What are NFTs and should you care?

Published date16 May 2022
Publication titleBirmingham Mail (England)

Josh Sandhu is the co-founder of Quantus Gallery (quantusgallery.com), an NFT art gallery in London, and here answers the most common questions... What are NFTs?

"An NFT is a digital certification of authenticity and ownership," explains Josh. "In effect, an NFT is a vehicle - attached to it is a bit of media. That can be anything - a bit of art, music, it could even be a ticket to a concert."

It can get confusing because it's not a physical object - instead, Josh says: "Technically it is cryptocurrency, it's a token." Many of the most popular NFTs are run on Ethereum - a blockchain.

"Blockchain is sort of a digital ledger, a database that can't be altered," explains Josh. The most common use is recording cryptocurrency transactions, like a decentralised bank system no one can mess with. The 'non-fungible' part means it's unique - when you own an NFT, you have the only one.

How are they mostly used?

Sandhu "The most obvious use case is digital art and collectibles," says Josh. Highbrow auction houses like Sotheby's and Christie's have started selling NFTs - in March 2021, Christie's sold a piece called Everydays: The First 5000 Days by Beeple for $69,346,250 (£58 million).

"If we're talking about the art market, the easiest way to liken it is to those certificates of authenticity that come with a tangible piece of art you purchase, where it has the provenance and it's authenticated by the artist," says Josh.

Are there any concerns with NFTs?

"You hear common objections, like: 'Can't I just print screen, or right-click and save one of those...

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