NFTs: the next big thing, or just hype?

Background

The famous “Doge” meme (pictured above) recently sold for $4 million. Yes, you read that correctly. The picture of a dog was sold as an NFT. So was the “Charlie Bit My Finger” viral video.

So what the heck are NFTs? Yeah, we didn’t know, either.

Non-Fungible Tokens are taking the internet by storm, with billions of dollars in annual trading. NFTs are “one-of-a-kind” assets in the digital world, generally encoded with the same underlying technology as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. They work like certificates of ownership for virtual or physical assets, such as music, images, and videos.

The idea is that since NFTs are one-of-a-kind, they create “digital scarcity,” which should hypothetically drive the prices up, thus making them a potentially good investment. They are also touted as a new way for artists to profit more from their work.

But is an investment in NFTs worth it? Explore this highly contentious and meme-licious debate by diving into the best reasoning on each side.

Discussion Questions

1. Try to explain in your own words what an NFT is. (We know it’s confusing. We’re still confused, too.)

2. If you buy an NFT, chances are that you will not be able to resell it. But there is some very small chance that you could resell it for millions of dollars. Does this extremely unlikely possibility outweigh the risk?

3. If you were friends with an artist who created an NFT, would you consider buying it to support them?

4. When it comes to new technologies in general, are you more of an “early adopter” or more of a “wait and see” kind of person? Why?

(For teaching resources to improve classroom discussions, check out our Teachers Pay Teachers page!)

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