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The growth of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry has informed the christening of the abbreviation “NFT” as the word of the year by Collins English Dictionary.
According to Collins Dictionary’s blog, the recognition was accorded to NFT as the usage of the word has seen an 11,273% growth this year. The choice of the word has been attributed to the fact that it demonstrates a “unique technicolour collision of art, technology, and commerce” that has “broken through the Covid noise’ to become ubiquitous throughout the year.” The NFT word which is a short form for Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) forms a part of a 10-word list compiled by Collins Dictionary as the broader most popular words of the year.
BREAKING NEWS The Collins Word of the Year is… NFT.
— Collins Dictionary (@CollinsDict) November 24, 2021
“It’s unusual for an abbreviation to experience such a meteoric rise in usage, but the data we have from the Collins Corpus reflects the remarkable ascendancy of the NFT in 2021. Its unique technicolour collision of art, technology, and commerce has broken through the Covid noise with dramatic effect. NFTs seem to be everywhere, from the arts sections to the financial pages and in galleries and auction houses and across social media platforms,” said Alex Beecroft, m.d of Collins Learning. “Whether the NFT will have a lasting influence is yet to be determined, but its sudden presence in conversations around the world makes it very clearly our Word of the Year.”
Beyond NFT, two other digital currency-related words including “Crypto” and “Metaverse” were also recognized by the dictionary. The report has it that the word Crypto – a short form of cryptocurrency – has seen an increase of 468% year on year. While the word Metaverse was coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel Snow Crash (Penguin), its usage was popularized in part by the NFT craze, and by the name change of Facebook to Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: FB) as announced back in October.
NFT as the Word of the Year: Institutionalizing Crypto Legacies
The popularity of digital currencies and unique offshoots of blockchain technology as a whole shocked the investing world remarkably this year. The popularity of NFTs was particularly resounded when Mike Winkelmann, popularly known as Beeple, auctioned his masterpiece dubbed ‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days’ for $69 million in Ethereum (ETH) back in March.
With the sale, a number of iconic collections going for large sums of money have been sold on NFT trading platforms including OpenSea, Rarible, and legacy auction houses including Christie’s and Sotheby’s. While critics called the growth in NFTs a bubble, many proponents have seen the growing niche market as a way to institutionalize the legacies of the crypto industry.
While Collins Dictionary is uncertain if the NFT word will continually grow in popularity, crypto proponents believe the entire industry, and hence, the associated innovations are still in their infancy and are bound to see more mainstream adoption in the near future.