Have you heard of NFT’s? It’s more than an acronym floating at the bottom of your television screen. NFT’s have exploded in the news and it’s easy to be left feeling confused. NFT is short for Non-Fungible Tokens which basically mean rare tokens.
In an article written by The Verge, they succinctly explained how NFT’s work by stating,
“At a very high level, most NFTs are part of the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum is a cryptocurrency, like bitcoin or dogecoin, but its blockchain also supports these NFTs, which store extra information that makes them work differently from, say, an ETH coin. It is worth noting that other blockchains can implement their own versions of NFTs.”
On the internet where everything can be saved or screenshot, NFT’s offer a way to claim ownership of digital media and art. To put it into perspective, anyone can buy a print of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, but there’s only one original. Not that the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT’s compare to works of art created by Van Gogh, but you get the idea.
Twitter is hopping on the bandwagon and offering a way for users to authenticate non-fungible tokens. If you have an iOS device and pay the $2.99 subscription fee for Twitter Blue, you can have an NFT profile picture on Twitter.
According to The Verge,
“Twitter is supporting several crypto wallets that users can connect to their profiles and verify that their tokens are of the non-fungible variety.”
Unfortunately, there are still several issues around the security and verification of NFT’s that haven’t been resolved. The ability to right-click and mint the NFT as your own would make your soft hexagonal profile image the same as anyone else’s. If the NFT could also be verified as being from that particular artist or in a specific collection that would go further to substantiate ownership.
Notifications are also showing up on Reddit, demonstrating they aren’t the only platform testing connected NFT profile images.
While I support the ability to compensate digital artists by purchasing non-fungible tokens, the ability to prove ownership of NFT’s through connected profile images online is lacking and is inherently flawed in nature.
But the real draw is the flex of ownership. Proving you own digital art and getting that special profile photo signals what exactly? Money? Status? While companies like Twitter are racing to accommodate those that want to show ownership don’t overlook the inevitable stain that popularizing NFT’s causes in the long term.