Non-fungible asset – What is it, definition and concept

A non-fungible asset is that movable or immovable asset that cannot be replaced by another, that is, there is no equivalent of the same kind and quality.

In other words, a non-expendable good is one that cannot be replaced by another, being unique in its kind. It is the opposite of a fungible good.

A classic example of a non-expendable good is a work of art. This can be replicated or copied. However, the original work is unrepeatable.

Characteristics of non-expendable property

Among the characteristics of non-expendable assets we can highlight:

  • It can be a movable or immovable property.
  • It can be consumed without losing its unrepeatable characteristic. Suppose a historical monument is visited (consumed) by many people. This does not mean that it will stop being valued as unique.
  • Article 337 of the Spanish Civil Code defines it as follows: “Moveable property is fungible or non-fungible. To the first species belong those of which the proper use cannot be made according to their nature without being consumed; to the second species correspond the others”.
  • It does not deplete with its use, unlike a fungible good, such as money. A 20 euro note is used, for example, to make a purchase at the supermarket, and it is already spent. That is, once used, whoever originally owned it can no longer use it again. This is not the case with non-expendable property. Imagine the case of a goldsmith’s piece of historical value exhibited in a museum. Although many people visit the place to see or consume the item, it does not run out.
  • Companies that manufacture non-expendable goods often compete by offering higher quality. Consider the case of a luxury car, to which, at the customer’s request, unique accessories were added, with state-of-the-art technology.
  • Compensation or repair of damage for the loss of non-expendable property is possible only with money.
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Examples of non-expendable property

Some examples of non-expendable property may be:

  • Objects sought after by collectors, such as postcards or old coins.
  • Unique works of art.
  • A garment made to measure for the buyer.
  • A building or property with a unique design, such as the constructions of the famous architect Antoni Gaudí located in Barcelona.
  • Archaeological remains, such as the Parthenon in Athens, which are considered a World Heritage Site.

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