NFT Art Sells for $69 Million
Yes, you read the headline correctly. Before last October, artist Mike Winkelmann — the digital artist known as Beeple — never sold a piece for more than $100. Yet on March 11, his NFT sold for $69 million at Christie’s Auction House.
This record-smashing NFT sale came after months of increasing publicity about NFTs.
As a teacher who has probably never been to a Christie’s Auction and may never heard of NFTs, what should you know? Luckily, ThinkFives is here to simplify it for you (we hope).
NFT Stands for “Non-Fungible Token”
Yep, that’s a new vocabulary word for you. “Non-fungible” basically means that something is unique and can’t be replaced with something else. In the digital world of cryptocurrency, these NFTs are digital media that are tagged with a unique code that can’t be changed. We can forever track this digital work and know exactly who created it and when.
An example: If you create a cool digital picture of you and your dog, you can register it as an NFT. It will be tagged with your code, and for eternity, you and your pooch will be a unique NFT. NFTs can be photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files.
NFTs are Overhyped
We are entering a period of NFT overhype – or an NFT bubble. Remember the dot.com bubble? The 2008 Real Estate bubble? Or if you’re old enough, the tulip bubble of the 1600’s?
Everyone in the digital world is creating NFTs, and collectors and gamers are swooping in to buy thousands and thousands of these each day – some because they like the art but many because they think they can sell them days or weeks later for much more than what they paid.
Before you file your retirement papers, remember this: the odds of you making $69 million from you and pup are worse than you winning a national Powerball. It may be mathematically possible but it’s not happening.
98% or more of NFTs will be worth less than their purchase price. It’s like playing roulette. Too many people think their number will come up. We are in the early period of overhype.
NFTs are Underhyped.
What did you say? I thought you just said that….
NFTs are greatly overhyped, and many naïve investors will lose money.
But they are underhyped because in the long run, they will fundamentally change how artists can create digital art and ensure they retain ownership. Their digital signature will forever be attached to their work.
Not only are artists tagged, many digital tokens provide a 10% royalty to the original owner every time the art is re-sold. And that’s forever. Yes, forever. Van Gough made less than $100 for most of his work during his life. Today he and his estate make nothing off the nearly $175M each piece sells for now.
NFT will fundamentally change that. Artist rights, royalties and recognition are lasting. And that’s a good thing.
Everyone’s Doing IT
There are millions of NFTs, and the list is growing by the minute.
What do McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Triangles, Nike, Formula One, Charmin and many others all have in common? They all are selling NFTs online.
Within 30 minutes of putting their 25 NFTs (dubbed NFTacoBells) up for sale, all the GIFs were gone. Bidding started at $1 and many sold for thousands of dollars. Other “tacos” are now listed for over $100,000 (listed not sold so we’ll see).
NBA Top Shot, an online platform for NBA merchandise sold $65m worth of NFTs in a week. Tom Brady recently announced he’s starting an NFT company.
Fashion brands are excited. Chinese virtual sneaker brand, RTFKT, designed an NFT sneaker for the Lunar New Year. It sold for a …. $28,000. Gucci and watchmaker, Breitling, all have plans to offer NFTs shortly.
NFTs Can Benefit Teachers
While most teachers will probably not be active traders on Rarity, Open Sea and other NFT trading platforms, NFTs are relevant for some teachers.
If you’re an artist, photographer or even a great Meme Maker (say that 5 times fast), NFTs provide a place to register your digital art and potentially allow you to trade or sell your work. And if someone other than Mom likes it and resells it, you will always receive a royalty from any future sale.
If you’re an art admirer or collector, NFTS presents a forum to access cutting edge digital art from emerging artists, gamers, young people and many others with whom we never normally engage.
As teachers, we thrive on – and promote – creativity. NFTs are a new vehicle for us to encourage that creativity in us and our students.
To Learn More – Beeple Sale:
Intro to NFTs
Do you have questions about NFTs? Comment below.