Please tell us, Patrick Freyne, what are NFTs and why should we care?

In The News: With lines of code selling for tens of millions, are NFTs the future of digital art?

The world of NFTs is a confusing one. But baffling or not, it might be a world you want to get your head around not least because the digital tokens which live on the blockchain can change hands for tens of millions of dollars.

So, where do we start? What are NFTs? What value do they have? And is there any reason to believe that the long stings of computer code could represent the future of art and indeed the future of e-commerce?

Or are we living through a digitally enhanced version of the Tulipmania that cost Dutch traders so dearly hundreds of years ago?

In recent years, some high profile NFTs – that’s Non Fungible Tokens, in case you are wondering – have changed hands for sums which on the surface look mad.

Was an NFT of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey's first tweet really worth €2.7 million? And is it really wise to invest in NFTs sold by Paris Hilton, Eminem or a bunch of scary looking monkeys smoking cigars?

While even asking such questions seems faintly ridiculous – more than faintly, truth be told – there is a growing art movement that relies on NFTs and it is possible that as more and more people move into the Metaverse the blockchain codes will have as much value as the nuggets of gold that have been changing hands for eye watering amounts for thousands of years.

Irish Times writer Patrick Freyne has been researching the world of NFTs and in the latest episode of In The News he talks to Conor Pope about what he has discovered.

Listen to the podcast here: