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FACTBOX-What are NFTs and who's cashing in on them?

    March 12 (Reuters) - NFTs are all the buzz this year, with
people raking in millions by auctioning these digital assets.
    Digital artist Beeple sold an artwork for nearly $70 million at
Christie's on Thursday and Twitter Inc boss Jack Dorsey is
auctioning his first-ever tweet as an NFT with the top bidder
willing to pay $2.5 million for it.
    
    SO WHAT ARE NFTs?
    An NFT, or a non-fungible token, is a type of digital signature
that allows anyone to verify the authenticity and ownership of an
asset. The digital record is saved on blockchain ledgers that can be
read by anybody looking to find out the owner of the asset.
Blockchain is also the technology driving the cryptocurrency market.
    NFT enthusiasts hope these digital assets will retain value
because it is possible to distinguish the original work from copies.
They compare it to the original Mona Lisa painting at the Louvre
Museum, which is unique and priceless.
    Digital objects can be minted as NFTs and traded as assets,
including art, sports collectibles, patches of land in virtual
worlds, cryptocurrency wallet names and even tweets.
    Google searches for NFTs have soared this year: tmsnrt.rs/30CH3ta
    
    
    
 For a table with some of the high-profile NFTs sold this year: 
 Date    NFT
 Mar 11  A digital artwork by artist Beeple was sold for nearly $70
         million at British auction house Christie's on Thursday. It
         was the first sale ever in a major auction house of a piece
         of art that does not exist in physical form.
 Mar 5   Twitter boss Jack Dorsey listed his famous first-ever tweet
         - "just setting up my twttr" - as a unique digital
         signature on a website for selling tweets. Dorsey, a known
         bitcoin enthusiast, said the auction will end on March 21.
 Feb 28  Musician Grimes sold some animations she made on a website
         called Nifty Gateway for a total of more than $6 million.
 Mar 11  Super Bowl-winning tight end Rob Gronkowski is launching
         his own digital trading cards as NFTs in March, telling
         Reuters he expects millions.
 Feb 22  A fan paid $208,000 to acquire a video clip of a Lebron
         James slam dunk.
 Feb 19  A crypto art rendition of the famous Nyan Cat meme was sold
         for nearly $590,000.   
 Feb     A 10-second video clip featuring an image of a fallen
         Donald Trump, also by Beeple, sold for $6.6 million on
         Nifty Gateway.
 
    
 (Reporting by Munsif Vengattil and Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru;
Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Maju Samuel)
  
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