In the generation of acronyms it’s a bit tough to keep up with the latest vocab. Between the “LOLs”, “TBHs”, “TTYLs”, and “G2Gs”, it makes you want to “RYHO” (rip your hair out). That being said, in 2021 there is one acronym that you may want to familiarize yourself with, and that’s “NFT” (non-fungible token). Before getting into the details of exactly why you should know of an NFT, I’m going to explain to you what it is.
Fungible, by definition, means mutually interchangeable—one unit is interchangeable for another because each unit has the same value, like the U.S. dollar. Therefore, non-fungible means that it is unique, and cannot be interchanged for an identical item. However non-fungible, unlike cryptocurrencies, NFTs are a type of tokenization wherein any digital item can be encapsulated in a token that functions like a digital stamp representing something. That something can truly be anything. Practically, though, it’s become sports highlights, virtual homes, and the like.
Some notable recent NFTs will give you a better idea of their place in the crypto world. The founder of Twitter sold his very first tweet which read “just setting up my twtrr” for $3 million. Similarly, an artist named “Beeple” sold one of his digital art pieces for $69 million—quite a stack of cash for something that can be screenshotted.
That being said, the fundamental understanding of NFTs is to use them to revolutionize our global economy—especially the art economy. With artists able to hold the original physical copy, they can sell digital renditions of the original with limited supply and thus drive up demand and price. Furthermore, because NFTs run on blockchain, the process of identifying an owner and validating makes authenticating ownership and transfer much more streamlined.
And with NFTs, we can’t help but think of what other art forms can be liquidated with the use of the NFTs. Film is what we’re thinking here. What if you could personally own a specially stamped 50-second clip of Spielberg’s “ET phone home” clip. How’s that for dinner conversation? What about the famous “I’m flying, Jack” scene from Titanic, or Tiffany’s scene from Breakfast At Tiffany’s?
All of these iconic scenes suddenly become marketable and have economic utility, which will ultimately give not only the consumer the opportunity to collect new items of interest, but also filmmakers the ability to monetize more assets from their project and generate more revenues.
While it all sounds exciting and lucrative, it won’t be as easy as buying a video of famous NBA dunks or buzzer beaters. Like anything in Hollywood, it’s multi-layered. There are copyright laws to consider and piracy, so it will take time to work out the kinks. Either way, blockchain will be there as the underlying support that buttresses the NFT world and soon the film industry will hop on the bandwagon.