The Margin: ‘What the hell’s an NFT?’ — ‘SNL’ explains in an amazing rap parody

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NFTs have officially gone mainstream.

Non-fungible tokens are the hottest thing in the crypto-asset community these days, generating headlines and social-media buzz even though many people still have no idea what they are or how they work. But it might have taken a sketch on this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” to answer the big question: “What the hell’s an NFT?”

In the sketch, Kate McKinnon plays Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen addressing a college economics class, when an Eminem-clad Pete Davidson asks a question.

“Two Silicon boys were talkin’ outside,” he starts, to the tune of Eminem’s 2000 hit “Without Me.” It quickly breaks into an elaborate rap parody, joined by Chris Redd, who offers a rapid-fire “list of complete nonsense.”

Then musical guest Jack Harlow, playing a janitor who wanders by, joins in and actually presents a pretty decent explanation: “Non-fungible means that it’s unique,” he raps. “There can only be one like you and me. NFTs are insane, built on a blockchain. A digital ledger of transactions, it records information on what’s happening. Once it’s minted, you can sell it as art.”

The sketch ends with the four of them getting Photoshopped onto a background of Abbey Road and sold as an NFT for (of course) 420 ether — about $ 718,000.

So that clears things up, right?

For the record, NFTs are intended to be unique — like art or collectibles — and aren’t meant to serve as a currency. They tend to be written on the ethereum blockchain and carry unique digital signatures that cannot be altered, guaranteeing authenticity.

Read: ‘Obviously, we had no idea it was going to get here,’ say the guys who made the first NFT

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, NFL star Rob Gronkowski and the startup marketplace NBA Top Shot have all been in the headlines recently for their eye-popping NFT deals.

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