Most simply, an NFT is an entry on a blockchain, the same decentralized digital ledger technology that underlies cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. But unlike most Bitcoin – which is fungible, meaning that one coin is essentially indistinguishable from another and equivalent in value – tokens on these blockchains are non-fungible. That means they are unique, so they can represent one-of-a-kind things, like a rare William Shatner headshot or even the title to a piece of real estate.
And because they’re unique and stored on the blockchain, they’re unquestionably authentic. That’s especially important when the asset they represent is digital. Since digital files can be copied infinitely and perfectly, it’s hard to own (or sell) a rare digital photo of Captain Kirk. An NTF token solves the riddle by proving that one digital file is the one-and-only “original.”