What are NFTs? The booming blockchain-based movement, explained

These aren’t your grandpa’s trading cards.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have taken the world by storm this year. When Christie’s auctioned off an NFT for more than $69 million in March, it propelled the concept squarely into the public spotlight — with everything from iconic sports moments to memes being memorialized into NFTs and sold often for staggering prices.

What is an NFT?

Fundamentally, NFTs are one-of-a-kind, verifiable digital assets that are traded on blockchain technology.

That’s a high-tech way of saying it’s a bit of data representing something unique, or at least scarce, that allows the owner to prove the asset is theirs.

In that way, they’re a bit like limited-edition sneakers, or collectable stamps. But instead of receiving the physical objects, buyers of NFTs receive a digital file that claims ownership of some asset, whether it be a piece of digital art, a sports highlight, song — or even a fart.

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