Someone Please Explain NFTs & Why I Need A 'Mad Men' One

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Someone Please Explain NFTs & Why I Need A 'Mad Men' One

Well, it finally happened. Today, Wednesday, July 21, is the day that entertainment news has officially got me stumped. The story that did it: Tom Brady signing Naomi Osaka, Tiger Woods, Tony Hawk and Lionsgate to his NFT startup, Autograph. Now, upon first read, this just feels like a word salad, but the Internet assures me that it is, in fact, a real thing that makes perfect sense.

For those not in the know, a NFT is defined by Merriam-Webster as a "nonfungible token." It's essentially a unique, digital piece fingerprint "that is used to certify authenticity and ownership (as of a specific digital asset and specific rights relating to it." So, for example, specific images and memes can be assigned an NFT and sold to the highest bidder, and that image will always belong to them, as traced by the digital fingerprint. I think? I'm honestly not sure how it works, or how an NFT would even maintain value. It's not a copyright, as far as I can tell, which means owning a NFT meme doesn't really mean anything in terms of who can use said meme. I guess it's just for bragging rights?

Tom Brady, clearly, wants to use NFTs as digital autographs. Which explains why he signed all these A-list athletes to act on his company's advisory board. According to People, Brady's Autograph company will "curate a digital collectables experience from some of the biggest brands and celebrities." So, basically, it's the cost of an autograph or collectable, but with none of the fun?

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The partnership with Osaka, Hawk, and other celebrities sort of makes sense to me if I just think of NFTs as an online autograph. But the Lionsgate partnership is really where I get stumped. With this deal, Autograph will be able to sell NFTs featuring Lionsgate properties, including The Hunger Games, Mad Men, John Wick, and Dirty Dancing, per The Hollywood Reporter. What in the world would a Mad Men NFT even look like? Is it just a picture of Don Draper smoking a cigarette with an invisible, digital authentification sticker on it? WHAT IS THE POINT OF IT ALL?

I just don't understand it. Are NFTs helpful in any way? Do they have a good resale value? Do they provide owners anything other than bragging rights? Why is this a thing, and yet we can't get universal healthcare yet? Someone explain this to me, I'm begging you.


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