The New York Times 4D Long Essay Replay: How NFT Set off a Trend of the Times

NFT is one of the hottest topics in the blockchain industry this year, and it is also the direction with the most obvious out-of-circle effect. Recently, “New York Times” reporter Clive Thompson, after interviewing a number of crypto artists, wrote a detailed description of the history of the rise of NFT and the boom in the past six months, and tried to uncover the charm and reasons behind the popularity of NFT, which has considerable reading value. The catcher compiled the article without affecting his wishes.

“It was 40.7 ETH,” Victor Langlois gasped, “It was crazy.”

At less than 4 in the afternoon, Langlois, an 18-year-old encryption artist, was sitting in front of his desktop computer, watching the frantic bidding war between two art collectors. Langlois wears a white hoodie he designed, his arms are covered by his psychedelic artistic tattoo, which includes an eyeball and a sunflower floating in the blue sky. The windows of the room were covered with cardboard to keep the room dark, and a bunch of blue LED lights shone from the ceiling. As the number went up, Langlois pulled his beanie nervously.

The bidding war began the day before on the SuperRare auction website on February 7, when an art collector named thegreatmando1 bid 15 ETH for Langlois’ digital oil painting “The Sailor”, which was worth $24,000 at the time. But soon another bidder, yeahyeah, offered $33,000. The two bidders kept pushing up the price until the price reached $67,905.92 at noon.

When I stopped by at his home in Seattle, it was already three o’clock in the afternoon, and the bid for “Sailor” was $75,000. Langlois talked to other digital artists on Twitter, and they cheered for him excitedly.

Langlois has a sincere, almost disturbing feeling. He told me, “Because the people in my growing up environment are so mean, I want to be the best person I can.” When he looked at the bidding on the screen, he giggled nervously. “I can’t believe it,” he said.

A year ago, he was still a bankrupt high school student, living in his grandparents’ house in Las Vegas, very unhappy, where his grandmother would peep into his bedroom and paint his large pile of acrylic The colored marker strokes are denounced as “ugly.”

Since last summer, he has been selling his art on websites such as SuperRare. By New Year’s Day 2021, which is the day when he turns 18, Langlois has enough money to move out, so he went to Seattle, A full-time artist. He rented a house near the city center, filled with art supplies, a Keurig coffee machine and a set of dumbbells (not yet opened).

“My family has no money. Everyone has two jobs and lives in a terrible place in California.” It’s strange to make so much money in one day.

Langlois created surrealist digital images, usually grotesque cartoon portraits—tear-drenching faces and bare skin—that conveyed his dark emotions. On the day I visited his work “Sailor” (which depicts a big head man whose brain is exposed like a pile of pink beef; its two eyes look like they were cut from a magazine picture. This is A common subject in his portraits, he happily wore a paper boat hat on his head.

Langlois curled up on the sofa in the living room during his first few days in Seattle and drew most of the work on his iPad. Then, he used animation software to add movement: the brain beats gently, and his eyes kept blinking. “Sailor” looks disturbing and whimsical.

However, Langlois is not really selling digital art. He is selling a non-fungible token (NFT) that represents a unique relationship with artists and art to its owner. NFTs are digital files created using blockchain code, very similar to the code that makes Bitcoin possible. Langlois’ NFT contains data pointing to an online copy of Sailor, as well as data about who currently owns the NFT.

This means that NFT behaves a bit like a physical artwork. Someone can own it, save it or resell it to another collector. Langlois animations are online, anyone can see, even copy and download. But there is only one NFT.

Recently, NFT has become the topic of countless headlines as part of a boom that began in December last year, when crypto artist Beeple sold a set of works for more than $3.5 million. In the spring, a dazzling series of digital files-LeBron James video clips, Jack Dorsey’s first tweet-were minted into NFTs and auctioned for hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars. .

The public has not reached a consensus on what this gold rush means. If you ask the hardcore Bitcoin advocates—they call themselves “crypto-natives”—NFT heralds the future of digital property. They indicate that one day in the future, people will spend their income on digital products, and they can trade, resell or hoard them as investments. When the government will lose its unique power to create currency and protect property, people will turn to trust the blockchain network.

However, there are a lot of risks and disadvantages in the NFT vision, especially environmental costs. Running the Ethereum network requires a lot of energy, and it is estimated that the annual energy consumption is roughly the same as that of Hungary. NFT skeptics also believe that the emergence of crypto mania is mainly to keep people talking about cryptocurrencies so that the prices of Ethereum and Bitcoin remain high. In their view, this is more like groundless speculation, and it is the next stage of the “financialization of everything” for decades.

Since this craze was triggered six months ago, this ubiquitous NFT beneficiary has increasingly become the winner of the modern attention economy. Paris Hilton sold a series of digital image NFTs for more than $1 million; Golden State Warriors auctioned a series of digital souvenir NFTs; the man who took the notorious cheese sandwich photos at Fyre Festival is selling NFT with this image to cover the cost of kidney transplantation.

However, crypto artists like Langlois are the initiators of this craze-a strange origin for a trend that seems to be pushing the cultural economy to its peak. Just last year, encryption art was still a pioneer of subculture, perhaps even a genre. It was SuperRare and several other websites that created this market. They gradually persuaded the highly online cryptocurrency millionaires, mainly young people, to open their virtual wallets and spend huge sums of money to buy digital tokens.

For those artists, sudden wealth may make them panic. In January of this year, when I first met Langlois, his NFT sales had reached 300,000 US dollars. Although Langlois is a dazzling star in his world, dozens of other digital artists (who have been frustrated or busy working on website design before) have also begun to make a living with their art. Whether NFT will continue or eventually become a new version of the 21st century tulip mania, this question is of greater significance to these artists than to the art world and other institutions that have fallen into this speculative mania.

Back in his dim room, Langlois was observing his auction. In addition to “Sailor” on SuperRare, he also sold a limited number of three works on the Bitski website, and their prices are also rising.

In the last few minutes before the deadline at 5 pm, yeahyeah bid for “Sailor” for 46 ETH (approximately US$800,000).

“I’m going crazy,” Langlois shouted in a hoarse voice. He wrote a message to yeahyeah to thank him, and then clicked the button on SuperRare to transfer “Sailor” to yeahyeah’s digital wallet.

Langlois leaned back in his chair and counted his day. On that day, his sales on Bitski totaled nearly 29,000 US dollars, and when the income of “Sailor” is added, his income is slightly more than 109,000 US dollars. .

“Do you know what makes me sad?” He turned to me and said. He was celebrating all day, chatting with his online friends, but no one could call. He said, “I have no brothers or sisters, and I no longer talk to my family.” Even if he can call them, his new life is difficult to explain.

For decades, digital artists have received little respect. For taste masters in the art world, their works seem to be more like commercial crafts-can things made with Photoshop really be regarded as works of art? Galleries often show disdain for digital works, “Why do collectors pay for any images that can be right-clicked and downloaded for free?”

Then Bitcoin appeared in 2009. With the blockchain code, you can make digital projects that are almost impossible to copy. The first artistic experiment in this area was conducted by New York-based artist Kevin McCoy, who became interested in Bitcoin and its blockchain shortly after its advent. He wants to know whether this can bring a new source of income for creators. McCoy is particularly excited about the prospect of decentralization-blockchain allows artists to sell works directly to fans without the need for intermediaries like iTunes.

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In 2014, McCoy collaborated with entrepreneur Anil Dash to create an experimental encrypted token for one of his digital art. The following year, McCoy opened a small start-up company that allowed artists to create and sell tokens for their works. Most of what he encountered was a blank stare. “This is a difficult process for people.” McCoy said.

In the spring of 2017, this concept was given new life. Matt Hall and John Watkinson are two programmers in Brooklyn. They created a group of very collectible characters. They called the punk rock style pixelated avatars of CryptoPunks (they like “weird projects”,” Hall told Me.) They don’t know about McCoy and Dash’s earlier experiments.

But they know Ethereum, the platform has a simple programming language that enables coders to create new financial products in ETH. Matt Hall and John Watkinson used this language to publish an NFT for every CryptoPunks. They thought that people would be amused by the idea of ​​having small pixelated avatars, and maybe trade them like baseball cards.

Hall and Watkinson created 10,000 CryptoPunks and put each punk’s NFT on a website. Anyone can apply for a punk for free and transfer it to the Ethereum wallet. They decided to give away 9,000 punk and keep the remaining 1,000 for themselves.

Almost no one applied immediately. A few weeks later, the Mashable website published an article claiming that cryptopunk “can change our perception of digital art.” A crazy subculture was born: visitors crowded the CryptoPunks website, “They disappeared in less than 24 hours,” Hall told me. Owners began to resell NFTs to new collectors, initially for a few hundred dollars, then tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Later that year, another NFT collection site called CryptoKitties appeared, where people bought and traded digital cat NFTs. By the end of 2017, some individual cats and punks sold for as much as 170,000 US dollars.

In the spring of 2020, the crypto market began to heat up, and Coldie sold a piece of work for $1,000. He smiled and said, “I crossed a threshold. It’s like an earthquake. People are going crazy.”

By mid-2020, cryptocurrency prices will skyrocket. Another record-setting person is Matt Kane. He was a painter who had hoped for traditional galleries and taught himself coding and web development around 2010. He wrote customized software to help him make complex digital paintings. In May 2019, he released his first work on SuperRare, a series based on the grief of a friend’s suicide. His early NFT turnover was minimal. A collector bought a piece of art for $85 and sold it in the second week with a profit of $59.

But by September 2020, it took him several months to develop a more ambitious artwork, which is an abstract artwork whose composition changes according to the price of Bitcoin. One of his earliest collectors-calling himself “Token Angels”-urged him to fix the auction date and expressed willingness to pay whatever Kane wanted.

Kane said, “I told him that I think $100,000 is a good story.” To his surprise, “Token Angels” agreed. This price has reached a new high and has played a psychological release: if people are willing to pay a six-figure price for a digital work, where is the upper limit?

Since the advent of Bitcoin in 2009, blockchain enthusiasts have been proclaiming that it will completely change the industry. They promised that everything from medical records to stock markets to agricultural inventories will soon use blockchain. But this almost never happened. Instead, the first popular digital application (apart from the cryptocurrency itself) was for buying and selling crazy digital images.

Langlois first started making digital art when he was 12 years old, when he was playing Minecraft. Creative players will make their own “skins” to customize the appearance of their characters in the game. The YouTuber he met on the Internet taught him how to carefully design the skin pixel by pixel. After that, he started to make thumbnails for his friends’ YouTube channels for $5 each. This creative work is to escape the unstable family, he said, “In this year, the social service department sent him to live with his grandparents.”

In his grandparents’ house, Langlois’s life was safe but dull, and he began to spend hours drawing with markers for entertainment. At the age of 13, he got an iPhone, which opened the door for him to enter the field of online digital art. Langlois took a hand-drawn photo of him and posted it on Twitter. After that, he draws directly on the tablet with the app. He began to like this medium because it was more private: it could avoid the scrutiny that his grandmother disapproved.

He heard the story of Dostoyevsky from the podcast and gobbled up “Notes From a Dead House”, excited by the writer’s perseverance during his imprisonment. “When you were in prison, you thought you would die eventually, so why are you still alive?” Langlois said. “I love this and why people want to live. This is the meaning of art.”

In the summer of 2020, Langlois entered the field of encryption art almost accidentally. He has begun to sell occasionally printed works online. A customer bought one of his paintings for $90 and wrote a letter suggesting that he issue an NFT on SuperRear. Langlois was suspicious. He told me: “I thought it was a scam. But after researching SuperRare online, he thought the site was legitimate, so he applied to list his work there, and submitted several works and a video. He was allowed to enter in two days.

Langlois doesn’t know how to price, how much is his art worth? SuperRare marketing director Zack Yanger said to him, “You will get a bid of $60 or $600, which looks like a lot. But I assure you that if you hold it, it will pay off.” He followed the advice. On June 5th, he released “I’ve Been Thinking About You”, inspired by a heartbreak in high school, a Dali face with a purple nose and red lips, which read “This Did you like it?” The first bid was 0.1 ETH, which was probably worth $25 at the time. Over the next few days, the bid rose to $130 and then to over $500. When the price reached 4.5 ETH (approximately $1017), it was finally sold.

He posted a video of himself yelling excitedly on Twitter. He said, “I’m very excited, and I am full of gratitude.” In the next few weeks, he sold works in the $1,000 to $2,000 price range. By September, he sold works for more than $8,000. In November, a single auction of his work on the NFT website Nifty Gateway sold for $25,000.

Who is paying for the NFT? Generally speaking, they are young people who have invested in the cryptocurrency industry for many years, and the value of the cryptocurrency they hold reaches millions of dollars. Eric Young, a full-time crypto investor in his 40s, is one of the collectors of Langlois’s work. He bought this piece worth $25,000. He said that he has invested in Bitcoin since 2018 and made a lot of money. He likes the consistency of the aesthetics in Langlois’s works and his passion for incorporating details into his works. He said: “It’s amazing that he can have so many talents just after he turned 18 years old.”

For some crypto investors, buying crypto art gives them something artistic, allowing them to talk about art in a field dominated by other numbing technical conversations. Just like Colin Goltra, a collector in Manila, said to me, “For a long time, you can only deal with former financiers in the crypto field, and startups that tell you about blockchain medical records. “He likes to have long conversations in the middle of the night with artists like Pak, who is known for using Warholian’s conceptual art approach to NFTs (Pak used to sell a series of NFTs with identical images, ranging from $100 to $1 million Not waiting). It is a temptation to meet these artists—they are often happy to talk to wealthy new clients.

For nerd-like encryption enthusiasts, the aesthetics of encryption art and its complicated social network on Twitter feels like an art scene they can “get” in the end. Most of the collectors I have spoken to have never bought any art, and are a little scared of the prospect of entering the gallery.

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They usually don’t know much about art history. But the visual palette of many encrypted art has a great influence on them because it is heavily influenced by memes, the ambiguous and exaggerated tropes on the Internet, or the futuristic style of sci-fi movies and illustrations. If encryption art is a visual aesthetic movement in a sense, then this will be a thread that runs through all the time: a generation of creators are inspired not by looking out the window, but by looking at the window-they have seen a piece of software The digital world of, movies, and games.

“I think my initial introduction to digital art is a kind of Final Fantasy’-style video game atmosphere,” said Los Angeles encryption artist and film producer Blake Kathryn, who uses 3D modeling software to create sleek robot images and fantasy buildings. Vision (She created a digital portrait of Paris Hilton, which was sold in the form of NFT for $1.1 million.)

Olive Allen, another encryption artist, often uses pop culture icons in her NFT work, from Furbies to video game character Kirby. “This is indeed an art form that is obsessed with the Internet, just like the entire ADHD generation.” said Colborn Bell, co-creator of the Cryptoart Museum, which has hundreds of works of art that are displayed online.

There are differences in aesthetics in the traditional art world. Last fall, the Vancouver Biennale decided to include NFT artworks, and the Biennale Chairman Barrie Mowatt went to several NFT websites to find some works. He finally found works that impressed him, but he said: “I remember I was thinking that there is a lot of “swearing” art here. “

Artist Noah Davis is more fanatical. He believes that crypto artists have a game spirit, which is often lacking in art works. But he understands why old-school art collectors would sneer at him: “Some works do seem to be more suitable to be placed in a store, hung on a dormitory wall or placed on a message board.” He said.

Obviously, the NFT market is driven to a certain extent by speculation: many collectors see crypto art as a potentially profitable investment, just like Bitcoin itself. To some extent, this is conspicuous consumption in the era of encryption. Kal Raustiala, a legal scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, pointed out that paying a high price for art is a long-standing way for the rich to show off their wealth.

In the past, people hung Picasso’s works worth $40 million on the walls of their mansions. However, since NFTs are just data, most encrypted art collectors stare at the screen (when they are looking at their collection). Collectors have created virtual reality galleries so that they can wear goggles, admire their art on a virtual wall, and invite friends to join their party. Other collectors shy away from this way of display. They only need to call up their own artwork on the iphone or computer browser, just like using Instagram.

In fact, a few people told me that they appreciate digital art to save space. Before he discovered Cryptoart, Token Angels bought a lot of real-life paintings, so much so that his family stopped them from buying these artworks. Now, he owns a virtual 3D gallery on an online website called Cryptovoxels, where he displays his crypto art, including the work of Matt Kane worth $100,000. He told me: “I would describe Matt Kane’s art as pure climax, because these images are so beautiful, you will want to zoom in.”

Outsiders know almost nothing about NFT culture, and they think that the person buying the NFT artwork owns the NFT. But in fact, the NFT contains data corresponding to the artwork-related information, such as the creator, title, and links to online copies that can be viewed. Visible images are only part of it. Whether it is a JPEG or GIF animation, it is just a digital file hosted on an online location, but NFT usually refers to the file (if the website hosting the artwork fails, the NFT may become a blank link). Anyone can go to SuperRare and other NFT art platforms to copy the digital file and post it to Instagram or Facebook, or set it as a mobile phone background.

That being the case, we are curious about what collectors most want when buying NFT? Some collectors believe that buying NFT is proof that they are related to the artwork and the creator, and it can make them brag like before, and they hardly care about whether the artwork will be seen by others. And the collectors I interviewed think that if the artwork they own is widely copied on the Internet, they will feel very happy: for the art owner, it is happy for thousands of people to pay attention to their digital artwork. Things.

For cryptocurrency believers, this attention means that the cryptocurrency industry is in the early stages of a major economic transformation. In this case, creators can sell any digital products that are easy to copy: music, videos, game accessories, articles, and photos . Duncan Cock Foster, co-founder of Nifty Gateway, said: “Now it’s a bit like Internet relay chat in 1996, when Facebook hadn’t been invented yet.”

“I spend a lot of time releasing artworks for free to attract potential customers.” André Oshea, one of the few successful black NFT artists, said that he is optimistic about NFT, and this technology is helping online artists improve the abuse of works.

However, there are still many drawbacks in the emerging NFT market. Alex de Vries, an economist who tracks the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies, believes that energy consumption is the main drawback. At present, the total annual power consumption of all Ethereum mining equipment is about 42.78 terawatt hours, which allows some crypto artists with the status of climate activists. Troubled.

French artist Joanie Lemercier sold several NFTs last winter and earned $30,000. He originally planned to release and sell artworks again in February to earn $200,000. “These revenues are equivalent to the total sales of my gallery in two or three years, but as a climate activist, I am not sure whether NFT will consume a lot of energy, so I canceled the issuance of digital art.” She said.

Other artists are frustrated by the rapid transformation of NFT into a hotspot-based, winner-takes-all speculative game. British cryptocurrency artist Sparrow Read and a data scientist named Massimo Franceschet analyzed NFT sales, and they found that very few artists and collectors own most of the wealth generated by NFT art. Reid said that the market system that encourages ranking competition does not seem to be in line with the early democratization vision of the NFT and runs counter to its early promises. In addition, collectors and most artists are almost exclusively men.

Sarah Zucker is one of the few artists who have not realized the freedom of wealth but lived a decent life. She is 35 years old and lives in Hollywood. She is a photographer and animation screenwriter and often sells prints on the art market. Sarah Zucker started to run a website development company in early 2010 in order to pay for her living needs after graduation. She soon discovered that she had a talent for making viral animated GIFs because she used low-fidelity equipment from the 1980s and 90s. , Her works always have distinctive memetic qualities.

As the creator of GIF animation, Sarah Zucker has published 1,500 GIFs on Giphy and received 6.6 billion views, which is obviously a huge success. But these GIFs did not bring her benefits, but attracted many corporate clients to come to her for the works needed for marketing activities.

Sarah Zucker is an early user of SuperRare. “I’m a veteran now, and I often sell works for between US$2,000 and US$4,000.” In an interview, she said that she had just paid taxes and currently almost all of her income comes from the sale of cryptocurrencies. “It is no exaggeration to say that NFT has changed my life.” She said that the speed of the receipt of these proceeds and the fluctuation of the value of Ethereum broke her view of money. Nowadays, she is no longer busy with commercial work, but can concentrate on creating. She has received 10% of copyright royalties through reselling works.

“This income is permanent. When I become a great and intelligent artist in the future, I will establish the Sarah Zucker Foundation. This way, my children and grandchildren can still have my Ethereum wallet 100 years from now. Earn copyright fees. Just imagine, if Van Gogh’s descendants could do this, how much money would they make?” she said.

The peak of the NFT market began with Beeple. A 39-year-old encryption artist from South Carolina named Mike Winkelmann. For the past fourteen years, he has insisted on producing a work called “DAY”. As the name suggests, he posted his daily creations on the Internet to hone his craft. “I will keep doing this until I die.”

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Mike Winkelmann started by sketching on paper, and later started using 3D modeling software. It is said that he prefers surrealism, sometimes grotesque images, and sometimes mocking pop culture or daily events, such as the burly Tom Hanks fighting the coronavirus. Based on this, his fame spreads widely on the Internet, and even DJs use his images in the show. Brands like Louis Vuitton and stars like Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber have begun to collaborate with him. He currently has an Instagram account. More than 2 million fans.

Mike Winkelmann heard about cryptocurrency in October 2020. At that time, he was surprised to realize that the artist’s popularity did not match his income. Since then, he has started to make his own works. The first work depicts a fat naked man straddling a bull. Wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, raise the middle finger. He made about $130,000 in that transaction. In December last year, he carried out a limited edition sales of some “EVERY DAY” pictures NFT, including an NFT containing 20 “EVERY DAY” pictures, with a weekly revenue of over 3.5 million U.S. dollars.

Mike Winkelmann is ecstatic. He believes that this is a verification of encryption art, which is even more influential than traditional paintings or sculptures. “Encrypted artists are essentially people who shape the visual language of society. I hope that encrypted art will be respected by the mainstream.” He said that he hopes his mother can also participate in the purchase of encrypted art.

In January, Christie’s contacted Winkelmann and invited him to participate in the auction. Noah Davis told me: “People will go crazy when they see such works.” So they decided to convert the entire “Everydays” (5,000 of them) into NFT, allowing buyers to buy a collection of his works over the past fourteen years.

This auction was held on March 11 this year. During the auction, Winkelmann held an audio conversation on the social media platform Clubhouse on the subject of NFT art. Until the bid for the collection reached US$50 million, everyone held their breath. Winkelmann left the Clubhouse and witnessed the final sale of his NFT for $69 million.

“What just happened?” He almost exploded.

It turns out that the main collectors of Beeple’s works are Vignesh Sundaresan and Anand Venkateswaran. They are the founders of the NFT fund Metapurse. In order to purchase Beeple’s $69 million NFT, they have established multiple pseudonymous accounts.

Sundaresan and Venkateswaran have a plan for Beeple’s art. They bought a piece of land in three online 3D worlds and hired a team of designers to build a virtual museum based on this, displaying all Beeple’s artworks.

But the museum is only part of their plan. The other part is to turn Beeple’s work into a new cryptocurrency. In January, they took out 20 Beeple “Everydays” NFTs purchased for $2.2 million and created a new set of NFT tokens, totaling 10 million, called B20.

These tokens represent part of the ownership of Beeple’s work. They paid 10% of the tokens to the designer who built the virtual museum, 2% to Beeple, and kept 50%. The rest will be sold. Sundaresan said: “The idea came from letting artworks and sharing ownership with multiple people when our avatars float over the museum.”

In any case, B20 tokens may have generated handsome returns. In late January, Sundaresan and Venkateswaran held a virtual party at their online museum to introduce their new tokens. In a short period of time, they sold 2.6 million tokens and raised nearly $1 million.

On March 10, the price of B20 tokens reached a peak, slightly above US$27. By May 7, the price had fallen to about US$2. Suppose they still have 5 million tokens, which is equivalent to a value of 10 million U.S. dollars.

Does the skyrocketing price of NFT indicate that the bubble is destined to burst? This seems to be the case, and many collectors themselves think it is very possible. They said that this does not scare them. The prices of Bitcoin and Ethereum have fallen several times, but each time they have recovered and soared to record highs. Many collectors told me that the NFT market may experience a similar reshuffle.

“I’m sure there will be such a version, and I will look very stupid in a few years.” When we first talked in December last year, Goltra told me. He said that the art boom may fade for a long time, making his collections of little value in a few years or even decades. But he hopes that NFT can settle in almost every corner of the culture. He said: “A variety of artists are studying how to attract audiences and enthusiasts through tokenization.” “This is in line with the original encryption vision of eliminating middlemen.”

On a deeper level, some observers believe that the rise of NFTs is a symptom of a long-simmering problem in Western economies—as Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at New York University put it, “financialization of everything.” He pointed out that in all the bubbles of the past few decades—from the boom in technology stocks to the boom in subprime mortgages, to the bull market in recent years—the result is that “in the past 30 years, a great technological era has achieved With trillions of dollars in economic growth. We see that wages are flat, and one in five families with children faces food insecurity.” He said that some artists may get rich in the short term, but any economic activity will Transformation into pure speculation will exacerbate inequality.

NFT pioneer Anil Dash also suspects that among venture capitalists and entrepreneurs eager to create the NFT market, few people care about other things besides creating new and profitable derivatives. Galloway suspects that NFT may accelerate the large-scale adoption of cryptocurrencies in daily life. This is the dream of Bitcoin fans, but it is also a problem that Galloway is worried about: He is worried that if the currencies of various countries really shrink, as the main The United States, the global currency holder, will lose the most, which will please competitors such as China and Russia, as well as money launderers and criminals.

When it comes to the huge energy demand of NFT, there are some possible technical solutions, such as the PoS mechanism, which only uses 0.01% of the energy currently used by the Ethereum mining network. The developer expects later this year or early next year Switch to this technology completely. Prior to this, artists such as Joanie Lmercier urged cryptographic artists to stop using sites such as SuperRare and instead use trading markets that already use the PoS mechanism, such as Hic et Nunc or Kalamat. But so far, most artists seem to insist on using energy-intensive markets.

When I talked to Langlois on Zoom the last few times, he was surprised that this strange stagnant water quickly became the focus of national dialogue. Nowadays, celebrities and brands are more able to drive this trend than artists. “NFT is just something people make fun of or talk about casually, even if they don’t understand its meaning, they can talk about it, right?” he said.

This did not bother him. He doubted that NFT would exist for a long time, not only for the artists, but also for the crazy MEME collection. He just flew back from San Francisco and visited SFMOMA there to collect ideas for the next NFT. His mind is full of ideas. “Art is taking off,” he said, “somehow, I am at the top of this crazy group.”

Author/ Translator: Jamie Kim
Bio: Jamie Kim is a technology journalist. Raised in Hong Kong and always vocal at heart. She aims to share her expertise with the readers at Kim is a Bitcoin maximalist who believes with unwavering conviction that Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency – in fact, currency – worth caring about.