‘An NFT winter' is coming and ‘I can't wait’: Gary Vaynerchuk

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Gary Vaynerchuk is a serial entrepreneur who has developed a huge following online with a prolific posts and initiatives touching on communications, sports, and digital advertising.

But these days he’s all in on crypto – specifically the world of non-fungible tokens (NFT).

His project, called VeeFriends, is built around collecting these digital assets and then cultivating an “extraordinary community” around them. It’s where he is putting his energy even as he predicts that “an NFT winter” is coming soon. Vaynerchuk predicted that a coming NFT crash is being driven by “short-term greed and supply and demand issues.”

“I can't wait," he said Tuesday at “Crypto Goes Mainstream” event put on by Yahoo Finance and Decrypt.

A non-fungible token is a unique piece of the digital world – a record of ownership of a photograph, a work of art, or a document – backed by blockchain technology, and is able to be bought and sold. Even venerable shops like Christie's are getting into the NFT game and recently sold a piece of digital art for $69.3 million. (NFTs give you ownership of the digital work; others can make a copy of a digital picture but there is only one original.)

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 31:  Gary Vaynerchuk attends WORLDZ Cultural Marketing Summit 2017 at Hollywood and Highland on July 31, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for PTTOW!)
Gary Vaynerchuk. (Jerod Harris/Getty Images for PTTOW!) (Jerod Harris via Getty Images)

Last month Christie’s auctioned five art works created by Vaynerchuk for his VeeFriends NFT collection for $1.2 million. Vaynerchuk also recently started an outlet called VaynerNFT to focus his efforts in the NFT world.

But some market observers say the NFT frenzy is peaking and the bubble will burst. NFTs now are “analogous to the early internet days in the 90’s and social media in the late 2000’s,” said Vaynerchuk.

Vaynerchuk painted a portrait of what this coming crash could look like. He says 98% of the NFT products will lose value, but the “the 2% [that won't] are going to be so much more extraordinarily high.”

What people need to do to invest, he said, is “to do the homework, to see the opportunity.”

He said the moment will be akin to Amazon (AMZN) in its early days. In 2000, that stock fell because "everything got caught up in that undercurrent,” Vaynerchuk said. That “was the time to buy Amazon” because the online retailer became a juggernaut, and many of its competitors disappeared following the 2000 dot-com bubble.

Vaynerchuk is counting on his digital art holdings to be the Amazon of NFTs. He hopes, when all is said and done, the work will be “as famous as Scooby-Doo.”

Ben Werschkul is a writer and producer for Yahoo Finance in Washington, DC.

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