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Gulfport home could be US' first successful real estate NFT auction

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital assets with their own unique value. Transactions are made using digital money.

GULFPORT, Fla. — A home in the Tampa Bay area is going up for auction as an NFT, a non-fungible token, and it could be — if successful — the first of its kind auction in U.S. real estate.

NFTs are digital assets with their own unique value and properties. Transactions are made using digital money, much like other forms of exchange taking place in the cryptocurrency world. 

"It's an exciting venture into what possibly could be the future of real estate," said Amy Heckler, the president and broker for Heckler Realty Group.

The realty group is in charge of selling the home as an NFT. Heckler said ownership of the home through a limited liability company, or LLC, is what's being transferred over as the NFT.

Experts said think of NFTs much like one-of-a-kind collectibles like original baseball cards or original paintings that cannot be replicated.

"NFTs are digital representation," said Gabe Higgins, a Blockspaces co-founder said. "You’re able to own a digital asset that is unique."

From digital art, to video or audio clips, Higgins said pretty much anything can be sold as an NFT.

Ownership of one's NFT is then stored on a digital ledger known as the blockchain. Experts said data is stored through the blockchain which verifies the originality of the NFT. 

"You can actually verify the ownership of a digital item," Higgins said. "Before, we weren't able to capture that."

Higgins said the hope is by having a unique digital asset, value for that specific NFT goes up and people can claim personal ownership to that specific NFT. 

Despite growing popularity, Higgins said it's still uncertain how the market will respond to the presence of NFTs.

"It is interesting to test the waters in ways we can utilize this technology," Higgins said. 

Heckler said one benefit of selling the home as an NFT is it allows for a much faster process of transferring ownership to the buyer.

The home auction was initially set to take place on Tuesday. But, it has since been moved to Thursday, Feb. 10. Details on the auction can be found here. 

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