What are non-fungible tokens and why do celebrities, music artists bet big on them?

Here’s why celebrities and music artists are betting big on NFTs? | Photo credit: iStock images

A growing number of Indian artists and celebrities, including Bollywood personalities, are entering the non-fungible token (NFT) space to create, sell and secure their art. Most recently, superstar Amitabh Bachchan became one of the first Bollywood stars to start her own NFT. His collection of non-fungible tokens will include works of art such as verses he told from his father, Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s iconic work, Madhushala, his works over the years, signed posters of his films and other rare elements of his celebrity life converted into digital artwork.

It should be noted that in July 2021, television host and actor Vishal Malhotra joined artist and abstract expressionist Ishita Banerjee, to release an NFT which sold for $ 5,500.

Following in Big B’s footsteps, many Bollywood musicians, writers, directors and actors are also showing an interest in selling digital memorabilia. In fact, the rage for NFTs doesn’t stop at showbiz, as cricketers are drawn to NFTs as well. In recent months, two dedicated cricket NFT platforms have been announced. Well, this is not surprising considering that India is a country where cricket and Bollywood reign supreme in the minds and hearts of the people.

One of the most popular independent music groups of the 1990s, Euphoria, recently released their latest album “SALE”, as NFT. Led by Palash Sen, the group has gone ahead and embraced blockchain technology. Previously, singer-rapper Raftaar took the step of faith by accepting his performance fee in cryptocurrency. Actress Sunny Leone has also taken the plunge and is ready to roll out her own unique, hand-animated NFT collection of art.

While it is the artists at home who are drawn to the digital platform, global names like Ellen Degeneres, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Mike Tyson and Gwyneth Paltrow have already embraced cryptocurrency.

So what exactly are non-fungible tokens and what is it that attracts artists and performers to the world of digital currencies?

What are Non-fungible (NFT) tokens

NFTs are non-interchangeable tokens that act as digital certificates for the artwork. Each NFT is identified by a unique token identifier and contains distinct information that can be easily verified. NFTs are quickly becoming popular as a tool for artists to secure their art and generate higher income.

How the NFT works

NFT creates a blockchain-based digital certificate for digital collectibles that can include games, music, autogaph, or art. It allows artists to better engage with their fans and this certificate is what gives a unique identity to the particular work of art. The underlying technology used by NFTs is identical to that used for cryptocurrencies, i.e. blockchains such as Ethereum or Solana. Blockchain technology ensures that the NFT is not tampered with or counterfeit. While Bitcoin and Ethereum are fungible tokens that can be traded / traded for each other, NFTs are not interchangeable.

The value of an NFT comes from its rarity. There could be rare NFTs, super rare NFTs, and even ultra rare NFTs. It gives a person proof of ownership, which means they can monetize the right to own it. A key example of NFT is CryptoPunks which allows a person to buy, sell and store 10,000 collectibles with proof of ownership. The first full-fledged NFT project, Etheria was launched in October 2015 and it should be noted that most NFTs exist on the Ethereum blockchain.

The use of blockchain technology for recreational purposes is nothing new. CryptoKitties – an Ethereum blockchain game developed by studio Dapper Labs and launched in November 2017 had become extremely popular. It allowed players to buy, collect, breed and sell virtual cats which are represented by non-fungible tokens and the various attributes and transactions are stored in the blockchain. CryptoKitties were the first NFTs to be minted using Ethereum’s ERC-721 token standard.

The global NFT market experienced tremendous growth in the first half of 2021 with a reported sales volume of $ 2.5 billion, up from $ 13.7 million in the first half of 2020. Although it has already gained ground in outside India, the trend is accelerating rapidly. back home too with big names in the entertainment fraternity venturing into space. In less than two months, India has seen three new marketplaces appear to sell NFTs, which is rather optimistic.

(This is a partnership article)


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