I'm familiar with "blockchain" and the theory and technology behind cryptocurrencies, tokens, and the economics behind why such things are capable of having monetary value, however I've never been able to wrap my head around "non-fungible tokens" (NFTs).
As I understand it, NFTs and, say, Bitcoin are in principle one and the same. Both are units of data stored on a tamper-resistant public ledger, NFTs being special in that each "token" is "unique" in a way that Bitcoin/etc. are not. That these things can hold value makes some sense. What I don't understand is how NFTs are used to sell "physical" objects (digital art, music files, etc).
Access to the original object or file is not restricted to the owner of the token. As I understand it, the only relationship between the token and the object is that the seller decided to represent the object by the token. And then people are willing to pay absurd amounts of money to "purchase" these objects, in effect receiving only some string of numbers that the seller decided would signify ownership of the object. How is this any different from, say, purchasing some work of art at auction and being handed an ID number, never actually taking possession of the artwork.
How are objects "associated" with these tokens, outside of someone more-or-less deciding that some token will serve as an "identification number" for the object? I admittedly don't know much about the topic, however I suspect there must be more to it than what I understand.