Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile, a US based art collector spent around $67,000 on a 10-second video artwork that he could have watched for free online in October 2020. Last week, Pablo sold it for $6.6 million.
The video has been created by digital artist Mike Winkelmann aka Beeple. The video was authenticated by blockchain, which serves as a digital signature to certify who owns it and that it is the original work.
The video shows a giant Donald Trump on the ground, his body covered with different slogans.
Blockchain allows items to be publicly authenticated as “one-of-a-kind”. The content is completely different to traditional online content which can be reproduced easily and endlessly.
According to Reuters, it’s a new type of digital asset – known as a non-fungible token (NFT) – that has exploded in popularity during the pandemic as enthusiasts and investors scramble to spend enormous sums of money on items that only exist online.
“Non-fungible” refers to items that cannot be exchanged on a like-for-like basis, as each one is unique – in contrast to “fungible” assets like dollars, stocks or bars of gold, the Reuters report read.
“You can go in the Louvre and take a picture of the Mona Lisa and you can have it there, but it doesn’t have any value because it doesn’t have the provenance or the history of the work,” said Rodriguez-Fraile, as quoted by Reuters.
“The reality here is that this is very, very valuable because of who is behind it.” Fraile added.
Examples of NFTs range from digital artworks and sports cards to pieces of land in virtual environments or exclusive use of a cryptocurrency wallet name, akin to the scramble for domain names in the early days of the internet, Reuters said in the report.