Amid Skepticism Over NFTs, Business Strategist Sees Opportunity

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Amid Skepticism Over NFTs, Business Strategist Sees Opportunity
Big names like Tom Brady and Paris Hilton are investing in NFTs: unique pieces of digital content.
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NFTs have grown in popularity over the last few months — and some have sold for millions.

This NFT created by digital artist Beeple sold for $69 million, catching the attention of artists everywhere.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique pieces of digital content, meaning you can’t touch them.  

Take this album from Kings of Leon, or this dunk by LeBron James. These are all collectible digital footprints that hold value to the buyer. 

NFTs are unique, digital assets bought and sold in online marketplaces like OpenSea and stored on the blockchain, a digital ledger used to record transactions. 

Business strategist Athan Slotkin says NFTs are a great opportunity.

"It's, like, a really great way for any business to be super creative and provide something with utility," Slotkin said. "The question is, is just how cool is it? How much do people trust your business?"  

Stephen Evans, a local artist in Columbia, Missouri, is new to the world of NFTs. His brother made 10 copies of this painting he drew of cats — starting at 0.069 ETH, a type of cryptocurrency, which is worth about $143 as of Friday.     

"I think it's just a different way to connect people," Evans said. "And I think that's probably one of the coolest things about it."

Anyone can make one. Celebrities like Tom Brady and Paris Hilton are converting some of their merchandise to digital goods. Companies like NBA Top Shot — a site that is essentially replacing NBA trading cards and making them digital — are capitalizing from it as well.   

"If something's speaking to you, how do you put value on that?" Evans said. 

There have been lots of questions about how long NFTs will last and what they’ll be valued at. 

"As long as you can provide a real use case to these assets, they will gain in value or they will at least keep their value," Zuppinger said. 

Gauthier Zuppinger is one of the co-founders of NonFungible.com, a website that tracks NFT projects and marketplaces. The average price of an NFT spiked in mid-February at around $4,000. 

"I mean, this, you know, new generation of people who are probably spending too much," Zuppinger said. "But who am I to consider they are paying too much?" 

Now, sales are averaging at around $1,200. There’s been speculation that this is just a market bubble due to the sudden hype and will burst — or has already burst.

In order to maintain the platform and the blockchain technology that hosts NFTs, sellers have to pay fees to sell their work. 

For Stephen Evans’ brother, it costs $90 in fees to put the NFTs online. Now, they just wait for a buyer. But for him, it’s not about making the big bucks.    

"Something inside me has something to say," Evans said. "And I see NFTs as a way to share my story."