Non-fungible tokens, popularly known as NFTs (non-fungible token) are encrypted digital assets. NFTs validate the ownership of a digital asset unique to its owner. How does this happen? The digital item is identified in a decentralized digital registry known as a blockchain. Typically, these items are images or videos, but technology makes it possible to sell and own virtually any digital object in this way.
In 2022, educational book publisher Pearson announced that it would enter the world of NFTs to cater to second-hand sales of its books. Educational books are often sold more than once, as students sell used study materials. Until now, publishers could not profit from secondhand sales, but the rise of digital textbooks has created an opportunity for companies to profit.
Selling books as NFTs is not an entirely new concept. NFT technology is primarily used in books as a form of self-publishing by authors. However, it is not yet becoming standard practice in the publishing market, because readers tend to place more value on having read a book than on owning it.
Many publishing directors believe that in a few years NFTs will enable a method of selling limited digital copies of books. Andy Bird, CEO of Pearson, is already exploring how other new technologies could be used in the company: he has a “whole team” working on “the implications of the metaverse and what it could mean for us”.
Source: “Pearson plans to sell its textbooks as NFTs”, in The Guardian, August 2022. Translated and adapted by LivrizTeam.