You may think you have experienced buyer’s remorse. But until you’ve splashed out £4,000 on a Jpeg, you have not. That’s where I found myself the other day, after an adrenalin-fuelled afternoon bidding on a digital collectible ‘card’ depicting the Mona Lisa sitting on an easel.
The item in question is a Curio Card, one of the earliest examples of a non-fungible token (NFT), a new technology used to buy and sell digital art. NFTs are the latest frontier for crypto-currency maniacs, the online gold rushers who keep financial watchdogs awake at night. Bored by a quiet summer for stock markets, memes and bitcoin speculation, the maniacs are piling into the fledgling digital-art market.
It is booming. In August, punters spent a total of $2 billion on NFTs.