NFTs are all the rage. $100k for a jpg, heck even a million dollars for a png. Seems like a lot of money right? And you’d be correct it is a lot of money, but why are people paying so much for digital pieces that someone else can screenshot.
I don’t know a ton about the NFT market but I know a ton about the collectibles market and my point of view is from the collectibles market, not the NFT market.
Over the years I’ve collected a lot of different things, sold, then bought them again. Some items I like holding onto, others I’m happy to sell as I get them.
Some of the things I’ve collected include;
- Trading cards (primarily Pokemon)
- Vintage Toys (think 80s/90s action figures)
- Vintage diecast cars (60s/70s)
- Retro games (NES, SNES, N64, Gameboy mostly)
- Trainers or Sneakers if you’re reading this and are American.
That’s without getting involved in a ton of other subcategories and by now you’re thinking. Ok and the point is?
People collect for different reasons. Often they collect for multiple reasons some are:
- Nostalgia. Something you remember from a different time, often your childhood as you get older and have a salary you buy things to remember a different time in your life.
- Investment. Collectibles are hot property, Lego has out performed Gold and proved toys aren’t just for kids.
- Design/Art. Whether it’s to decorate or you’ve always to own your favourite Banksy or Renoir.
- Prestige. No I’m not talking about levelling up to Master Prestige in Call Of Duty, rather the prestige of owning a rare collectible, a signed Babe Ruth baseball, a 1st edition Charizard and everything in between, there’s a certain feeling to owning something special.
But then where do NFTs fit into all this? Well they fit the same paradigm of the traditional collector.
NFTs are an investment, some represent nostalgia, famous artists are getting on the NFT train, not to mention the prestige of owning a 1 of 1 Ape with the rarest accessories.
But Jack, I can copy and paste that NFT. What’s the difference? The best comparison is a reproduction artwork compared to the original. The original is a 1 of 1, like the NFT. Your copy and paste is a reproduction, it’s not the original piece, and like in traditional collectibles, the reproduction means nothing to most serious collectors.
I used to think like you reading this. NFTs are dumb. Copy and paste, why bother. Wow that’s a lot for a JPG.
Yet in reality there’s no difference between me buying a pack of sealed 1st edition base set Pokemon cards and you buying an NFT of an Ape.
So while next time you think “That’s dumb”. Try to think a bit behind the why and not so much the “I can copy and paste that).
Who knows, maybe one day you’ll get into NFTs too.