The art world was shocked when a non-fungible token, or NFT, of a JPG by viral artist Beeple sold for $69 million. Yet perhaps they shouldn't have been. NFTs are changing how art is sold online, and even if you're planning to keep your art in the real world, you should understand how they work. This beginner's guide offers the perfect entry into NFTs and how they help artists manage digital rights.

The hour-long course, broken up into eight lectures, is taught by Benjamin Wilson, an entrepreneur and social media marketing expert. At its most basic, "non-fungible" means that it's unique, and can't be replaced by another token. This is used to preserve ownership rights and keep track of who holds them to a particular work, which is increasingly important in an era where art can be endlessly copied, posted, reproduced, and misused without the artist's knowledge.

Issuing an NFT for their work enables the token holder to keep track of who has the rights and when. Since NFTs are developed on the Ethereum blockchain, there's an open, public ledger that allows for easy tracking of the tokens as they're exchanged between buyers, limiting disputes and keeping art accessible.

The "smart contracts" possible in Ethereum also allow for royalties after the first sale and more control for artists over how their work is managed and sold. For example, an NFT can stipulate that if the rights are resold, the artist receives a percentage of the sale. It's particularly ideal for digital art that's difficult to otherwise monetize, such as GIFs, that artists want to get paid for. Artists can more effectively monetize their work, and focus on creating, rather than selling, knowing that the rights are secure.

Usually, this course would cost $199.99, yet currently, it's $19.99, 89% off.

Prices subject to change.

Futurism fans: To create this content, a non-editorial team worked with an affiliate partner. We may collect a small commission on items purchased through this page. This post does not necessarily reflect the views or the endorsement of the editorial staff.

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