Some people are comparing the current crypto craze to another phenomenon that happened back in the mid to late 1990s.
NORFOLK, Va. — You’ve probably heard a lot about NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. They’re a way for people to claim digital ownership of things like art, photos, and videos.
For example, someone bought the very first tweet ever posted on Twitter for a whopping $2.9 million, with its authenticity protected by something called a blockchain.
If you’re scratching your head about blockchain and NFTs and wondering why someone would pay millions for a tweet, you aren’t alone. In fact, some people are comparing the current crypto craze to another phenomenon that happened back in the mid to late 1990s.
It was when people went crazy over a line of stuffed animals called Beanie Babies. They waited in lines and spent thousands of dollars on the secondary market; many collectors were convinced these little plush animals would help fund their retirement.
Things really took off when the company producing the toys, Ty, started retiring animals. This scarcity market created a frenzy, driving up the perceived value of every new release before everything came crashing down in 1999.
It’s the meteoric rise in beanie hype that has people making comparisons to NFTs today. There’s scarcity, a shared community of collectors, and there’s novelty NFTs: why would anyone spend $3 million on a tweet when you can just save a screenshot?
But if there is a difference, NFTs are less about the object — that first tweet for example — and more about the certificate of ownership the buyer can claim.
Does that make it worth it? Only time will tell.