The Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas is coming up this weekend and, among the exotic rides and “automobilia,” a new type of offering stands out: A non-fungible token, or NFT, containing digital images of recently-sold cars. The first of which will be the virtual assets surrounding the sales of multiple 001 VIN collector vehicles. These include the 2021 Ford Bronco First Edition, 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Launch Edition, 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1, and Ford Mustang Mach 1.
What Is An NFT?
NFTs use blockchain technology (think Bitcoin and Ethereum) to create a digital “proof of ownership” of a piece of media. The trading of NFTs, often involving huge sums of money, has been a growing trend in the art collecting world over the past year, while critics point out the imaginary nature of the virtual ownership being purchased. UK auction house Christie’s sold an NFT containing a digital collage by Beeple for a staggering $69 million, but it’s not an original because it never existed in physical form.
Now, it seems, Barrett-Jackson is taking a swing at the NFT trade. A series of “VIN 001” tokens will open for bidding with no reserve Saturday in Las Vegas. Winners will be able to enjoy “exclusive” videos and images commemorating several recent high-profile sales of VIN 001 vehicles on the Barrett-Jackson auction block. These include the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV, the 2021 Ford Bronco First Edition, the 2021 RAM 1500 TRX and the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1.
What You Get (Besides An NFT)
Also included with each sale is an “exclusive Barrett-Jackson VIP Muscle Lounge ticket package for two to the 2022 auction of their choice.” In other words, if you win, next year you’ll get to sip on fine drinks while spending your money on the next set of fancy .JPEG and .MP4 files.
Barrett-Jackson’s listing of NFTs not only presents an easy target for wealthy car-lovers’ cash, but also comes amid increasing discussion over the carbon impact of NFTs. The computing work required to make an NFT happen can be massive, a single Etherium-based token being worth about 48kg of CO2 emissions. This means when you buy an NFT relating to the new electric HUMMER, you may cancel out some of the carbon offset the world longs for in EV production.