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Non-Fungible Tokens: A New Way to Securitize Digital (and Real-World) Assets

Cryptocurrency evangelists have long claimed that blockchain has real-world applications beyond Bitcoin and its ilk. It looks as if they were right.

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Blockchain and cryptocurrency are often styled as if they were different flavors of the same ice cream. If there is a single lesson to be gleaned beyond the buzzword-laden banter in mass media, it is this: blockchain is separate and distinct from cryptocurrency. Much like email, instant messaging and web browsing are all applications of the Internet, cryptocurrency is a single application of blockchain principles.

But unlike the Internet, which relies on several tiers of agreed-upon technical standards with governing bodies and industry working groups, blockchain is not a single technology but rather a stew of broad and nebulous concepts and divergent standards and frameworks — with competing interests and contradictory goals. Some are political. Others are entertaining. But almost all are predicated on the concept of decentralization. More on that later.

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