As NFTs are being sold by the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, what exactly are they?

Vimal Joshi
Updated: 30 Dec 2021, 09:22 AM IST

From art world to cinema, and from musicians to bands, celebrities from various walks of life are riding the wave of NFT. Let us find out what exactly it is, and what is the fuss all about?

The NFT is the certified version of some digital assets including pictures, audio and video.

The NFT is the certified version of some digital assets including pictures, audio and video.

Some time ago, Amitabh Bachchan made an announcement to launch his own NFT (Non-Fungible Token) collection to roll out poems, autographed posters and several other souvenirs. He was the first, but surely not the last, Bollywood actor to leverage blockchain technology and use it to launch his own digital assets. The NFT is the certified version of some digital assets including pictures, audio and video.

The craze around NFT might seem incipient, but it is believed that their popularity might replicate the success of bitcoins. After all, both use the same technology of blockchain. But there is a difference between the two. While bitcoin is interchangeable (one bitcoin can be exchanged for another), while NFT is not. This is why it is called non-fungible.

Let us first understand what is an NFT?

Non-fungible token, or an NFT, includes a unit of data stored on a blockchain that includes digital assets such as videos, audio, photos and other digital files. The blockchain that stores the digital asset shows its uniqueness, thus certifying the authenticity of NFT.

These digital assets can later be sold to the successive buyers with each transaction duly recorded in the blockchain. The digital assets that can be saved on blockchain include digital art, music, games, memes, films and sports.

An NFT is just a proof of ownership and not a copyright. In fact, the creator of assets can make more NFTs of the same work while possessing its copyright. But thanks to the blockchain technology, NFT’s ownership can be cross-checked on the blockchain ledger.

NFTs sold by entertainers

There have been several examples of NFTs that are sold by celebrities from the entertainment field for a fortune.

In the first quarter of 2021, the NFT sales surpassed $2 billion. And if proponents are to be believed, it is only a beginning. If we look at some of the major NFT sales in early 2021, this optimism would not appear unfounded.

In February 2021, Grimes, a musician, sold digital tokens worth $6 million which represented digital art. The same month, an NFT that represented meme Nyan Cat exchanged hands for $600,000. Electronic dance musician 3LAU sold a total of 33 NFTs for a whopping $11.7 million.

The band ‘Kings of Leon’ did a first by selling an album When You See Yourself in March 2021 as an NFT that garnered $2 million in sales. The same month, American artist Beeple listed his work Everydays: The First 5000 Days at auction house Christie’s which was sold for $69.3 million.

Celebrities in the entertainment industry have sold NFTs at huge prices in 2021. 

A comedy satire made on an episode of Saturday Night Live poked fun at the growing popularity of NFTs. Ironically, this skit was also sold as an NFT for $365,000 in April 2021.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet as an NFT for over $2.5 million in March 2021.

So, we can safely say that NFTs, thanks to the popularity of blockchain technology, are here to stay. And there will be several artists who will leverage this technology to rake in a moolah in the near future. Amitabh Bachchan will surely be one, but not the only one.


First Published: 30 Dec 2021, 09:22 AM IST
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