NFT (Non-fungible token) has been named word of the year 2021 by the Collins English Dictionary. This puts it ahead of the terms “crypto” and “cheugy”.
11,000% increase in usage since last year
This year, the word NFT topped the British Collins Dictionary. The English term (French for “unfungible token”), has seen an 11,000% increase in usage since last year, Collins told Guardian.
The abbreviation for “cryptocurrency”, crypto has also seen a rise in usage, to the tune of 400% this year, and thus occupies the2nd place in the ranking.
In 2019, Collins chose “climate strike” as his word of the year. For 2020, the word “containment” had been elected by a landslide.
As we explained in our article on NFTs, NFTs are tokens registered on the Ethereum blockchain. The principle is similar to that of cryptocurrency tokens, except that each NFT has its own values and characteristics. They can’t really be considered as a currency, then. To simplify, a picture, a song or even a meme or a pixel can be considered as an NFT.
“NFTs seem to be everywhere, from art sections to financial pages to galleries and auction houses and on social media platforms, Alex Beecroft, managing director of Collins told the Guardian. Whether NFT will have a lasting influence remains to be seen, but its sudden presence in conversations around the world makes it very clearly our word of the year.”
This is an easily explained choice. This, everyone has already heard about this phenomenon, which has shocked more than one because of the huge sums that some are ready to spend to acquire it.
The art market in turmoil
These non-fungible tokens have already profoundly transformed the art market.
Last November, the rapper Booba sold his “TN” video as an NFT, so that buyers could preview the images of the song, with other exclusivities at the end.
The singers of the K-Pop boy band BTS also took part in the phenomenon. Indeed, the group’s label, Hybe has signed a deal to produce non-fungible tokens (NFT) of the seven artists. The Korean group is thus planning to publish NFT photos of its members jointly with the South Korean exchange Upbit, run by cryptocurrency operator Dunamu (the country’s largest!).
And luxury brands are not left out. For its fall/winter 2021 collection, Gucci collaborated with Christie’s on an NFT video called “Aria,” which sold for $25,000 in June… In addition, the Burberry brand launched its first NFT Sharky B in partnership with Blankos Block Party last August.
The Metaverse: the world of tomorrow?
The word metavers was also noted in Collins’ list. This word refers to a kind of virtual or augmented reality parallel world in which users can share experiences and trade in real time, including using cryptocurrencies.
Crypto, NFT, Metaverse… so many futuristic terms whose use has exploded in the last two years, which reflects the profound transformations that our society is undergoing. We live in an increasingly digital society: now we can buy digital goods, on digital platforms with digital currency.
This is a phenomenon that can make some people cringe. However, we cannot deny that the LFAs are a great help to artists. Indeed, the pandemic is making the art world run in slow motion. The NFTs are therefore an economic model that artists can rely on during the crisis!