Cracking the NFT Code: The Psychology Behind Buying Digital Assets

3 min readOct 31, 2023


Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have become the buzzword in the digital realm, captivating the world with their unique ownership of digital assets. Behind the monetary value and technical complexities lies a fascinating psychology driving the purchase and ownership of these exclusive digital collectibles. Let’s delve into the psychology behind NFT purchases and understand the dynamics that make these digital assets so alluring.

Veblen Goods and NFTs

Veblen goods, named after economist Thorstein Veblen, challenge the standard economic law of demand. As the price of a product increases, demand should typically decrease, yet with Veblen goods, the opposite occurs. These goods signify luxury, exclusivity, and status, leading to increased demand as their price rises.

NFTs align closely with Veblen goods, exhibiting the following characteristics:

Status Symbol: High-priced NFTs, particularly those tied to renowned artists or celebrities, serve as digital emblems of wealth and status. The purchase of an expensive NFT can reflect the buyer’s economic prowess within digital communities.

Exclusivity: NFTs are unique or limited in number, signaling exclusive ownership in the digital space, akin to owning rare luxury items in the physical world.

Price as a Feature: Just as unaffordable luxury goods attract interest, some NFTs become more desirable due to their high prices. Owning a pricy NFT can be a demonstrative display of economic power.

Additional Psychological Drivers

Emotional Connection: Many NFT buyers feel a deep emotional connection to the creator or content represented by the NFT. This emotional tie often elevates the perceived value of the NFT, extending beyond its objective worth.

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): Stories of substantial returns from NFT investments contribute to the Fear of Missing Out among potential buyers. The prospect of high returns drives interest, despite the speculative nature of the NFT market.

Implications for NFT Sellers

Understanding the psychology behind NFT purchases is crucial for those selling these digital assets:

Positioning: If targeting a high-end audience, pricing NFTs at a premium can enhance their desirability among specific clientele.

Narrative Enhancement: Crafting a compelling story or narrative around an NFT, especially if it represents a significant historical moment or a groundbreaking piece of art, can elevate its prestige.

Scarcity Strategy: Releasing NFTs in limited editions or series accentuates their exclusivity, contributing to their perceived value.

Utility in NFT Projects

The addition of utility to NFT projects has become increasingly vital. This utility might include access to events, special content, or functionalities associated with the NFT. This adds practical value to the digital collectible beyond its status as a rare asset.

Understanding the psychology behind NFT purchases, notably the connection to Veblen goods, offers profound insights into the allure of these digital assets. Navigating the evolving NFT landscape with this knowledge in mind can be transformative for both sellers and buyers. As the digital and physical worlds converge, the principles dictating luxury and status in the physical realm find new expressions in the digital space. The application of these principles might just be the key to unlocking the true potential of NFTs in the contemporary world.




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