Once relegated to the fringe of the crypto/FinTech communities, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have recently exploded to the forefront of modern pop culture and are taking on an ever increasing number of forms—from collectible digital kittens, to sport highlights, to music albums, to pieces of art auctioned off by Christie’s for US $69.3 million.

But what, exactly, is a non-fungible token and how is it different from a fungible, or any other, token? In a recent Legal Update, “Anatomy of an NFT,” Andrew Lom, partner in the Norton Rose Fulbright New York, and Rachael Browndorf, Associate in the Norton Rose Fulbright Denver Office, discuss NFTs and the various questions they raise:

  • What if the NFT is the asset and doesn’t represent anything separate?
  • If I own an NFT, do I really own the object it represents?
  • Are NFTs regulated and, if so, how?

These sorts of questions are extremely important for consumers, industry and attorneys alike—and, unfortunately, the answers to many of them are unclear and still being clarified.

Norton Rose Fulbright has a useful database of FinTech materials for those who are interested in learning more about the subject.