What are NFTs? © Alamy

What are NFTs?

You might have seen the words 'non-fungible token' popping up online – but what exactly does that mean?

NFT stands for ‘non-fungible token’. The non-fungible part means unique and non-replaceable. No swapping like for like. The token part means it’s digital and protected using blockchain technology, like cryptocurrency.


NFTs make a lot of sense when used for selling digital art – a digital image can be sold as an NFT, much as you would sell a physical painting, allowing you to own the ‘original’ version, and the artist continues to benefit every time the NFT is resold. But the idea of NFTs feels questionable when anyone can also have a copy.

Nevertheless, NFTs may have a future. They’ve been used for digital marketing, where an NFT was auctioned for a whisky company alongside an expensive cask of scotch, and in gaming, where you can win digital assets in the form of NFTs that you can later cash in for other benefits.

Perhaps one day we may use NFTs as digital certificates for deeds, allowing ownership of houses or land to be traded as a new kind of cryptocurrency.

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