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Communications of the ACM


Non-Fungible Tokens and the Future of Art

blocks with faces and icons, illustration

Credit: Elenabsl / Shutterstock

Behind Jeff Koons and David Hockney, the most lucrative auction for a piece of art from a living artist happened in 2021—and it was for a work that existed in a JPEG file. The artist Beeple's "Everydays—The First 5,000 Days," a series of digital artworks, sold at Christie's for the princely sum of $69.3 million.

It was a stunning event made possible by a technology called non-fungible tokens (NFTs).


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