Cartoon cats with big eyes, a video of the smashing LeBron James or a digital image created from five thousand photographs sold at Christie's auction house. These are examples of so-called NFTs (or unique tokens), a new way of digital buying and selling art and other media.
Remember these three letters, because it looks like you will see them more and more often. While three years ago, the entire NFT market was worth only some $ 42 million, by the end of last year it had risen 705 percent to $ 338 million. At least according to the latest estimates of the Nonfunguble.com portal, which monitors the development of the NFT.
And that was just a weak start. Although we do not have estimates of the current market size, it is certain that the value of the NFT market has increased again. Just look at the face value of the tokens sold earlier this year.
In February alone, about 150,000 transactions worth about $ 310 million took place. That's almost five times the sales volume for the whole of 2020. And another hit came in March, when only one digital collage by the artist Beepl sold for a record $ 69.3 million.
"This is the future. It's like coins from some future empire," says actor William Shatner, who is best known for his role as Captain Kirk in the first series of the Star Trek series. Eighty-nine-year-old Shatner sold landmarks from his career and personal life last July as virtual collectible cards through the Wax blockchain.
You could get a pack of five cards for five dollars, the one with twenty-five cards cost five times more. The collection contained photographs from the years when Shatner filmed Star Trek, but also, for example, an almost seventy-year-old X-ray of his teeth.
Everything sold in nine minutes. And the fact that one of the rarest cards in the collection with a photo of the actor from 2000 recently sold out for $ 6,800 shows how fast the NFT is flying upwards.
When did NFT tokens originate?
The NFT first appeared around 2017. One of the first popular tokens was CryptoPunks and CryptoKitties. The first are animated pictures of ten thousand people and cute animal characters. CryptoKitties are a diverse collection of cartoon cats.