Why is an animated flying cat with a Pop-Tart body sold for almost $ 600,000

The NFT market began to recover last year, with more than 222,000 people participating in sales worth $ 250 million, quadrupling the volume in 2019, according to Nonfungible.com, which tracks the market. As day trading has increased alongside the stock market during the pandemic, investors have sought riskier and more esoteric places to make money, from sneakers and streetwear to wine and art.

At the same time, the surge in cryptocurrency prices meant that more Bitcoin millionaires had money to burn. The high-profile NFT releases of Deadmau5, the music producer, and Justin Roiland, the creator of the cartoon “Rick and Morty”, have garnered attention. And the start of the National Basketball Association season drew people to the league’s new digital collectible cards.

Justin Blau, a DJ who goes through 3LAU, turned to NFTs after the pandemic interrupted his tour. He and his artistic director, Mike Parisella, who goes by his name Slimesunday, have started selling unreleased songs with exclusive visual effects. They have sold more than $ 1.1 million in digital art and music, Mr Blau said. Last week he announced his intention to release a full album as NFT.

Even though Mr. Blau and Mr. Parisella retain the copyright to their work, and even though it can be easily copied and shared, fans have been keen to collect the original and authentic versions.

“There’s this whole new culture of owning native digital assets,” Mr. Blau said. “It’s an emotional thing.”

Mr. Blau is also a collector and has purchased 25 digital art pieces. He is active in a WhatsApp chat called Chad Team 6, where a group of well-known DJs share crypto investing tips.

Griffin Cock Foster founded Nifty Gateway, an NFT buy and sell site, with its identical twin, Duncan, in 2018. The company sold for an undisclosed amount to Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange founded by a another pair of identical cryptocurrency-inclined twins, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the following year. The Cock Foster brothers, now 26, continue to operate the business.

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