Not Freaking True?!
Episode 127 in the long running segment "Evidence that our world has jumped the shark".
NFTs. Are you familiar with them? Likely not. Because they are so very odd. Stands for Nonfungible Token. Here is literally what they are - I'm not creating an analogy - this is actual. A basketball player dunks the ball. It's filmed and uploaded to YouTube. Anyone can view it for free. And they can download a copy. BUT. Someone takes that video clip and associates it with a digital tag. He sells that tag to you. You now "own" the right to say you're the first person to "own" that particular tagged video clip. You can now sell your NFT if you wish. For actual money.
You may say "But wait. That's insane. Anybody can view the clip for free on YouTube. Why would I pay for it?"
The answer is that you pay for it because yours is documented as official. You own the NFT. That creates "value".
Now what you should remember is that almost nothing that we value has intrinsic value. Food and shelter - that has value. But gold? It's just a shiny mineral that has value only because other humans agree that it does. An old original baseball card is just an old piece of cardboard with ink on it. But collectors agree it has value and thus you can sell one for millions. If everyone suddenly decided it was worthless it would be.
So ... if rich folks, who love exclusivity, agree that owning an NFT of an image is cool for bragging rights ... suddenly there's value.
Not only do image clips such as I've described currently have a worth in the thousands of ACTUAL dollars, a digital "artwork" just sold for $69 MILLION dollars. Digital. Just a collection of electrons. An unlimited number of identical versions can be created by a single keystroke. But for the special NFT version? $69 million bucks.
We didn't just jump the shark, we pole vaulted over it.