Given the buzz about non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and art, many in Singapore must also be wondering what this tech disruptor means for our culture scene.
Globally, NFTs’ impact is astonishing. It has blurred some of the boundaries in the ecosystem, allowing artists and musicians to interact—and sell—directly to consumers. Leading auction houses such as Christie’s have jumped into the game, with art changing hands for millions. One head-spinning number: US$69.3 million, which was what one digital work of artist Beeple sold for.
A quick recap: an NFT is a unique digital asset lodged on a blockchain and which belongs to one person exclusively. The nature of the technology is that it is flexible enough to represent any digital asset—from a meme to a voice recording to a digital collage.
What’s good is that NFTs allow for creators and collectors or consumers to confidently establish provenance, price transactions and ownership, thanks to the open-access public record. Creators also get potentially better financial outcomes given that the middle man—whether it is the art gallery or record label—is now out of the equation. Sounds really good, right? Are we feeling a sense of FOMO yet?
Well, before you power up your devices to sign up, there is plenty think about and, if you are more risk averse, give you pause.
For starters, you must understand the tech well enough. There are different wallet providers out there, of varying standards of security, and different cryptocurrencies are used for online bids, depending on the marketplace platform. So like it or not, you have to sign up with one of these providers. You will also have to factor in the risks of the fluctuating value of the cryptocurrency you bought with your hard-earned, real-world money.