WASHINGTON (TND) — It’s a trend many people have never heard of or don't even understand: NFTs.
It stands for non-fungible token and it’s essentially a digital receipt that you own something, like a piece of art, that exists online.
The name itself sounds complicated but cybersecurity expert Arez Lieberman breaks it down.
“Think of an NFT as a digital certificate of ownership, almost like a digital fingerprint. That's how we can look at them and they help us now identify digital art,” he said.
It has taken off in the art world, with Starbucks even announcing an NFT collection for coffee drinkers but it's been making headlines for different reasons this week.
A recent report that cites data from NFT market metrics website NonFungible.com claims that the market is "collapsing."
Last year, the NFT market boomed but the numbers indicate that this year, accounts trading NFTs is dwindling.
“Reports saying that the decrease is 92% down from where we were at the height of the end of last year,” said Lieberman.
But NonFungible disputed the claims on Twitter, saying that the data is “conservative.”
“Although the number of active wallets is also decreasing, the number of buyers is still higher than the number of sellers. We can assume this means that the interest in buying NFT is still present," NonFungible tweeted Wednesday.
Photographer Anne Geddes' images capture the love, joy and amazement of a precious new life.
“My story is about the magic of pregnancy and the miracle of new life and how we're all interchangeable with nature,” Geddes said.
But creating these images takes money. So Geddes is reinventing her business using NFTs.
“I know that half the world is like ‘what's an NFT and the other half is saying ‘well, everybody should be doing this,” said Geddes.
So if you were to buy one of Geddes’ images, for example, you own it and the NFT is your certificate of ownership for that digital piece of art.
“They can own a beautiful work of art of mine, either in digital form where they can redeem it for a beautiful signed print,” Geddes said.
Despite the perceived downturn in the market, Geddes says she's diving in.
“It can take my art out to a different audience but it can also allow me to get back in the studio and create images,” she said.
Even though it's a bit of a roller coaster in terms of last year compared to this year, some people say NFTs are the future of art.