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Some Artists Found a Lifeline Selling NFTs. Others Worry It's a Trap


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A non-fungible token.

Non-Fungile Tokens have become an unavoidable subject for anyone earning a living as a creative person online, prompting a rush to understand a concept that is deeply mired in the jargon of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

Credit: Getty Images

Anna Podedworna first heard about NFTs a month or so ago, when a fellow artist sent her an Instagram message trying to convince her to get on board. She found it really off-putting, like a pitch for a pyramid scheme. He had the best of intentions, she thought: NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are basically just a way of selling and buying anything digital, including art, that's supported by cryptocurrency. Since she's a concept artist and illustrator, it would make sense for Podedworna to have some interest in them. "He just phrased it in the most unfortunate way possible," she says. 

Most of Podedworna's income comes from the video game companies that hire her to work on their projects, but she makes her own art on the side. So despite her initial reaction to NFTs, she started researching whether they might provide some alternative income. 

She's still on the fence, but last week someone attempted to make the decision for her. Marble Cards, an NFT marketplace that sells URLs to pretty much any spot on the web as if they were digital trading cards, suddenly started showing listings for links to her work. NFTs like these aren't necessarily attempting to sell the art itself, but the entries prominently featured her work and her name, giving the impression that she had authorized them. She tweeted about it and they were, rather promptly, taken down.

From MIT Technology Review
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