The non-fungible token (NFT) craze, which took off in 2020, appears to continue unabated. NFTs are digital “certificates of authenticity” that attach to creations like songs, photos and sports clips, and they can command hefty prices. An NFT of digital artist Beeple’s work brought in $69 million at auction last month, and other NFTs are being sold for similarly eyebrow-raising sums. And demand is showing no sign of declining despite what law professor Jonathan Zittrain in a recent Atlantic piece calls “their abstraction, their seemingly arbitrary valuation, and...the paltriness of the privileges they convey to their owners.” We talk to Zittrain about the future of NFTs.
What are NFTs (and Why Should We Care)?
This picture taken on April 7, 2021 shows blockchain entrepreneur Vignesh Sundaresan, also known by his pseudonym MetaKovan, showing the digital artwork non-fungible token (NFT) "Everydays: The First 5,000 Days" by artist Beeple in his home in Singapore. (ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Jonathan Zittrain, law professor and director, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University