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As Auctioneers and Artists Rush Into NFTs, Many Collectors Stay Away


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The non-fungible token Replicator, by the digital artist Mad Dog Jones.

Phillips recently sold its first NFT, Replicator, by the digital artist Mad Dog Jones for $4.1 million to a buyer new to the auction house.

A handful of auctions this month testing the appetite for a type of investment known as NFTs seemed likely to prolong the nascent fad for ownership of works that exist only in the digital world. Missing from those transactions, however, were the blue-chip collectors who typically drive the art market's sales.

Industry experts have observed a growing wedge between a new generation of digital speculators and an older school of art collectors who say their concerns about the quality, ownership and authenticity of NFTs have gone unresolved, even as their fears of legal challenges grow.

More than a dozen collectors interviewed for this article said that NFTs raise copyright and other issues that sellers and buyers have not fully thought through. "Absolutely none of my clients are buying NFTs," said Lisa Schiff, an art adviser in New York. "I have people curious, but we are waiting to let the dust settle first."

From The New York Times
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