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An introduction to NFTs

In an era where technology is moving forward in leaps and bounds it is but natural that the art world enters a new domain, ‘NFT.’ The abbreviation NFT stands for a Non-fungible token. It is a unique digital token now recognised as a collectible digital asset. This means that if you have the winning bid for an artwork, you will not get a sculpture, painting, or even a print in flesh. Instead, you will receive a unique digital token referred to as an NFT. 

These digital tokens are cryptographic assets on blockchain that aren't replicable because of their unique identification codes and metadata. This means that NFTs have distinctive properties and cannot be exchanged like-for-like. NFTs often symbolise real-world objects such as art and real estate. They also represent music, identities, and property rights.

To better understand the application of NFTs, take Manjit Bawa's 'Lady in Bird' painting as an example. One could document the work by taking a picture, but there will only be one original 'Lady in Bird.' Buyers of this artwork sold as an NFT will receive a  "token" as proof of them being the owners of the original work. NFTs are similar to any other physical collector's item, but instead of getting Bawa's oil on canvas painting that you can hang on your wall, you might receive a JPG file, for instance. These files hold information that makes them a part of the Ethereum blockchain. Hence, it is not possible to save and replicate the image of an NFT since the downloaded file will not include the same information as the original one. 

NFTs have added a certain element of novelty in digital art and collectibles in general and seem to be here for the long run. NFT creators comprise upcoming artists, auction houses, art galleries, gamers, and brands across the vast gamut of culture. The fact that every day brings with it a new player in the NFT world makes us believe that NFTs are here to stay. Prinseps is proud to announce that we are the premier auction house in India to present an NFT auction!

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