Make sense for the NFT gold rush
NFTs were all over the news, creating a mixture of confusion and excitement alike. Here, James Britton, Group Managing Director at Stink Studios, examines what opportunities they could open up for artists and designers
Like many people, I have tried hard to deal with NFTs. As the cryptosphere continues to move from the edge to the mainstream, these non-fungible tokens have made headlines. According to Google trends, online searches are now surpassing those for "blockchain". What followed inevitably felt a bit like a crowd of thousands rushing through a single door as everyone from famous artists to internet celebrities scrambled to shape their work and put it up for sale to the highest bidder before anyone notices what is actually going on.
But getting all of this as a fast-paced program that gets rich quick, or as a hysteria that comes with countless other technological fads, runs the risk of overlooking the core idea that made NFTs such an intriguing proposition in the first place. The idea and related underlying technology will withstand and outlast the current hype, creating a discussion about the broader issues.
First, NFTs help grasp the problem of the authenticity of digital materials at a time when more and more of our daily lives are being played online. What is traded in these high-profile examples is not the work itself, but a digital certificate of origin that is considered valuable in itself. Art buyers have always valued the origin; Proof of the source of a purchase or previous ownership as evidence that a work of art or object is authentic.
Top illustration by Harry Haysom; Above: Artwork by Zeitguised