownership. This is the reason some of these NFTs are selling for millions of dollars and I simply do not understand.
3. Kevin Abosch, Forever Rose
The NFT that was dropped by artist Kevin Abosch on Valentine’s day, 2018, was purchased by a collective of investors for cryptocurrencies for one million dollars. This was not the first time Kevin Abosch had made headlines as he had previously made a sale of one million dollars for a photograph of a dirty potato.
2. Beeple, Crossroads
The digital image sold in February of 2021 has two sides. One marking the victory of Donald Trump in the election, and the other marking his defeat. The image was ultimately designed in order to change based on the outcome of the Presidential election. The item ended up selling for $6.6 million, revealing the rotting, bloated, and graffitied naked corpse of Donald Trump face down on the ground.
1. Beeple, Everydays—The First 5000 Days
On February 16, Christie’s, one of the first major auction houses to sell NFTs, announced that it would offer its first-ever purely digital blockchain artwork. The First 5000 days is a mosaic consisting of every single image that artist Mike Winkelmann, who goes by the name Beeple, has created since 2013. Bids began at $100 but only began to skyrocket higher and higher before reaching a whopping $69 million making Beeple’s creation one of the most expensive NFT artworks of all time.
The amount of money purchased for all of these digital items is simply unfathomable to me. Especially in regards to the Abosch piece as not only could one just easily take a screenshot of these two photos and drop them into, for example, a simple article. But somebody could as well just as easily go out and pick a rose or buy a dirty potato. In regards to the other two items on this list, I’ve noticed that one of the reasons that they are so expensive is because people just want bragging rights, just like with all art. They want to have the original piece so they can say that they own it, however, it still doesnt explain the insane prices. I find the whole NFT craze mind-boggling and truly can not begin to understand why somebody would spend so much money on something that seems as simple as a dirty potato.