What is an NFT and why is Circuit of the Americas selling them?

Business
NASCAR at COTA

Photo: Todd Bynum/KXAN

AUSTIN (KXAN) — You may have heard about NFTs lately, they’ve sold for thousands sometimes millions of dollars. But what the heck is an NFT? That’s a question we were asking after Circuit of the Americas (COTA) announced that they were debuting two.

What is an NFT?

Nonfungible tokens.

Okay, but…what is a nonfungible token?

Yeah, you’re right that doesn’t help. A nonfungible token is a digital asset that proves exclusive ownership of something; like artwork, a clip of video or a meme. Think online bragging rights.

For example, Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, sold his first ever tweet as an NFT for just under $3 million. The tweet is still online, you can go look at it right now. Actually, I’ll make it easier for you. Here it is:

But someone, for the price of nearly $3 million, now owns that tweet and can prove it.

NFTs have sold for millions in other situations too, musician Grimes sold several pieces of digital artwork for $6 million. Ownership of a meme was even put up for thousands as an NFT.

“By creating an NFT, creators are able to verify scarcity and authenticity to just about anything digital,” Solo Ceesay, co-founder and COO of Calaxy, told Insider Magazine as they worked to break down this very topic. “To compare it to traditional art collecting, there are endless copies of the Mona Lisa in circulation, but there is only one original. NFT technology helps assign the ownership of the original piece.”

COTA getting on board

It’s not Jack Dorsey’s first ever tweet, but COTA is trying to get into the NFT game too. They announced this week that they’re launching their first two NFTs in partnership with Art Space Motion, a New York-based agency.

They say each single press, limited edition NFT will also include two VIP passes for MotoGP or Fomula 1 this year or next.

The NFTs are digital pieces of art. One of them is a 360 view, start to finish line panorama view at COTA, the other is of the tower.

“Circuit of The Americas hosts some of the world’s most iconic sports and entertainment events,” said Bobby Epstein, Chairman of Circuit of The Americas. “Just as visitors realize how unique and special COTA is, we know collectors will appreciate the significance behind our designs as well as the premium hospitality associated with the winning bids.”

According to the website, neither NFT has received bids yet. The minimum bids for both sit at roughly $30,000.

You can view them here:

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