When I started my quest to understand NFT, I didn’t think I would end up buying one. Yet there I was, scanning a QR code with my phone in the middle of an art exhibit, spending $69 of my own real money to be the proud owner of a jpeg. The image, named Independence, is of a sculpture of the Statue of Liberty flanked by a pair of metal snakes, designed by an artist who goes by the name Fvckrender. (He might be a big deal in the NFT art world, but I still had to black out his name in my video.)

Over the course of three days, I ran around an NFT convention in New York, toured physical NFT art galleries, and talked to artists and entrepreneurs building this new realm of digital ownership—and of course, I tried to find out what even people do with their NFTs. I learned that NFTs are much more than overpriced cartoons of bored monkeys that you buy using cryptocurrency — although there are plenty of people trying to get rich off of various pixelated animal heads.

Look mom, there’s no crypto. Learning about the art of NFT, I find myself buying a piece by scanning a QR code and entering my credit card number – as easy as buying shoes online. But what do you do with digital art?

Candace Green/CNET

This new way of buying and selling digital property is – without a doubt – absolutely wacky. Many of them are also problematic. Yet to my surprise, as I dove in, I found a side of it all that was almost hopeful and inspiring in its potential for the art world, and learned what it would take to make NFTs a part of our everyday lives.

You can follow my quest to understand the art of NFT in the video embedded above.


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