British dictionary publisher Collins releases the Word of the Year every year.

Each presentation attracts attention from people around the world in that it offers a glimpse of the most powerful issue of the year. Climate strike in 2019 and lockdown in 2020 were selected as the words of the year.

In 2021, the main character was “NFT (Unreplaceable Token).” It was recognized as the most important keyword, beating out prominent candidates such as “metabus,” “cryptocurrency,” “climate anxiety,” and “hybrid work.” Collins said, “NFT is a unique combination of art, technology, and commerce that shows the current situation. The frequency of using NFT words increased by 11,000% year-on-year,” he said, explaining the reason for the selection.

This year, the NFT market is getting more excited. News of high-priced NFT transactions worth tens of billions of won is popping up day by day, and the community is pouring out verification posts saying, “I made hundreds of times the return by investing in NFT.

Expectations and concerns coexist in the view of the NFT market. Some argue that it is an “innovative industry that has never existed in the world,” while others criticize it as “spinning bombs” and “digital chips.” Is the NFT innovation or speculation? Let’s summarize the issues and controversies surrounding the NFT.

NFT #2087, which was first sold at the Boring Monkey Yacht Club (BAYC), was about 30,000 won at 0.08 Ethereum, but the recent transaction price is well over 3 billion won (BAYC site capture).

Here is a portrait of a monkey. A monkey with a loud fur color was seen opening his eyes with a cigarette in his mouth. The name of the work? There’s no such thing. If I have to choose, “2087” is the name of the work. This means it is the 2087th of 10,000 monkey paintings that look slightly different. It is said that there are 10,000 similar paintings. It looks more like an illustration than a work.

However, the price is beyond imagination. The latest sale price of the painting is 769 Ethereum, which is well over 3 billion won in Korean currency. You’ll be even more surprised to know the initial selling price. In May 2021, 10,000 monkeys were sold (?) at a place called BAYC and the amount received was about 30,000 won (0.08 Ethereum). Prices have soared by 100,000 times in just half a year.

“How many clicks can you make billions of won?”

This one word is enough to explain why money is flocking to the NFT market recently. Numerous investors who have tasted unrealistic returns directly or indirectly are entering the NFT market with a lump sum of money. According to the global NFT website “Non-Fundable Dotcom,” the total amount of NFT traded last year was $17.695 billion (about 21.96 trillion won). This is an increase of 21,350% from 2020. Sales also rose 1836 percent year-on-year to 27.41 million. Thanks to blockchain technology, digital files that were useless in the past have become “goods” to buy and sell. In other words, a new investment market worth tens of trillion won, which has never been before, has been created “quickly.”

▶ “Yield rate is sweet”a surge in ant investors

▷Attention as a means to satisfy a sense of belonging and desire to show off

Recognition of NFT investment is rapidly becoming popular. In the past, there was a strong tendency to regard it as a hobby of rich nerds. When there was news that a digital art was sold for about 80 billion won at the Sotheby’s auction, and when there was an article that a line of tweets by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey was sold for 3.3 billion won, many people said, “I guess so.” This is because it sounded like a story from a different world away from reality.

It has changed recently. Their reviews and certification posts that “they made actual money from NFT investment” are pouring out around the investment community and Mom Cafe. This is due to the increase in the number of “NFT projects,” which release 10,000 at a time in large quantities, increasing the sale itself and lowering the initial investment amount.

The most widely known example of successful investment in NFT projects among NFT ant investors is “Metacongs.” It is a project that NFTs randomly generated 3D gorilla illustrations through programming, and it went viral as CEO Lee Doo-hee, famous for being a “genius hacker,” participated. In December last year, Metacongs released 10,000 NFTs in 150 clay (in cryptocurrency) and KRW 300,000 per unit. About three months later, Metacongs’ floor price (the cheapest NFT of all NFTs) is 16,500 clays. If the person who succeeded in purchasing it for the first time has not yet sold it, it has earned at least 100 times more profit.

Following this, domestic NFT projects that started selling also became a “success” one after another. In the pre-sale of the meta-bus project “Clay City” held in February, 900 NFTs were sold out in three seconds. Among them, NFT, which is the most rare, was traded for 100 million won and attracted attention. The NFT “Sunmiya Club,” led by KOSDAQ-listed company FSN, was also exhausted in February, with the motif of singer Sunmi.

Park Na-young (pseudonym), who continues to invest in NFT after succeeding in purchasing two Metacongs at the time of initial sale, said, “I invested 600,000 won to earn 5 million won. I sold one, but I still have one. The profits earned here are used as seed money and are purchased whenever other NFT projects are held. The price may fall from now on, but I will continue to participate from the perspective of long-term investment.”

Kim Sang-yoon, a professor of computer engineering at Chung-Ang University, said, “The development of digital technology seems to provide opportunities to create new wealth. The NFT will serve as a pass to enter the upcoming metabus world. It is natural for the importance of digital assets to increase in the digital virtual world,” he explained.