“What is an NFT?” is the most googled NFT-related question – research

On average, nearly a million searches are made on Google each month demanding to know what exactly an NFT is.

Forget crypto winter and the Merge – people are still trying to figure out what NFTs are, according to research by CoinGecko, a cryptocurrency data aggregation and tracking website.

An analysis of thousands of NFT-related Google search terms revealed “What is an NFT?” to be the most common one in the world. People ask this question 948,000 times each month – they really want to know. CoinGecko’s Zhong Yan Chan, who led the research, has the answers.

“NFTs are unique, non-fungible tokens on the blockchain, often used as digital representations of assets such as art, collectibles, music, video game items, and real-world assets such as property deeds, luxury items, diamonds, and more,” he says, helpfully.

Also, why are NFTs so expensive?

Having figured out what an NFT is, people are now keen to know how to get a hold of one. How do you create an NFT? Where do you buy and sell it? These are the second and third most popular Google questions regarding NFTs, with an average of 287,000 and 116,400 monthly searches, respectively.

According to Zhang, NFTs can be generated through the deployment of smart contracts and traded on various marketplaces, including OpenSea and Magic Eden, among others.

But just how much money you can make out of NFTs is what people want to know next. “What is the most expensive NFT?” is looked up 102,000 times monthly.

Beeple’s Everydays – The First 5000 Days is the most expensive individual NFT ever sold. It snatched $69 million at Christie’s auction last year. Meanwhile, The Merge by Pak is the most expensive collection, fetching almost $92 million at the Nifty Gateway digital art auction last December.

Which begs the question – why are NFTs so valuable? It is asked 64,000 times on average each month. A related query put forward 27,000 times each month asks why NFTs are so expensive.

Zhang explains: “As with physical art and other collectibles, an NFT becomes valuable if others perceive that it has value. The creator, the community surrounding the NFT, along with other factors, all influence the inherent value of the NFT.”

Fragment of Everydays. Image by Christie's/Beeple.

Is it better than crypto?

With money matters settled, it’s time for environmental concerns. “Are NFTs bad for the environment?” garners 32,000 monthly searches. According to Zhang, the most popular chains for NFTs, such as post-Merge Ethereum, Solana, and Polygon, are now based on an energy-efficient proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.

Which brings us to minting – what does that mean? This question is typed into Google’s search engine 29,800 times per month.

“Minting is the act of generating a record of an item, like an image or audio file onto the blockchain as an NFT,” Zhang says. He notes that the record typically consists of a path to retrieve the item from a database and valuable metadata such as the original creator, the timestamp of its creation, and other traits.

Finally, having learned all that, an ultimate question, googled 19,200 times each month: which is a better investment – NFTs or crypto?

“NFTs are neither better nor worse than crypto as an investment. Just like traditional art, luxury goods, stocks, derivative products and so on, NFTs are merely one of the many asset classes available,” Zhang says.

He adds: “Similar to crypto, NFT prices can be extremely volatile in nature, and we advise everyone to do your own research before investing.”

Now you know.

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