Well, to be more precise, intangible assets are more valuable than tangible assets.
Do you own an NFT?
Did you see the news headline the other day where a piece of digital art sold for $69.3m? See Beeple NFT Fetches Record-Breaking $69 Million in Christie’s Sale.
Are you watching bitcoin’s price, and the interest investors have in hedging against inflation?
Did you see that the founder of Twitter just sold his first tweet for
Does your organization spend more money every year on IP, software, and services than plant, machinery, place, things and equipment?
Each of these questions represent the argument that our world is changing and that ideas, IP, software, brand – intangible assets – are more important and more valuable than physical things like plant, hardware, and equipment. I have blogged in this before () but the trigger for today’s blog is NFT’s and the sale recently of a very expensive NFT.
Previous blogs on this topic:
- The Consequence of Valuing Data (2019)
- Intangibles Now Drive More Productivity Than Tangibles – Perhaps (2018)
An NFT is a non-fungible token. An NFT is an authentic digital artifact. One might relate an NFT to a digital twin that has no twin in the physical world. NFTs are like Bitcoin in the sense they have technology that demonstrates the uniqueness and primacy of the artifact over digital copies. Jack Dorsey recently turned his first ever tweet into an NFT and sold it for $2.9m.
The growth in interest of NFTs is astonishing but pleasing. It demonstrates that intangible assets can and will be valued, increasingly, as a store as value. As they can also be readily exchanged for cash, they can also increase their use as a medium of exchange, though the number of uses remains very low. The recognition of NFTs and their value in the consumer art market will help increase this opportunity.
To those that have studied the role of intangible assets in how firms drive productivity compared to tangible assets, this is all old news. We have been waiting for the Old World (well, the current one) to catch up with the New World. The Old World, as represented by accounting bodies and standards and Central Banks, have all been stuck-in-the-muds. Only recently have Central Banks piloted Bitcoin-like digital or crypto-currencies. But most of the announced pilots are more like hedging tactics by old firms hoping the new ideas really don’t get established. No central bank has gone all-in since they would have to eat their children.
The sale of Beeple may cause accounting authorities to get serious. Why is it your customer list is more valuable to the market after you go broke and go out of business? Why does it cost more insure your infrastructure rather than your business process IP? How do you stop your most non-fungible, competitive, creative assets walk out the door?