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The NFT revolution in the covid-era

‘Cryptoart’, digital art sold with a certificate of authenticity known as a non-fungible token (NFT), has become increasingly popular amongst consumers during the pandemic. Jean-Martin Louw comments on what the rise of NFTs means for the art world.

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Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been around for a while, but in the Covid-era as more cultural experiences are migrating online, we are now seeing a far greater take-up amongst ordinary consumers. In simple terms, an NFT represents provable ownership rights in a unique digital asset, such as a piece of art. Those rights can then be traded in 24-hour online marketplaces, which are far more liquid than traditional art markets. As with any art, counterfeiting is always a worry. However, because the NFT holder’s ownership is recorded on a tamperproof blockchain, they can always prove that they hold the original work.

One of the most exciting aspects of the NFT revolution is that it promises new ways for artists, musicians and other digital content creators to generate value from their works. Some marketplaces allow creators to earn future royalties each time their works are resold in the secondary market. Those royalties are paid out automatically and in perpetuity under digital smart contracts linked to the asset.

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Jean-Martin Louw

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jean-martin.louw@collyerbristow.com