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Can NFT Technology Expand Beyond Digital Apes and Punks? – The New Stack

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NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) have taken the internet world by storm over the past year or two. When we think of NFTs today, we mostly think of the digital cartoons that have saturated our social media screens — apes, punks and everything in-between. There have also been massive NFT art sales, epitomized by this era’s answer to Damien Hirst: Beeple, who famously sold an NFT art work for $69 million in March 2021.

However, there is a sense that NFT technology has only scratched the surface of its true potential. The fact that some NFTs are apparently worth millions of dollars is all part of the financial bubble around cryptocurrencies that we’re currently living through. Speculation and status are driving the NFT market today. The bubble will likely burst at some point, though, so the question is: what else can NFTs do? Do they have legitimate use cases beyond digital collectibles and art investment?

The “bored ape” on the extreme left last sold, in September 2021, for over US$2 million; source: OpenSea.

The Technology Behind NFTs

To answer these questions, we first need…

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