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Faculty Insights

Merging Art and Finance, WSB’s Brad Chandler Demystifies NFTs During Latest UW Now Livestream

UW Now Livestream Series for Alumni Highlights Research for Our Changing Times

By Clare Becker

January 12, 2022

Not everyone knows what NFTs actually stand for—non-fungible tokens—but most remember hearing about an artist known as “Beeple” (former Wisconsinite Mike Winkelmann), who made a mind-boggling $69 million for the sale of his NFT digital collage to prestigious auction house, Christie’s, in 2020.

NFTs are a new type of digital asset built on the blockchain and have been around since 2017, says Brad Chandler, director of the Nicholas Center for Corporate Finance and Investment Banking at the Wisconsin School of Business.

“I think they’re interesting because they bring together these two worlds that were rarely brought together before—art and finance. Anything that can bring together art and finance, for me, is something that I’m really curious about.”

Chandler shared these and other insights—including the Beeple story—during the virtual event, “The UW Now Livestream: Blockchains, Cryptocurrencies, and NFTs.” He walked the audience through one of the modules from his WSB cryptocurrency course that he has taught since 2018.

Chandler was joined by Grant Yun (BS ‘18), a cancer researcher and digital artist specializing in non-fungible tokens.

The live YouTube event was hosted by Mike Knetter, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA) and former WSB dean. Watch the full video and read a Wisconsin Alumni Association article in which Chandler discusses NFTs.