NFTs are taking over online investing


Lynden McCarroll

Pera Odishoo, senior, browses through OpenSea’s NFT website.

NFT’s, familiar with the name? It stands for non-fungible token, a digital asset, something only you can own. Over the past year, NFTs have become the talk of online investing.

They have stirred up debate, caught the attention of celebrities and famous investors and have made regular bystanders thousands of dollars just from being early to the “party.”

The main place to buy and sell these tokens is the OpenSea website, a cryptomarket where you use Ethereum to make purchases. Ethereum is known for being one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world and the most successful in the United States.

On OpenSea, artists can publish their work to sell, like an online art auction. Not just average digital art is sold as NFTs. Gifs, pictures, memes, original videos and music are known to be options as well. 

A common misconception of NFTs is that you can have the image by “just taking a screenshot.” However, this isn’t the case.

It’s similar to a Nike shoe release. When Nike releases a hype shoe it’s usually limited to a certain number, the people who get it, might get it for retail price or some may pay resell. It can be described as an eBay auction for non-tangible items.

 “I have not seen anything like it (NFTs) in my years of investing. Closest thing would have to be fine art. You can own a print of a Monet but only one person has the original,” said Glenn Yaeger, an experienced adult investor.

Now that NFTs have caught the eyes of the general public, celebrities have followed. 

Notable figures have been open with their NFT purchases. All-star basketball player Stephen Curry, social media influencer Logan Paul and the current top twitch streamer Adin Ross have all shared their NFT scores. These people hold a lot of influence in its buzz.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry’s NFT (Twitter)

“I am influenced by people who own NFTs because it is always smart to keep your options open and diversify your portfolio especially in our current market. I believe in people who think similarly,” said Nick Fahy, a senior student investor. 

The NFT marketplace is not just held by celebrities and recognizable investors, as unknown civilians have been known to cash in on these assets. For example an  anonymous user bought an NFT of the poorly written word “test” for $270,000.

Some people question the reliability of NFTs.

“I think NFTs are in a bubble right now and would not invest in them,” said Colin Thornton, a senior student investor. 

The “Test” NFT, purchased by an anonymous user (Hypebeast)

It’s unclear whether NFTs are reliable investments or not, as it is still early.    

Another debate  is whether or not NFTs are just a money laundering scheme for the wealthy. 

Influencers who have money to put into these assets indirectly create a bubble, they escape early by selling it for more, this gains media attention, resulting in inflating the original price again, just because the person who bought it was well known. Art auctions have been known for money laundering and tax evasion before as well. People question NFTs as just another way to do this.

You might think NFTs are an uncertainty based on previous statements. What I can say for certain is that NFTs are just another innovation in the crypto world that we have to get used to.