In brief

  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are cryptographically unique tokens that are linked to digital (and sometimes physical) content, providing proof of ownership.
  • They have many use cases, including artwork, digital collectibles, music, and items in video games.

Cryptocurrencies, utility tokens, security tokens, privacy tokens… digital assets and their classifications are multiplying and evolving right alongside cryptographic and blockchain technology.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are one of the fastest-growing sectors in the crypto industry. In this guide, we explore what they are, how they work, and how they’re being used.

What are non-fungible tokens?

Non-fungible tokens are digital assets that contain identifying information recorded in smart contracts.

It’s this information that makes each NFT unique, and as such, they cannot be directly replaced by another token. They cannot be swapped like for like, as no two NFTs are alike. Banknotes, in contrast, can be simply exchanged one for another; if they hold the same value, there is no difference to the holder between, say, one dollar bill and another.

Bitcoin is a fungible token. You can send someone one Bitcoin and they can send one back, and you still have one Bitcoin. (Of course, the value of Bitcoin might change during the time of exchange.) You can also send or receive smaller amounts of one Bitcoin, measured in satoshis (think of satoshis as cents of a Bitcoin), since fungible tokens are divisible.

Typically, non-fungible tokens are not divisible, in the same way that you cannot send someone part of a concert…


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