The concept of cryptocurrency assumes the blockchain assets (such as a Bitcoin) is “fungible” – each coin is indistinguishable from others. There are some new concepts that challenge the underlying fungible assumption – like the government impounding bitcoins (and tracking them to new owners), or Federal regulations making “IRA Bitcoin deposits” different, or even individuals creating “lost my password” type coins. In all cases, ~these~ coins are different. This fissure threatens an assumption of crypto currency.
So, next comes along “NON- fungible” tokens (NFTs), where individual tokens are ~intended~ to be distinguishable. Think of a gif file or jpg that you create – or a property deed – attached to a transaction record. This is what has driven Ethereum block chain up about 30% over the last week, because since inception Ethereum has recognized encapsulated tokens. Instead of a financial transaction, a nonfungible asset is stored in the record with ownership history attached to it. This is a NEW market, and hugely immature at the moment, but it will grow quickly during 2021.
If you’d like to see what you can buy these days (from stupid to really good and rare), browse at opensea.io (use Chrome, IE corrupts the website). Here’s an aviation video clip, demonstration of video editing skills which got bids of 5 or 10 Ethereum, worth $housands), then it has sold twice within the past month. Here’s one of the final flight of the Concorde. Flight of the Wright Brother flyer at Huffman field is available with a Buy-now price of $93 this morning. (0.03 Ethereum).
Why would you buy any of these if you can see them for free? I don’t know. It’s art. Ownership makes you part of the system.