This may come as no surprise, but the word of the year for 2021 is NFT. In recent months, digital artworks have been selling for extravagant prices, and NFTs appear to be the main driving factor.
Investopedia defines NFTs as:
Non-fungible tokens or NFTs are cryptographic assets on blockchain with unique identification codes and metadata that distinguish them from each other. Unlike cryptocurrencies, they cannot be traded or exchanged at equivalency. This differs from fungible tokens like cryptocurrencies, which are identical to each other and, therefore, can be used as a medium for commercial transactions.
“NFT” – an abbreviation for “non-fungible token” — is Collins Dictionary’s “Word of the Year” for 2021. The meteoric increase in its use over the last year is said to be the rationale for its selection. Words like “crypto” and “metaverse” competed with NFT as one of the most popular pieces of financial jargon to grace the page and screen.
But what is a non-fungible token? An NFT is a “unique digital certificate, recorded on a blockchain, that is used to record ownership of an object such as an artwork or a collectible,” according to Collins Dictionary.
In a blog post, the dictionary shared:
“This convergence of money and the internet leads us to 2021’s word of the year: NFT. An abbreviation that stands for “non-fungible token”, it’s certainly a buzzword we’ve heard over and over again in the past 12 months, in breathless news reports and on social media. But what does it actually mean? Collins defines it as “a unique digital certificate, registered in a blockchain, that is used to record ownership of an asset such as an artwork or a collectible”. In other words, it’s a chunk of digital data that records who a piece of digital work belongs to. “Unique” is important here — it’s a one-off, not “fungible” or replaceable by any other piece of data. And what’s really captured the public’s imagination around NFTs is the use of this technology to sell art. For example, the rights to a work by the surrealist digital artist Beeple sold at Christie’s in March for $69m. Called EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS, it was a collage of all the images he’d created since he committed in 2007 to making one every day.”
With digital currency and the metaverse taking over, it’s best to educate yourself on NFTs.