Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are surging in popularity with over $23 billion in value created during 2021, according to Cointelegraph.  What are NFTs? How may they facilitate further growth of the metaverse?
What Is An NFT?
An NFT is a digital asset representing either digital or real-world objects such as art, music, in-game items, videos, and virtual real estate. Think of them as digital deeds of ownership. The term non-fungible means that each is unique and cannot be substituted for another asset. An NFT is stored on a blockchain  and may include information including the identity of an asset, ownership, asset history, sale and resale information, royalties, etc.
Is It Art?
NFTs are often used to facilitate the sale and ownership of digital art. For example, during 2021, an NFT representing a piece of digital art by artist Beeple sold at a Christie’s auction for $69 million. 
NFTs are especially effective for facilitating the purchase and sale of digital art as they represent an immutable record both indicating authenticity and ownership. To illustrate, anyone can own a copy of a Picasso, but only one person owns the original. An NFT indicates the original work of art and its owner. An NFT can also record its history and be programmed to pay the artist a royalty every time it changes hands.
Some popular uses for NFTs in the metaverse include:
Basically, just about any asset can be purchased or sold as an NFT.
Use Cases Will Likely Expand
As the metaverse expands, uses for NFTs will likely expand. NFTs may be used in education to represent diplomas or certificates. They may be used in the healthcare industry to represent a patient’s medical records.
NFTs, backed by blockchain, provide immutable records of authenticity and ownership that may prove superior to existing methods and, therefore, facilitate the future expansion of the metaverse and the commerce that may be transacted on these platforms.
How May Investors Gain Exposure to the Metaverse?
The Fount Metaverse ETF (MTVR)
The Fount Metaverse ETF seeks to provide investment results that, before fees and expenses, generally correspond to the performance of the Fount Metaverse Index. The index was designed to measure the performance of companies that develop, manufacture, distribute, or sell products related to metaverse technology.
 Tiwari, Anirudh, NFTs Find True Utility With the Advent of the Metaverse in 2021, Cointelegraph, 12/31/21
 Blockchain technology may be defined as a decentralized, distributed ledger that records the provenance of a digital asset.
 Hammer, Sarah, How NFTs Can Move Beyond Arts and Entertainment, Wall Street Journal, 2/22/22
 Deep Dive: Why NFTs Are the Keys to the Inevitable Metaverse, Subspace, 7/22/21
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