Dictionary publisher Collins yesterday named ‘NFT’ as the winner of the Word of the Year Award, 2021. Reports indicate that ‘NFT’, the abbreviation for ‘Non-Fungible Token’ has beaten out fellow finalist words at the Awards: ‘Crypto’ and ‘Cheugy’ to win.
That ‘Crypto’ (short for Cryptocurrency) also made it to this year’s Word of The Year shortlist is another indication of how much Cryptocurrencies, NFTs and the Blockchain influenced conversations and culture this year.
This is perhaps further proof that we are smack in the eye of a technologically revolutionary storm. Collins Dictionary has in the past described Cryptocurrencies as these forms of digital money angling to disrupt and upend the traditional monetary system.
On it’s blog. Collins put out a post on Wednesday defining an NFT as ‘a unique digital certificate, registered on a blockchain, that is used to record the ownership of an asset such as an artwork or a collectible’.
The most popular use-case for NFTs’ is to act as virtual signatures for digital art. As the virtual signatures prove the authenticity of the work of art, the underlying blockchain technology acts as indisputable proof of ownership.
This means that original pieces of work, together with their owners, can always be recognizable, complete with the digital proof, even if multiple digital copies proliferate throughout the internet.
By providing a means through which the authenticity and ownership of a piece of digital art can be proven, NFTs have also introduced scarcity into the digital art market; a market which has stayed on an upward trend since.
NFTs have become successful because they address age-old concerns that digital artwork may lose its value the moment it becomes either copied or accidentally lost.
NFT blockchain technology addresses both these issues, and sufficiently so. Introducing blockchain technology onto NFTs solves the two biggest issues that plague the world of art; authenticity and scarcity.
By introducing both scarcity and authenticity to digital pieces of art, NFT technology helps assign the same value to digital artwork that we ascribe to rare pieces of physical artwork.
In March, for instance, a digital piece of art, ‘Everydays: The First 5000 days’ sold for $69.3 Million as an NFT, making its creator Mike Winkelmann, a graphic designer, amongst earth’s most valuable living artists.
Digital art is nothing new. But the advent of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology into the mainstream seems to have contributed immensely to digital art entering the Zeitgeist and commanding large sums of money for both digital creators and the collectors of digital art.
The NFT space has also received notable support from big-time celebrities like Elon Musk, Steve Aoki, and Lindsey Lohan, which cannot be denied to have somewhat contributed to the current NFT digital art frenzy.