Art lovers and investors have broken spending records to buy NFT artwork worth a staggering $22bn (£16.8bn) last year from a base of just $100,000 (£76,276) on last year.
And the biggest involvement in digital art came from major American celebrities, including unlikely pioneers like nonagenarian Star Trek actor William Shatner, tennis player Serena Williams and model Kate Moss.
NFTs, short for Non-Fungible Tokens, are unique digital art collectors that you can buy, hold, or trade online.
CryptoPunks are among the earliest and best known NFTs. The 10,000 character set is highly sought after with each character selling for millions of dollars.
Celebrities are interested in joining the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Membership is attached to the purchase of one of the NFTs, which comes with a pass to the brand’s metaverse.
Celebrities go crazy for crypto art
Stephen Moses, founder of digital estate planning platform zen planssaid: “Celebrities are going crazy over NFTS, helping global sales reach $22 billion in 2021, up from $100 million in 2020. Not only are NFTs of significant value, but also, because to its nature, great potential for development, with game-to-win platforms such as Axie Infinity set to grow exponentially this year.
“However, despite the rise in popularity, the market is still in its infancy and most people don’t know how to manage their NFTs to ensure who inherits when the time is right.”
This insatiable demand from celebrities is generating interest, with some dismissing NFTs as folly or an investment bubble, while others are rushing to grab a piece of the pie.
Famous NFT Collectors
NFTs are popular among rappers:
Hiding behind the pseudonym Cozomo de Medici, Snoop Dog has a collection of NFTs valued at least $14 million. His run includes a Bored Ape and 10 CryptoPunks.
Music teacher Marshmello likes to hide his face, but he broke his golden rule by tweeting the world ‘Marshmello Face Reveal’ and changed his profile picture when he bought a CryptoPunk.
The veteran rapper signed up for the Bored Ape Yacht Club when he bought an NFT named EminApe because the picture looks like him. He paid $460,000 for the NFT, which has become his instagram profile picture.
Other notable celebrity NFT collectors include:
Tennis superstar Serena Williams owns a CryptoPunk gifted to her by her husband Alexia Oharian, the founder of the social media platform Reddit. She uses the image as her Twitter profile picture.
American television talk show host Jimmy Fallon paid around $220,000 for his NFT boring monkey who has a personal Twitter account.
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Famous creators of NFTs
The hip-hop hero shares what he earns from streaming music with fans who have invested in his NFTs.
Media survivor Shatner, Captain Kirk on Star Trek, and cop TJ Hooker on the series of the same name, minted a collection of space-themed NFTs that quickly sold out.
The Hollywood A-lister teamed up with the creator of NFT LIT DAO for a monotonous collection of images in which the actor changes expression as the price of Ethereum rises and falls
Supermodel Kate Moss launched three NFTs: Sleep with Kate, Walk with Kate, and Drive with Kate. All proceeds from sales go to charity.
Comedian and TV host Ellen DeGeneres created an NFT collection that primarily features her drawings of cats with sticks. Proceeds from the sale of the limited edition art go to charity.
The wife of crypto investor and expert Elon Musk released a set of NFTS music videos last year. For dealers, the value of the collectibles is pitiful: one fell 84 percent in price.
Digital Art Lovers Spending Billions on NFTs FAQ
What is an NFT?
NFT is short for non-fungible token: a unique digital work of art with proof of ownership recorded on a blockchain. NFTs are the 21st century equivalent of paintings like the Mona Lisa. The Mona Lisa is unique and has only one owner, but it has many copies going around.
NFTs are the same. The original has a digital property certificate, but others can copy the content.
NFTs are not limited to works of art. Other examples include music, books, and animations.
What is minting an NFT?
Minting is the process of recording ownership of a digital file on a blockchain. Saving a file to a blockchain is permanent and acts as a digital ownership certificate.
How do you buy an NFT?
Buying an NFT is just like buying anything else online. You can make a purchase with the creator, the retailer, or at an auction.
How do I pay an NFT?
To buy an NFT, you need a digital wallet that includes the cryptocurrency associated with the blockchain the NFT was minted on. For example, Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs are on the Ethereum blockchain, so you’ll need ether to buy them.
Can investors make money with NFTs?
In addition to creators minting NFTs, brokers and collectors are making money. Like most art, collectors should buy NFTs because they like them, not for future profits that are impossible to predict.
No one can predict if NFTs are a bubble or if a new market for digital art is opening up. The best advice for collectors is to buy what you like and can afford. Any gain in value is a bonus.
Why are celebrities involved in NFTs?
Celebrity sponsorship is nothing new. Many actors and personalities help to sell all kinds of products online. Advertisers love recommendations because they help customers trust their services. The NFTs are the latest in a long line of sponsorships.
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