There are these things you can buy -- but only if you know how to buy them: NFT art and other NFT things. They’re digital and are stored on a blockchain (like Bitcoin is) to make each one unique and uncopyable. They can cost a fortune, and the rich are starting to buy them, and so are investors who want to get in early on something new that they hope will take off like cryptocurrency.
Now, Bitcoin I understand somewhat; when it was begun it was a rebellion against the currency of established nations and their banking systems. It’s a less-visible (not really hidden or obscure anymore) way of buying and paying.
But digital art that doesn’t live in the real world, can’t be physically put anywhere? I think they’re ridiculous and it reminds me of the book Where Were You Last Pluterday? — where the very rich have an extra day to the week that the poor know nothing about.
These NFT pieces are even worse than emoticons as domain names. Yes, in case you didn’t know, you can purchase a domain name which is actually a tiny picture and then .com after it. I guess they exist as code. I don’t know how you use them or access them, and I don’t care. There are better ways to use up money.
*Correction: I found out that most registries aren't allowing the use of pictures (pictographs) and emojis as domain names, so if you want, say, a smiley face as your domain it'll have to be followed by .ws or some other weird extension, since .com and .net won't permit it. But it would be: xn--e28h.com
**All picture-domains, and English domains that include some international symbols or letters start with "xn--", such as xn--mpa646kzb.com If you type that into your browser, it'll come up as the word BET in what I think are Russian letters followed by .com. However, it doesn't work in Chrome. I can see it in Safari though.