April 26, 2021

Are Non-Fungible Tokens the Latest Craze?

By Timothy Shields.

In this age of digitalization, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are now starting to gain attention. While cryptocurrency is considered a growing alternative to government currency as a store of wealth and value, NFTs are currently being promoted as the computerized answer to collectibles.

NFT’s are a confusing new concept made possible by the technology of blockchain. Bottom line, what does it really mean and how can it affect day-to-day transactions?

Just recently, an NFT auction of a digital art piece has sold at Christie’s sale house for an eye-watering $69m (£50m) – yet the triumphant bidder won’t get a model, painting, or even a print. As a matter of fact, everyone can get a copy of the digital work. What they get is a one-of-a-kind computerized token known as an NFT.

What is an NFT?

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Tokens. It is a specific transaction on a decentralized framework, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, which is intended to be a special kind of token.

Normally, a $5 bill holds the same value as any other $5. But, if a special value was attached to a $5 serial number, then that actual bill has a different worth. Just like other cryptocurrency tokens, one unit of digital currency is the same as some other. NFTs have remarkably unique codes and metadata that differentiate each from the other.

They are cryptographic tokens that can’t be traded or replicated with something else. They are block chain-activated, highly centralized smart contracts that hold various functionalities and attributes and are unbreakable. They can’t be exchanged or traded at equivalency.

Said otherwise, fungible assets are recognized in units and traded and utilized as a medium in business exchanges. However, NFTs don’t work the same way. They are unique assets. They can’t be exchanged, yet they can be utilized to represent personalities, genuine things, property rights, and many more.

They are unique assets in the computerized world that can be purchased and sold like some other piece of property, despite not having a tangible form.

How do NFTs work?

NFTs are digital portrayals of assets, likened to digital passports since every token contains a one-of-a-kind, non-transferable characteristic as compared to other tokens.

Like Bitcoin, NFTs contain proprietorship details to identify ownership and movement between token holders easily. Proprietors can likewise add metadata or qualities relating to the asset in NFTs. For instance, tokens addressing espresso beans can be identified as fair trade, and artists can sign their digital arts with their mark in the metadata.

As such, craftsmanship can be “tokenized” with NFT to make an advanced declaration of proprietorship purchased and sold.

NFTs can be created for digital assets like photos or tangible assets like paintings or real estate. NFTs can likewise represent intellectual property rights, a song, or a patent. Consequently, NFTs can contain smart contacts that may give the artist, for instance, a cut of any future sale of the token.

Can I sell NFT?

Technically, anything that is digital can be sold as an NFT and anyone can sell non-fungible tokens. When selling NFTs, they can ask for payments in exchange for any currency, even cryptocurrencies.

Think of it as an artwork, say the Mona Lisa; it is unique and may not be replicated. It is in a class of its own. You cannot trade it like currencies, but it is something of value. As such, you can sell it. With NFTs, where the exchange setting is global, you can sell NFTs for whatever currency you prefer.

Risks regarding NFT’s

NFT’s are an emerging technology and therefore have some unknown risks.

  • First, the technical landscape is still maturing so an NFT created today on the Ethereum blockchain may become antiquated in the future if a new platform takes hold.
  • Second, from an investment perspective, most current NFT projects will fail as is common in any new market. Government intervention is always an unknown both domestically and internationally.

The NFT concept will power future innovations and five years from now they will be integral to products that do not yet exist!


In sum, NFTs are very similar to collectibles. You can purchase or acquire them, but you cannot interchange or trade them. NFTs are relatively new, and their universe is worldwide. Consequently, lawful issues should be surveyed in a global setting. At present, creators, collectors, and markets, for the most part, are situated in the U.S. American territory. Notwithstanding, blockchain innovation isn’t bound to a solitary locale, and for global exchanges, appropriate laws and standards should be observed and assessed on a case-to-case basis.

Timothy Shields is a Partner at Kelley Kronenberg focusing his practice on Technology, Data Privacy, and Social Media Representation. Tim serves technology companies as general counsel for a flat monthly rate based on the company’s needs starting at $1300/month.

Contact Timothy Shields at:
Phone: 833-830-HELP (4357)
Email: tshields@kklaw.com


DISCLAIMER: This article is provided as a courtesy and is intended for the general information of the matters discussed above and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Neither Kelley Kronenberg, nor its individual attorneys or staff, are responsible for errors, omissions and/or typographical errors – always seek competent legal counsel.