If you've used the internet more than a handful of times in 2021, it's almost certain you've seen the acronym "NFT" floating around.

And according to Collins Dictionary, the three-letter abbreviation for "non-fungible token" is the 2021 word of the year. 

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NFT, defined by Collins as "a unique digital certificate, registered in a blockchain, that is used to record ownership of an asset such as an artwork or a collectible," saw a "meteoric" rise in usage in 2021, up 11,00% in the last year. 

Over the last twelve months, NFTs have risen to extreme popularity and have steadily infiltrated the hip hop market. With rappers like Eminem and Benny the Butcher releasing NFT collections early on, and the recent surge in new albums and modified editions of older projects being sold as NFTs, as well as artists like Post Malone and Lil Baby entering into partnerships with cryptocurrency payment platforms, NFTs and the technology that powers them seems like they are here to stay in hip hop, and according to Collins, they are here to stay in general.


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"It’s unusual for an abbreviation to experience such a meteoric rise in usage, but the data we have from the Collins Corpus reflects the remarkable ascendancy of the NFT in 2021, Collins Learning managing director Alex Beecroft said. "NFTs seem to be everywhere, from the arts sections to the financial pages and in galleries and auction houses and across social media platforms. Whether the NFT will have a lasting influence is yet to be determined, but its sudden presence in conversations around the world makes it very clearly our word of the year."

Beating out terms like "crypto" and "double-vaxxed" to become word of the year, NFT broke through the Covid noise and was inarguably the most important word of the year.