Context : BlockChain
Tokens on a BlockChain that represent ownership of things. Now people are using them to "own" (and trade ownership in) virtual, non-scarce works like music etc.
Honestly, I've been hearing about these things for years. But I always assumed it was wishful thinking. Who'd pay real money for ownership of a virtual token on a BlockChain that represents "ownership" of a virtual art work? The ownership is nothing but a virtual token. Yes, it can't be faked, but who is going to care?
If someone copies or steals a work, so what?
In fact it seems some works are out in public on YouTube and Spotify so what good does "ownership" do you?
But suddenly they are huge. And people are pouring ridiculous amounts of money into them : https://www.musictech.net/news/artists-selling-music-nft-making-millions/
There's even a market for "currency trading" ownership of the tokens used in NFTs.
In a sense this is art market taken to its logical conclusion, to a pure abstraction of "ownership". There is nothing that the customer gets than this abstract "ownership" ... coupled with the signal of having the wealth and taste to be value this cultural item.
It might even be the pure essence of capitalism ... a market with no stuff, or even representation of stuff. Pure information reduced to exchange commodity.
One interesting thing is that they are enabling InteractiveNFTs
Christie's (auction house) first NFT auction : https://www.christies.com/features/Monumental-collage-by-Beeple-is-first-purely-digital-artwork-NFT-to-come-to-auction-11510-7.aspx art by Beeple
Who Buys This Stuff?
About the collectors : https://www.artnews.com/art-news/news/nft-early-collector-beeple-1234586132/
What does it even mean to buy an NFT? https://jackrusher.com/journal/what-does-it-mean-to-buy-a-gif.html
AnilDash says they weren't supposed to end up like this : https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/04/nfts-werent-supposed-end-like/618488/
The ecological cost : https://memoakten.medium.com/the-unreasonable-ecological-cost-of-cryptoart-2221d3eb2053
EverestPipkin argues that the ecological cost can't be overcome or mitigated. https://everestpipkin.medium.com/but-the-environmental-issues-with-cryptoart-1128ef72e6a3
Intellectual monopolies were created to incentivize contributions to the public domain. "Property rights" for non-material objects don't exist outside of this incentive structure, with the exception of protected intangible cultural heritage, which is specifically communal.— Eleanor Saitta (@Dymaxion) March 7, 2021