NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital assets for sale, usually bought by cryptocurrency. They are unique yet they can only be owned, not copyrighted by the buyer.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have taken the tech world by storm. Many people are either creating or collecting NFTs these days, hoping to strike it rich quickly. NFTs are digital files that are uniquely identifiable, and are traded for thousands of dollars, sometimes even for millions.
Here are six people who have benefited from selling NFTs.
Reality show star and hotel heiress Paris Hilton has stepped up her game, trying her hand at creating NFTs with digital artist Blake Kathryn. She is a cryptocurrency investor, having become one after becoming friends with the founders of Ethereum. Ethereum mints ether, the currency in which the majority of NFTs are traded.
NFTs seem like the natural next step for Hilton, who has immortalised her late chihuahua, Tinkerbell, with an NFT. She also collects NFTs, with about 150 pieces in her collection. Her vulgar display of wealth has translated well to the childlike NFTs she is producing. The joke is on us, as she laughs all the way to the bank.
Another tasteless NFT producer is Stephanie Matto, who is selling NFTs of her farts. Matto, to be fair, wasn’t always in the NFT marketplace: after receiving requests from fans to sell her farts, she thought why not, and voila! a business was born.
Matto says she has made about $200,000 from selling her farts, but after being hospitalised for excessive farting and gas, she has decided to go digital, hence the fart NFTs. Her strong point? "I'm very good at turning shit into gold."
Of course, we should not forget the bad boy of British art, Damien Hirst who first came into prominence with the Young British Artists (YBA) movement and is currently the richest artist in the world, with an estimated net worth of $700 million.
Having made his name with very tangible items, such as a shark pickled in formaldehyde, and a bisected cow preserved the same way, it made sense for the artist to move into the world of NFTs in the new millenium.
Hirst has offered buyers the option of owning his art as an NFT or a tangible artwork in 2021, aptly and bluntly called “The Currency.”
According to Artnet, “Each of the hybrid painting-NFTs, available to collectors at the low, low price of $2,000, has a very particular stipulation. Buyers would have one year to decide if they wanted to keep the NFT, in which case the physical artwork would be ceremonially burned. Or they could keep the physical work, and relinquish rights to the blockchain-based artwork.”
Then there is Daniel Maegaard, who is not an artist, but a psychology-student-turned-investor who is now worth $100 million. Maegaard, a 31-year-old Australian, invested in cryptocurrency and NFTs when they were not as popular as they are now, and he has seen it pay off.
He said “Crypto has a bad rap, especially among the older generation,” and set out to “prove” to his family and friends that he was on a worthwhile path.
“Initially people were confused but as the years went on, they realised this was working very well for me,” he added. He had begun with $4,000 of his own money, everything he owned. That quickly turned into $120,000 by the beginning of 2017, which turned into $1 million by April. He didn’t touch his earnings, and by the end of 2017 he was the proud owner of $20 million.
He then cashed out half of the money and invested in real estate, now earning $180,000 a year from his properties. He has been travelling around the world, and started DJing as a hobby.
Not all NFT makers are looking to make a quick buck. For example, 12-year-old Benyamin Ahmed of London has created Weird Whales, pixelated whales that he has sold and are very popular. The young programmer has even lectured on NFTs at Oxford University’s Pembroke College, the youngest person ever to do so.
According to the Express, Ahmed has made more than $1 million in NFTs and crypto investments so far.
Recently, an Indonesian student, Sultan Gustaf Al Ghozali, has also struck gold: the photographs of his expressionless face that he took daily for five years have become popular NFTs. The 22-year-old doesn’t quite get what the fuss is all about, and says he is confused about the NFTs’ popularity.
As of Friday January 21, 2021, his collection, which he had priced at $3 each, had reached a total trade volume of 384 ether, equivalent to more than $1 million.
"Today sold more than 230+ and until now I don't understand why you want to buy #NFT photos of me !!! but i thank you guys for 5 years of effort paid off," he wrote on Twitter.
Ghozali also asked his buyers to take care of his visage, asking them not to “abuse” it, in an innocent plea to protect his parents from untoward jokes.
It's been 3 days and left 331 NFT— Ghozali_Ghozalu (@Ghozali_Ghozalu) January 12, 2022
sold out now because for the next few years I won't be listing
You can do anything like flipping or whatever but please don't abuse my photos or my parents will very disappointed to me
I believe in you guys so please take care of my photos. pic.twitter.com/oyGGR2Aben
THUMBNAIL PHOTO: Paris Hilton (Getty Images)
HEADLINE PHOTO: Damien Hirst with Sophie Cannell. (Getty Images)