Don’t Get NFTs? Don’t Worry, Neither Do Most Americans

By Charlie Wells

Wealthy investors are proving their willingness to drop millions of dollars on non-fungible tokens, the latest digital-art craze.

But average Americans? Most say they wouldn’t spend more than $100. The median amount they say they’d spend is about as much as a gag gift or low-budget Secret Santa — $10.

Photo by Tony Schnagl from Pexels

Such is the disconnect over NFTs, unique digital collectibles that use the same technology as cryptocurrencies to prove ownership of everything from tweets to memes.

The market for these collectibles is now valued at some $1 billion. But according to new data provided to Bloomberg by the Harris Poll, many Americans don’t understand — or highly value— this emerging segment of the art world.

In a nationally representative survey of 1,948 people, the pollsters found that only 27 percent of Americans say they are very or somewhat familiar with NFTs. Men, millennials and the wealthy appeared more aware.

Rest assured, if you read our description of NFTs in the third paragraph and remained perplexed, you’re not alone: Even when read a description of NFTs, most people remained confused. Only 30 percent said they understood how NFTs work while 70 percent said that even after an explanation, they still didn’t really get them very well or at all. 

The poll was conducted between March 19 and 21, before this SNL skit aired, so it’s unclear if this helped at all:

Americans did express some willingness to buy NFTs. A full 42 percent said they saw NFTs as a legitimate form of art collection. However, don’t expect them to shell out as much as recent collectors have for the digital collectibles. Last week, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold his first-ever tweet for $2.9 million. A few weeks before, a digital-asset investor paid $69.3 million for an NFT that looks like a mosaic.

Meanwhile, 74 percent of Americans reported wanting to spend just $99 or less on an NFT if their favorite artist or professional sports team were to make an item available in this format. The median response was even lower, at $10.

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