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NFTs: What Are People Really Buying?

Published on , by Carine Claude

prices for NFTs have skyrocketed in recent weeks, but huge misunderstandings remain about what people are actually buying. What is going on?

Everydays: The First 5000 Days (2021), Beeple.© Christie’s NFTs: What Are People Really Buying?

Everydays: The First 5000 Days (2021), Beeple.
© Christie’s

“An upheaval”, “a revolution”, “a first”… For over a week, the record $69.3 M fetched by an NFT work , Everydays: the First 5000 Days, at Christie's has made front-page headlines in mainstream to geeky publications. The online work uses Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), digital tokens in a  blockchain —the famous, reputedly inviolable technology that allows authenticated, secured transactions to be recorded on a decentralized network. Unknown just a few months ago, the artist, Beeple has been at it for a while. In late February, Crossroads , another of his NFT creations, which depicts Donald Trump nude on the ground, had already fetched a hefty $6.6 M on the Nifty Gateway platform, the home of NFT crypto-art. The Christie’s sale—a first—was a bombshell, but artists have not waited for NFTs’ growth to mobilize blockchains or create digital works. These distributed technologies have a substantial…
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