The Problem with NFTs

17 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2023

See all articles by Thomas Conlon

Thomas Conlon

University College Dublin

Shaen Corbet

Dublin City University ; University of Waikato - Management School

Date Written: November 22, 2023


Non-fungible tokens, commonly known as NFTs, have risen to prominence in the recent, rapidly developing digital era, attempting to revolutionise the way that we perceive ownership, authenticity, and value in the online world. At their core, NFTs are unique digital assets verified using blockchain technology, the same decentralised ledger system underpinning cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum for example. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies, which are interchangeable or “fungible” (that is, where one Bitcoin is always equal to another Bitcoin), NFTs are distinct and non-interchangeable. This non-fungibility means each NFT has a unique value and cannot be replaced on a one-to-one basis with any other token. Instead, they should therefore, be considered rare collectable items in the digital realm, akin to owning a one-of-a-kind artwork, but in a digital format.

Suggested Citation

Conlon, Thomas and Corbet, Shaen, The Problem with NFTs (November 22, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Thomas Conlon

University College Dublin ( email )

Smurfit Graduate Business School
Co. Dublin, n/a


Shaen Corbet (Contact Author)

Dublin City University ( email )

Dublin 9

University of Waikato - Management School ( email )

New Zealand

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