Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been around for few years now, but it was in 2021 that these captured the public’s imagination and entered the broader culture in a big way lock-step with the crypto-currency boom (and its subsequent crash).
Among the NFTs to quickly gain attention and become highly sought-after and valuable at resale is the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of illustrated portraits of cartoon-like anthropomorphic apes wearing different combinations of clothes and sunglasses. Another is Crypto Punks.
The NFTs are nothing more than digital artwork — often just a JPG image file — but one that is identified and documented via the blockchain as a unique asset with an identified creator or “owner,” in spite of the fact that the actual image or creative content can be easily, immediately digitally duplicated or copied and shared by anybody and exist anywhere they can be reproduced. In theory, just about anything can be minted into an NFT.
Some of these NFTs are popping up in some unexpected places, as street art, public art and interior decor. Pictured above is a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT that’s serves as a decorative mural at a small, private gym in Los Angeles.