Love them or hate them, nonfungible tokens are making serious headway worldwide. According to a Reuters report, sales of the crypto investment assets soared from just $13.7 million in the first six months of 2020 to a whopping $2.5 billion in the first half of last year. With Japanese game companies, in particular, beginning to embrace NFTs, 2022 could be the digital assets’ biggest year yet.

Primarily associated with images and video files, NFTs are data sets in a digital ledger that prove ownership. They’re not exactly new, with the first NFTs being launched in the mid-2010s. However, there is confusion over what NFTs represent, even among investors. They don’t necessary grant ownership or rights to physical pieces of work, most of which can still be freely disseminated online. People have reportedly paid as much as $69 million for a single NFT — and yet the same image can still be saved on a computer with a simple right click, free of charge. In their simplest form, NFTs are digital receipts and, ultimately, that’s what people are buying, not the work itself.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.