Non-Fungible Tokens

This is the first post, in what I imagine will be a series that I’m calling: What the F is that?.

It’s loosely based upon things that I read online, that I have basically no idea what is being referred to. You should expect just a few paragraphs, maybe a couple links. Real surface level coverage here.

What the F is that: non-fungible tokens

First, what does it mean for something to be fungible? From Wikipedia > In economics, fungibility is the property of a good or a commodity whose individual units are essentially interchangeable, and each of its parts is indistinguishable from another part.[1][2] > > For example, gold is fungible since a specified amount of pure gold is equivalent to that same amount of pure gold, whether in the form of coins, ingots, or in other states. Other fungible commodities include sweet crude oil, company shares, bonds, other precious metals, and currencies. > > Fungibility refers only to the equivalence and indistinguishability of each unit of a commodity with other units of the same commodity, and not to the exchange of one commodity for another.

So what is a non-fungible token?

Again, from Wikipedia > A non-fungible token (NFT) is a special type of cryptographic token which represents something unique; non-fungible tokens are thus not mutually interchangeable.[1] This is in contrast to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and many network or utility tokens that are fungible in nature.[2] > > Non-fungible tokens are used to create verifiable digital scarcity, as well as digital ownership, and the possibility of asset interoperability across multiple platforms.[3] NFTs are used in several specific applications that require unique digital items like crypto art, digital collectibles, and online gaming.

Recently when visiting a used books store with my wife, we were discussing DRM and was unaware that we don’t really “own” our Kindle books per se, in the ownership sense of being able to re-sell those ebooks. This, in theory, is annoying.

I get it, DRM and DMCA is complicated stuff. Mostly, it seems like they are complicated for trying to fit pre-digital legal and ownership frameworks onto modern digital entities.

From a really high level, it kind of sounds like non-fungible tokens might make some of that stuff a lot easier. If you can re-sell a non-fungible token, and if an ebook can be made a NFT, then i would seem to reason that there will be a future framework for re-selling them. Which, you know, cool - but also I’m not selling you my ebooks. I love them all.