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Pete Davidson during the cryptocurrency sketch on "SNL," March 27. Photo: NBC

"Saturday Night Live" took a spin at explaining NFTs over the weekend through a music video parodying Eminem’s “Without Me.” 

Why it matters: Interest in NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, has been building since the start of the year — and peaked when digital artist Beeple sold one of his pieces at auction for $69 million.  

  • It can be difficult enough to understand NFTs as a digital "certificate of authenticity" on the blockchain, let alone why one NFT could be worth so much.
  • Pete Davidson, dressed as Eminem, and rapper Jack Harlow, dressed as a janitor, get the basics down with this line: "NFTs are insane, built on a blockchain. A digital ledger of transactions, it records information on what’s happening."

What they’re saying: The explosion in interest in the crypto art market has caught Duncan Cock Foster, co-founder of NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway, off guard. 

  • “The last time we talked [in December], I think I got it so wrong. I said it will become mainstream in the next few years and it was just a few months,” he tells Axios.

Yes, but: The skit on "SNL" featured mockups of NFT artwork, adding to the perception that digital art can be easy to make and sell.

  • “With NFTs, people tend to see big sales and they think anything can be sold as an NFT,” said Cock Foster. 
  • But before starting a career as a digital artist, people should be aware it’s competitive and difficult like any other field, he added. 
  • “Beeple has been making a work of art every day for [over] 13 years. That’s 13 years of daily effort.”

Go deeper

Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden lays out $1.75 trillion "framework" before Europe departure

President Biden in Kearny, N.J., on Oct. 25. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

President Biden announced Thursday a "framework" for $1.75 trillion in social program and climate change spending after failing in prior efforts to win over his fellow Democrats on a much broader and costlier package.

Why it matters: Biden is gambling that by proclaiming the broad contours of the proposal, which he was immediately planning to sell in a meeting with House Democrats before jetting off to Europe, House progressives will vote for his $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan if and when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brings it to the floor.

Economy slows in third quarter amid Delta variant

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy increased at an annual rate of 2% in the third quarter, the Department of Commerce said Thursday.

Driving the news: The gross domestic product figures for July through September come in much lower than the 6.7% increase in the second quarter, reflecting the "continued economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis at the Department of Commerce.

Top Dem says Big Oil put Earth on "brink" of catastrophe

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Don't expect a sedate House hearing Thursday on allegations that Big Oil has intentionally sown doubt about climate change.

What they're saying: "For far too long, Big Oil has escaped accountability for its central role in bringing our planet to the brink of a climate catastrophe. That ends today," Rep. Carolyn Maloney, chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, intends to say in her opening remarks shared with Axios.