Grimes sold 10 images of digital artwork, the most expensive for nearly $400,000, to someone who wanted ownership of the online goods.
These artworks are called NFTs, or “non-fungible tokens”, and they exist on a similar blockchain technology to bitcoin as a way to prove “ownership” of them.
On an internet built on spreading images for free over social media platforms, the idea of tying ownership to a specific, single image that one did not create is peculiar- but it is not new.
The idea has exploded into popularity recently based on the rise of cryptocurrency technologies, and the desire for digital artists to have greater ownership – and monetisation options – over their craft.
A non-fungible token (NFT) means a digital item that belongs to the person that purchased it. In economics, fungibility is the property of a good being interchangeable, or replicable. For example, if you shared a photo from your phone to another person over a text message, the data and image would be replicated.