Because it came up in conversation multiple times over the past week or so it only seems right to research the question everyone is asking.
What the hell is a Non-Fungible Token, anyways?
This is my review of Delirium Red Belgian Ale:
Before we begin: I am not an expert, financial advisor, Indian Chief, nor do I own any investments in what I am discussing. I am a guy on the internet that drinks beer and looks things up.
Call me out for being wrong, at your leisure. This is my understanding of it.
A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a cryptographic asset utilizing blockchain technology. Where it differs from cryptocurrency is that it is unique unto itself and not a currency, hence the “non-fungible” part. Where is also differs is the NFT is a digital representation of a tangible asset.
But cryptocurrency is an asset, right? In a sense. At the moment, nearly everyone is still using Dollars and every coin in existence has turned into a store of value based on it’s potential utility in the future. This is why they are still priced relative to Dollar (hardcore crypto traders price them in Bitcoin), because the Dollar is still the reference point of transactional value. The analogy is Bitcoin is digital gold. It has value, it is transferrable for goods and services, but have you ever gone to Wal-Mart and try to pay them with a Krugerrand? It doesn’t always work out because Wal-Mart can’t make change in gold—but you can trade one, or several for goods and services of similar value to a willing merchant.
But gold isn’t the only thing that has value, right? Correct. Real estate is another example of a tangible asset. In order for me to liquidate my house I have to go through the state mandated motions in hiring a brokerage to put it on the market, and wait for the government sanctioned regulated banks to approve the buyer’s loan—blah blah blah blah. What if I could simply define my property as a unique token, and transfer the token through the blockchain to somebody who paid a contractually agreeable rate? Is my house still a house or a digital token? In theory I could forego all of steps required to sell my house if it is now defined as something else entirely…
Where this has caught on is the memorabilia/collectibles market. In the event the owner of the broken watch Marlon Brando wore on the set of Apocalypse Now and childishly engraved “M. Brando” on the back, wants to sell it, he can assign it to an NFT and and sell it that way. Where it gets interesting is when an NFT is assigned to say, a widely circulated Playboy photo, or something frivolously intangible like a Tweet. This sucks for a guy on the internet like me, who routinely uses photos without permission. Had this photo I paid $0 to AT&T girl to the right been tokenized, I might have to sent a certain amount of cryptocurrency to the NFT owner’s address in order to use it. The possibilities for the expansion of property rights are endless when we discuss tokenized ideas. Because it is currently unregulated and on a medium that defies regulation it means intellectual property rights can be owned by the entity that owns the digital token assigned to it, outside existing copyright laws.
Imagine the irony of being John Lennon’s spawn and being able to get paid for his musical communist treatise without fear of it turning to public domain.
This is the first beer I bought after my self-imposed beer celibacy and in usual fashion I bought a Belgian Ale. For some reason I favor these in the spring. This one is a sour lambic brewed with cherries and elderberry. What is elderberry? Its a ancient herbal remedy with questionable benefits, and even is sold as a supplement at retailers like Wal-Mart, who will not accept a Krugerrand as payment for elderberry supplements. Assholes. It has a sort of medicinal aftertaste and I got the impression I was drinking a Belgian fertility brew. Delirium Red Belgian Ale: 3.8/5