NFTs: Tulip Mania or Digital Renaissance?


Dian Ross, Victoria Lemieux, Edmond Cretu

Date of Publication


Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) institutions have begun to sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) of works from their collections following the $69.3 M USD record sale of Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days at Christie’s auction house on March 11, 2021. But many open questions exist about whether NFTs are beneficial or harmful for such institutions from financial, regulatory, and environmental perspectives. In this paper, we aim to unpack what NFTs are within the context of tokenomics and Ethereum standards development by providing an overview of notable NFTs and selling platforms before discussing the pros and cons of their use in GLAM institutions and exploring open research challenges through the lens of Computational Archival Science. Methodologies for the creation (minting) and purchase of NFTs are provided, emphasizing NFTs’ record keeping abilities, while also highlighting their inherent vulnerabilities, particularly with regards to the now-infamous broken link problem and its implications for provenance tracking and authenticity.

External Link

Read the Research Paper

  • Conference Paper

First Nations land acknowledegement

We acknowledge that the UBC Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm.

UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Chats Two speech clouds. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. External Link An arrow entering a square. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Mail An envelope. Menu Three horizontal lines indicating a menu. Minus A minus sign. Telephone An antique telephone. Plus A plus symbol indicating more or the ability to add. Search A magnifying glass. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service.