Non-fungible tokens have been touted as a way to rescue lesser-known artists from financial peril. Instead, they’re mostly helping the rich get richer
Over the past few weeks, big-name musicians have made millions selling non-fungible tokens, blockchain-based certificates of authenticity that can be linked to individual digital artworks. Grimes sold almost $6 million in NFTs in just 20 minutes; Steve Aoki sold a collection for upwards of $4.25 million; and Kings of Leon sold a batch for roughly $2 million.
The meteoric rise of the market for NFTs has been great for artists who are already well-known, already successful, and already rich. But so far, it’s hard to find examples of it offering a windfall to those who could actually use the money: small and midsize independent musicians.