NFTs: The Newest “Collector’s Item”
I grew up collecting what most boys in the 80’s and 90’s collected: sports cards. My earliest memories were opening a pack, chewing the horrible gum included, and hoping for some of my favorite players. I was not concerned about money or value, just the fun. My kids were collectors as well. They collected cards (mainly Pokémon), various toy types, and stuffed characters. Again, it was mainly the joy of finding your favorite character. Monetary gain was not the goal.
In 2021, collecting and trading has exploded again, and now, it’s all about the monetary gain and value. The trend that most surprises and confuses me is the explosion of NFTs.
I won’t try to fully explain (click here for a full explanation from The Verge: NFTs, explained: what they are, and why they’re suddenly worth millions).
Basically, NFTs are unique digital tokens that give ownership of some item. Companies that are selling digital versions of cards, but there are also odder items, such as the first tweet posted or video clips. Some of these clips are widely available on YouTube, but this is actual ownership of the digital item. Artists and musicians have also been offering goods as NFTs.
I must be getting old; even though I work and breathe technology, this is just beyond my grasp. I can sort understand the digital cards… almost. I mean, if a piece of cardboard can be worth thousands of dollars, why not? Where I get confused is the ownership of a tweet or Facebook post.
Twenty years from now, there will be something new that my kids don’t understand. Instead of the stories of “mom threw out my comic books” or “dad got overzealous at the garage sale and sold my card that would have been worth a fortune,” there will be stories of “my phone was reset by Verizon and my million-dollar video is gone.” Except the video is still online and anyone can watch it… but it’s just not the same!
(Image Source: iCLIPART)