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Glamour explores the hype behind the metaverse and why it matters


If you’re like me and have heard about NFTs but can’t wrap your head around what they are and why there’s so much hype, this article is for you.

Everyone from Justin Bieber to luxury brands has jumped on the digital bandwagon to release or purchase an NFT. Let me backtrack. What the hell is that? In layman’s terms, a non-fungible token or NFT is simply a digital asset you purchase with Ether, a digital currency held on the Ethereum blockchain network. One ETH is equivalent to R45 000 (at the time of writing). The digital asset you purchase is an existing physical item such as art, clothing or a video game.I know, I know. You still don’t understand the hype. I get it. The truth is, you don’t get to physically engage with the item(s) you own because they exist in a virtual world. Whilst it’s not the same as purchasing an artwork and having the pleasure of displaying it in your home, you can make a lot of money if you know what you’re doing.The world is rapidly evolving, and we need to keep up with these changes no matter how crazy they seem. There’s a reason NFTs have become a billion-dollar industry. We can thank celebrities and brands for fuelling the hype.

An NFT is either one-of-a-kind or part of a limited run, making it valuable. When demand far outweighs supply, it creates an allure. Our obsession with being the only or one of a few owners of something guarantees bragging rights for however long people’s fascination lasts. (Narcissistic, much?) The interesting thing about NFTs is that no one is equal to another. Twitter co- founder Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet as an NFT for $2.9 million (around R45.5 million) – but when its new owner tried to resell it, potential buyers offered only $280 (around R4 400). Another contentious issue with NFTs is that anyone can create, or should I say recreate (in the metaverse) anything of value in the real world. Hermès threatened the artist Mason Rothschild with legal action for the Hermès NFT he designed, the MetaBirkin, which he sold online. The luxury brand argued Mason had profited from its trademark.

As the virtual and physical worlds merge, will we have to choose which one we want to live in?

Image: Supplied/ G star NFT

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