NFTs (not) explained

In a recent post, I tried to explain what NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) were. This is another of crazes that arise (and sometimes disappear) so rapidly in the internet age. Reader David sent me a link to this (non) explanation by Julie Nolke that I found pretty funny. I wonder how many people try to bluff their way into looking like they know what they are talking about when it comes to NFTs.

I was impressed with how she played both roles and then spliced the footage. It is not easy to do reaction shots that look genuine. She must be a professional actor that I have not heard of before.


  1. jenorafeuer says

    So pretty much:
    -- An original piece of artwork is non-fungible.
    -- An unlimited print of the same artwork is fungible.
    -- An explicitly limited-edition print is non-fungible, but not as non-fungible as the original artwork. (It can be treated as fungible until all the copies are sold.)

    And an NFT is pretty much the blockchain equivalent of buying a receipt for something that you otherwise have nothing to do with.

  2. Mark Dowd says

    I think real estate is a better example of nonfungibility from the point of economics. Every piece of land is unique, and cannot be trivially substituted for any other piece of land. Land is inherently nonfungible.

    This is opposed to things like gas (or petrol for the Euro folk). A gallon of gas is the same whether you buy it from a BP, Shell, or Sunoco station, so gas is considered a very fungible commidity since you can easily substitute any gallon of gas for any other gallon with the same specs.

    A limited edition item probably would not be fungible since they tend to have serial numbers (like 5 of 200 or something) and that gives them an amount of uniqueness that collectors sometimes care about having certain numbers. It’s definitely on the border of the definition though.

    Another way if thinking about it is distiguishability. Can you distinguish between any two items of the same type? If yes (like with land), it’s not fungible. If no (like with gasoline), it’s fungible.

  3. John Morales says

    Heh heh heh.

    I’m fully aware of the definition, just going one level of abstraction higher.

    (Or I could go literal; each NFT is just an entry in a blockchain)

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