I Tried to Understand NFT Art. It Wasn't What I Expected

NFT art has plenty of issues. But with the right tech, it could become totally normal in a few years.

Bridget Carey Principal Video Producer
Bridget Carey is an award-winning reporter who helps you level-up your life -- while having a good time geeking out. Her exclusive CNET videos get you behind the scenes as she covers new trends, experiences and quirky gadgets. Her weekly video show, "One More Thing," explores what's new in the world of Apple and what's to come. She started as a reporter at The Miami Herald with syndicated newspaper columns for product reviews and social media advice. Now she's a mom who also stays on top of toy industry trends and robots. (Kids love robots.)
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  • Bridget has spent over 18 years as a consumer tech reporter, hosting daily tech news shows and writing syndicated newspaper columns. She's often a guest on national radio and television stations, including ABC, CBS, CNBC and NBC.
Bridget Carey
2 min read

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 physical NFT art galleries and 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 NFTs are much more than overpriced cartoons of bored apes you buy using cryptocurrency -- although there are plenty of people trying to get rich off various pixelated animal heads. 

Bridget Carey scanning a QR code to buy an NFT called Independence.

Look, ma, no crypto. In learning about NFT art, 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?

Candice Greene/CNET

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.