They came from outer space, at least that’s how it felt. One moment there were no NFTs in the universe. The next moment they were popping up everywhere and multiplying crazily. It was like an episode of Doctor Who or, less fortunately, like the arrival of a virus. Art was imitating life.
I first became aware of NFTs, or Nifties as the friendlier writers had renamed them, in the art press. It was late February this year. At an internet auction in America, a graphic artist who called himself Beeple had reportedly sold an NFT of a naked Donald Trump, covered in graffiti, for $6.6 million (£4.7 million). Slumped by a sidewalk, looking dead, the naked Donald had the word LOSER scrawled on his back.