Wikipedia editors vote against classifying NFTs as art, shelving issue citing ‘lack of reliable information’

A group of Wikipedia editors voted against categorizing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as works of art. Due to the lack of reliable information, the question was put aside to be re-discussed later. Towards the end of December last year, a debate erupted on the online encyclopedia around the topic “the most expensive art sales by living artists”. Now that Wikipedia is a free user-generated information website that allows anyone to edit it, the range of its editors is vast.

“Wikipedia really can’t decide what counts as art or not, which is why putting NFTs, art or not, in their own list makes things a lot easier. NFTs have their own list, which should be linked in the article, and entries generally should not be listed in both”, editor “Jonas” wrote on the survey page.

NFTs are digital representations of artwork, songs, sports moments, and video games, among others, that are stored on the blockchain network.

In October 2021, rapper Snoop Dogg purchased a Fidenza digital artwork number 938 called “God Mode” which is considered the most expensive debut NFT in industry history, priced at $8.5 million ( around Rs. 63 crore).

On Wikipedia, the discussion among editors revolved around confusion – whether an NFT represented art or if it was just a separate token from the underlying art.

Of the six editors blocking the horns, five voted against classifying NFTs as works of art.

For the time being, a consensus was reached on January 12 to remove content like Beeple’s $69 million sales (about Rs 510 crore) NFT from the top art sales list and reopen the discussion on a date later.

Since anyone can write on Wikipedia, perhaps members of the NFT community could step in and decide on a conclusion to this classification debate.

In the third quarter of 2021, NFT’s sales volume jumped to $10.7 billion (about Rs 79,820 crore), more than eight times from the previous quarter, according to data from market tracker DappRadar.

Soaring sales and high NFT prices have baffled many, but multiple growth shows little to no depreciation.

However, discussions around its classification are also taking place at broader levels.

South Korean Finance Minister Homg Nam-ki recently said that NFTs should not be classified as virtual assets.

Meanwhile, several artists are joining the NFT wagon in order to reveal their art to an international audience and also to be able to earn money from their work.


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