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An NFT showroom showing non-fungible tokens. Alamy Stock Photo
Non-fungible tokens

NFTs remain a mystery to most Irish people but a quarter would consider buying one

Polling by Red C on behalf of The Journal has found the digital assets are a long way from being mainstream.

ALMOST A QUARTER of Irish people have said they would consider buying an NFT but there remains a widespread lack of awareness about the controversial digital assets.

Recent polling by Red C on behalf of The Journal has found just 2% of people surveyed had bought and NFT, while 59% of people had never heard of them. 

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital-only pieces of data that can be bought or sold and are stored on the blockchain, which is akin to an online ledger. 

NFTs took off in popularity last year when artists began selling them as unique pieces of art, or even as just a certificates rather than the art itself. 

More recently, NFTs have been bought and sold more widely, often as certificates for randomly generated computer images. NFTs have been promoted by various celebrities and last week the DSPCA cancelled a planned fundraising sale of NFTs due to their environmental impact. 

Every interaction with the blockchain involves fees to pay for “mining” – the hugely energy-intensive computer calculations needed to verify each transaction.

Aside from the environmental element, there has been criticism that companies are encouraging fans of celebrities or sports teams to buy NFTs without any guarantees as to their value. 

This new research from the Red C/The Journal shows, however, that NFTs are a long way from breaking into the mainstream. 

Just 2% of people say they have bought an NFT, a figure that’s made up of 1% of women and 4% of men.

Those who were surveyed were asked the following question: 

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are a type of digital asset that represents real world objects, such as art, music, videos, and other types of digital files. They are bought and sold online, frequently with cryptocurrency. Which of the following best reflects your experience of NFTs?

In total, 48% of people said they had never heard of NFTs and were unlikely to buy one in the future, while 11% of people said they had never heard of them but might buy one. 

Those who had heard of NFTs and would never buy one was 27% of people while 12% said they had heard of them and would consider buying.

Overall, there were 25% of people who had either bought one or might in the future. Unsurprisingly, that figure was higher among younger people surveyed.

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