Sunday Times

NFTs in music

Don’t you know, they’re talking about a revolution? Sounds like whisper,

- writes Andrea Nagel

We’ve heard of the art world waking up to NFTs ( nonfungibl­e tokens, which prove ownership of a piece of digital content, like art) but is this cryptocurr­encyadjace­nt digital format revolution­ising the music industry?

What are NFTs?

Most simply, they’re a digital certificat­e of authentici­ty — proof of ownership despite how many digital copies exist. They rely on blockchain, the same energy-intensive technology that underlies bitcoin and other cryptocurr­encies.

Which musicians are selling NFTs?

Kings of Leon, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, and Shawn Mendes have climbed on the band wagon, and Portugal. The Man proclaimed that “cryptocurr­ency is the new rock’n’roll”. The Weeknd tweeted that he’s working on a “new song living in NFT space”; Gorillaz revealed NFT plans as part of their debut album’s 20th anniversar­y; and Lindsay Lohan is turning her latest single into an NFT. Boy George, K Camp, Snoop Dogg, Axel Mansoor (a Mauritian musician who’s become famous on the Clubhouse app) and Lionel Richie joined Crypto.com’s new NFT platform last week.

Controvers­y around NFTs?

The idea that a digital certificat­e of authentici­ty is valuable, but the infinitely replicable artwork itself is not, raises questions about what “art” and “authentici­ty” actually mean. Also NFTs are partially responsibl­e for the millions of tons of planet-heating carbon dioxide emissions generated by the cryptocurr­encies used to buy and sell them.

Who buys music NFTs?

They’re luxuries for the wealthy, reflecting the socioecono­mic dynamics of the art, music and tech worlds that created them.

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