NFTs, once thought of by some as revolutionary for cryptocurrency and digital art, have been found to be almost completely worthless.
A new report from dappGambl, a coalition of finance and blockchain technology experts, found that 69,795 out of 73,257 NFT collections have a market cap of zero Ether, also known as ETH, the second most-popular cryptocurrency next to Bitcoin.
In other words, 95 percent of NFTs have no monetary value, despite some previously selling for billions. The report estimates that 23 million people's "investments are now worthless."
"This highlights the incredibly high-risk nature of the NFT market and underscores the need for careful due diligence before making any purchases, especially ones of high-value," it states.
NFTs, also known as non-fungible tokens, are digital tokens that come with unique identifiers used to certify ownership and authenticity. Stored on the blockchain, which links and records transactions, the tokens can be sold and traded without being copied. The market peaked in 2021, but the industry has since tanked to "eye-watering" lows.
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The industry has faced debate over whether or not a digital file can be owned, or maintain authenticity. It has also been denounced for the style of "art" in many NFT collections, which critics say is heavily manufactured and lacks creative value.
The report notes that “projects that lack clear use cases, compelling narratives, or genuine artistic value are finding it increasingly difficult to attract attention and sales.”
"Though how you define art as having ‘substance’ is debatable, it stands to reason that plenty believe a large crop of NFTs on the market has none, otherwise there would be demand there to meet it," it continues.
The report said that to maintain lasting value, NFTs "need to either be historically relevant, true art, or provide genuine utility." As they continue to lose relevance, it is unlikely the market will stand the test of time.
"This daunting reality should serve as a sobering check on the euphoria that has often surrounded the NFT space," the report continued. "Amid stories of digital art pieces selling for millions and overnight success stories, it is easy to overlook the fact that the market is fraught with pitfalls and potential losses."
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