In the wacky world of cryptocurrencies, where dog-inspired currencies are hitting on millionaires and corporations are issuing their own currencies online, non-fungible tokens – NFTs – stand out as a particularly bizarre phenomenon.
NFTs are proof of ownership of a range of digital assets, acting like virtual share certificates. When NFTs are bought or sold, the transactions are recorded on a digital ledger called blockchain.
Tokens cannot be replicated, which makes them unique and in some cases very valuable. NFT sales so far in 2021 have reached $13.2bn (£9.6bn), according to DappRadar, a cryptocurrency data site. They are most often paid in Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency, behind Bitcoin.
One insider of the booming industry is Josh Sandhu, 31, from Cardiff, who has been trading NFTs since 2019 and first invested in cryptocurrency in 2011. A recent big win has come from the purchase of NFT “CryptoDad”, a collection of 10,000 anime middle-aged male characters.
“I spent $2,000 after seeing the creators have a huge following on Discord, a chat site, as well as Twitter. One of the selling points was that they had ‘usefulness’, which means that they had real value. For example, there were talks of Netflix and Fox doing a TV show based on them, which would pay royalties to CryptoDad owners,” he said.
Mr Sandhu, who works for Grove Square Galleries in London, sold six of his 12 CryptoDads this year to take $75,000 in profit.