Daily Management Review

NFTs: What Are People Really Buying?


Prices for NFTs have skyrocketed in recent weeks, but huge misunderstandings remain about what people are actually buying. What is going on?

Everydays: The First 5000 Days (2021), Beeple. © Christie’s
Everydays: The First 5000 Days (2021), Beeple. © Christie’s
“An upheaval”, “a revolution”, “a first”… For over a week, the record $69.3 M fetched by an NFT work, Everydays: the First 5000 Days, at Christie's has made front-page headlines in mainstream to geeky publications. The online work uses Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), digital tokens in a  blockchain —the famous, reputedly inviolable technology that allows authenticated, secured transactions to be recorded on a decentralized network. Unknown just a few months ago, the artist, Beeple has been at it for a while. In late February, Crossroads, another of his NFT creations, which depicts Donald Trump nude on the ground, had already fetched a hefty $6.6 M on the Nifty Gateway platform, the home of NFT crypto-art. The Christie’s sale—a first—was a bombshell, but artists have not waited for NFTs’ growth to mobilize blockchains or create digital works. These distributed technologies have a substantial… read more