When I began my quest to understand NFTs, I did not 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 become the proud owner of a jpeg.
The image, named Independence, is of a sculpture of the Statue of Liberty surrounded by a pair of metallic snakes, designed by an artist who goes by the name Fvckrender. (He may be a big deal in the NFT art world, but I still had to bleep out his name in my video.)
For three days this summer, I ran around a New York City NFT convention, toured physicaland spoke to the artists and entrepreneurs building this new realm of digital property -- and of course, tried to understand what people even do with their NFTs. I learned that you buy using cryptocurrency -- although there are plenty of people trying to get rich off various pixelated animal heads.
This new way of buying and selling digital property is -- no question about it -- absolutely wacky. A lot of it is also problematic. Yet to my surprise, while immersing myself, I found a side of it all that is almost hopeful and inspiring in its potential for the art world, and I learned what it will take for NFTs to be part of our everyday lives.
You can follow my quest to understand NFT art in the video above.