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Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs): Another Blockchain Bubble?

In the world of cryptocurrency, blockchain and other disruptive technologies, it may seem that a new way of doing things emerges every 5 minutes. Conversations around the long-term validity of Bitcoin and the like certainly won’t be going away any time soon, so it stands to reason that Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) should be subject to similar scepticism. Off the back of a few high-profile NFT transactions, and the rising popularity of products like NBA Top Shot Trading Cards, it’s timely to have a closer look at them and discuss what the landscape may look like further down the line.

What are Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)?

Fungible assets aren’t themselves a new concept. In economic terms, a unit-based asset that can readily be interchanged (e.g. currency) is said to be “fungible”. As such, a non-fungible asset is one that holds unique properties, rendering it non-interchangeable. Unique collectibles in the real world are special and valuable because they are the only one of their kind – verified and original. Copies may exist, but there is official documentation that verifies its originality. A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is where that concept enters the digital world.

A digital asset (e.g. a piece of digital art, or more recently the first ever Tweet) can be easily duplicated, reproduced and accessed worldwide in no time at all – this is where NFTs come in. “Tokenising” a digital asset with an NFT essentially creates a digital certificate of authenticity that accompanies it when it is bought and sold. A record of ownership is kept on a shared ledger (blockchain), much like cryptocurrency, which is maintained by thousands of computers worldwide. As a result, ownership of NFTs cannot be forged, and blockchain technology allows for things like contract clauses – for example clauses that stipulate original artists of NFT-associated artwork receive a percentage of the proceeds of any future sales of their art.

What are NFTs really worth?

Like lots of things in the world of collectibles, the price of certain assets is determined by what consumers are willing to pay. This is much the same concept as buying an original painting – you may be willing to pay $150,000, but someone else may be comfortable putting $500,000 towards the same piece. Therefore, NFTs don’t have a singular unit price as such, the price is determined asset-by-asset.

It’s still early days for Non-Fungible Tokens as an investment option. Just as crypto has proved incredibly volatile in the past, other blockchain-based assets are by no means a safe bet for the average investor. At the end of the day, sound investment comes from having a well-structured plan, researching different options, taking long-term data and performance into account, and having an ongoing relationship with an investment professional. That isn’t to say that Non-Fungible Tokens are a complete dud, but rather it is wise to tread carefully, particularly at this early stage.

How MP+ Can Help

As above, getting proper financial advice before making any investment is crucial. Where your money is invested should form part of your overall wealth strategy, taking into account your current financial position as well as your goals and plans for the future. You can find out more about our Wealth services here, or give us a call on 08 9301 2200 (Joondalup) or 08 9361 3300 (Victoria Park).

Please note the information provided within this article is general of nature and is not a personal advice recommendation. Prior to considering strategies discussed in this article we recommend you seek personal financial advice. Please be aware that, without the benefit of financial advice, you may be committing yourself to financial strategies or products that are not appropriate for your overall personal situation, needs and objectives.

written by:

Aaron has over twenty years of experience in the financial services industry working with large companies and small businesses across all aspects of financial planning. He has broad experience across superannuation (including self-managed superannuation), investments, estate planning and personal insurance, retirement planning and business succession planning.
Aaron is passionate about the value of professional, client-focused advice and enjoys working closely with clients to help them make smart decisions with their money, as well as aiding them to clarify and achieve their financial aspirations.

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