Howard Zhong

Howard  Zhong
MIT EECS | Keel Foundation Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: William T. Freeman
Department: EECS
Areas of Research: Computer Vision, Economics
Years: 2021-2022
Research Project Title:

Understanding Pricing in the NFT Market

abstract:Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are non-fungible assets, usually digital art, that are verified and stored on the blockchain. What makes NFTs special is the non-fungible property, which guarantees that there cannot exist two of the same NFT. The NFT market skyrocketed since summer 2021, with prices more volatile than most cryptocurrencies. Up to $300 million worth of NFTs traded per day on the Ethereum network, so one may question why people value digital art so much.

We are interested in what factors cause some art to be worth up to a million dollars and others worth zero. Many factors go into pricing: rarity, publicity, aesthetics, utility. We seek to create a neural network that takes in the image, rarity information, twitter following, time-series information, and other metadata to predict approximate pricing. The goal is to interpret this neural network to understand what factors are most influential in determining the value of a NFT.