Mark Cuban: Crazy NFT prices ‘will settle down’ over time, but the tech is here to stay

FAN Editor

Billionaire investor Mark Cuban has been at the forefront of the wave of interest in blockchain technology, smart contracts and NFTs, or non-fungible tokens.

It’s “like the early days of all new tech, the excitement sometimes creates some unique situations,” Cuban tells CNBC Make It.

Recently, NFT-based art in particular has been selling for sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars, but according to Cuban, “as more entrants come into the [NFT] market, it will become more efficient and the pricing will settle down,” he says.

NFTs are unique cryptocurrency tokens used to represent assets, like works of digital art, music or movies. NFTs can be bought and sold, like physical assets, but since they run on blockchain, a decentralized digital ledger that documents transactions, ownership and validity of the asset they represent can be tracked.

One of their big benefits is they allow creators to be paid as their content is distributed on the internet.

For example, if an artist puts their NFT-based artwork up for sale, a buyer could purchase a unique token that represents the asset and can then prove authenticity and ownership of the digital art through blockchain.

According to Cuban, that is where the value lies. “The tech is real,” he says. “The impact is real, and permanent.”

Cuban predicts that NFTs will disrupt the art, music and movie industries.

“[B]lockchain and smart contracts and marketplaces are here to stay,” he says.

Recently, the “excitement” surrounding the market of NFTs has led to record auctions of works of art – for example, an NFT-based video clip created by artist Mike Winkelmann, who is known as Beeple, was flipped for $6.6 million last week after originally being bought for around $67,000, while a crypto art version of the Nyan Cat meme from 2011 was auctioned and sold for about $590,000.

In sports, NBA Top Shot, an NFT platform which facilitates the buying and selling of short clips of popular players, has seen over $280 million in sales to date, according to the website CryptoSlam.

The music industry is diving into the market as well, with bands like the Kings of Leon announcing it will release a new album as an NFT for a token priced at $50 – the offering will be open for two weeks starting on Friday at noon ET, and at its end, no more will be made.

As for Cuban, he has already cashed in on NFTs by auctioning digital goods online, including a Mavs Suns Game Day Experience video clip. He also owns NFT-based digital assets, including a “Maxi Kleber dunk Moment” card that he considers a collectible and just as valuable as a physical sport card. Cuban said he wouldn’t sell, but other digital Maxi Kleber dunk sets have sold for anywhere from $35 to as much as $800 on the NBA Top Shot website, which Cuban describes as a massive innovation.

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”

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