It has been announced that DC and Warner Bros will be releasing Batman-themed NFTs later this month. You may be asking what is an NFT? NFT stands for non-fungible token and the people selling them are trying to make them out to be a form of investment. While I am a huge fan of Batman and have been since I was a child, I will not be partaking in the Batman NFT craze.
Let’s look at what an NFT is in my opinion. An NFT is nothing more than a way for corporations to make even more money for something that they have already made millions of dollars on. While yes, some NFTs are items like music or artwork; a lot of them are images or, like the Batman NFT, a 3D rendering.
I do not see these as an investment, mainly because when you invest you have options like being able to borrow money against your investment, for example, artwork can be used as collateral at a bank for a loan up to the value of the art piece. Even some Crypto exchanges allow you to borrow cash if you use your crypto as collateral. You can use these things as collateral because there can only be one copy, and there is true assigned value on that item, vs. NFTs that are priced from the start based solely on how much money the company or individual wants to make. Take the Batman NFT as an example. DC and Warner Bros are stating they will be selling the Batman NFT for $300 and are expecting a profit of $60 million after all sales are final. (BI India Bureau, 2022)
The problem I see with NFTs is that, while yes, they have authentication built into them to prove who the owner is, they can still be copied as shown in an example video by a cyber security researcher John Hammond last year. (Hammond, 2021)
What John Hammond was able to prove in his video is that while the original NFT may have been secured using the same programming as cryptocurrencies, the thumbnail used to display what you are buying is not; meaning copies of your NFT could be spread out to the masses, devaluing your NFT.
Another issue with NFT is the very nature of an NFT—it is non-fungible, meaning it is not tradable or exchangeable for another. Plus, according to an article in Forbes, “NFTs are different. Each has a digital signature that makes it impossible for NFTs to be exchanged for or equal to one another (hence, non-fungible).” (Conti, 2021) This makes it sound like once you buy your NFT you are stuck with it for life, unable to trade, sell or use it outside of being able to look, listen or watch it depending on the type of NFT you buy.
In conclusion, Warner Bros and DC wanting to sell Batman NFTs can only be good for Warner Bros and DC. While all investments should be looked at as you are only investing what you are willing to lose, NFTs should be looked at as you are 100 percent okay with taking a 100 percent profit loss on the investment. Sure, maybe you will be able to sell it someday, but unlike other major investments, you would not be able to use that investment for anything meaningful. There is also a lot more volatility with this type of investment because the value can rapidly change, or crash.
BI India Bureau. (2022, April 4). Warner Bros and DC are betting on Batman NFTs to deliver a $60 million profit. Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.in/investment/news/warner-bros-and-dc-are-betting-on-batman-nfts-to-deliver-a-60-million-profit/articleshow/90638773.cms
Conti, R. (2021, April 29). What you need to know about non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Forbes Advisor. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/investing/nft-non-fungible-token/
Hammond, J. (2021, December 27). I DOWNLOADED ALL THE NFTS! (cryptopunks) [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzpyhZHDPys