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The term NFT means "non-fungible token." NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital assets number that can convey ownership of digital content such as images, videos and music.
In some cases, NFTs have fetched staggering sums. One piece by the artist Beeple sold for $69 million in March 2021. Other creators have earned hundreds of thousands selling sports photos, online gaming items and even pixelated images of punk rockers. However, interest in NFTs has cooled significantly amid the overall market downturn for cryptocurrency and related investments.
NFTs can theoretically be attached to pretty much any intellectual property, but activity so far has focused on a few sectors.
Art and music: The most highly publicized examples of NFTs have been in visual art, especially videos and still images that have sold for millions of dollars. Some owners, for instance, use their NFTs as social media profile pictures, place them in online galleries or even use them as video conferencing backgrounds.
Collectibles: NFT technology has also proved a fit for digital versions of other collectibles, such as trading cards. Sports leagues including the NFL, MLB and NBA have all created digital collections memorializing things such as notable statistics and outstanding plays.
Gaming and virtual reality: NFTs can be attached to some unique video game items such as weapons, outfits or special characters — many of which have long been sold and traded in in-game marketplaces. NFTs could potentially make the sales of such items easier to execute, and less dependent on central authorities such as the makers of games.
Longer-term, NFTs could play a role in the creation of a realm of virtual spaces known colloquially as the metaverse. Some forecasters project that people in coming years will spend more time immersed in virtual reality spaces they’ve created. And in these spaces, exclusive NFTs could take on a new level of status.
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