A fart in a preserving jar

English is not my native language. I am grateful for hints and improvements. Just leave a comment

Since I’ve been hanging around on Twitter again, I’ve noticed how many of my photographic idols are playing around with NFTs.
At first I thought it was a joke, along the lines of: If you want to support me, but don’t want OnlyFans to show up on your credit card bill….
At some point it dawned on me that they were serious. Obviously, the realization hasn’t reached everyone yet.

I don’t know if everyone realizes how worthless NFTs are. Apart from the fact that the main platform doesn’t even try to disguise the fact that it’s a gathering place for snake oil salesmen who are too stupid to enter the darknet anymore:

More Than 80% of NFTs Created for Free on OpenSea Are Fraud or Spam, Company Says itself reveals how much of the NFT activity on its platform is driven by counterfeiting and theft. By its own admission, almost all NFTs created on the platform are either spam or plagiarized. Not that it matters much because the “market” has been dead for two years anyway.

Mooooment!!! But the other 20%…?!
Okay, please don’t read any further. Get off this site. I can’t help you.

But let’s take a step back: before we worry about the fact that most of the NFTs offered are sold by people who don’t have the rights, let’s clarify for the newcomers what N,F & T actually stand for.
The token gives the product its name; it represents an asset. For example a digital picture, an mp3, a code snippet, a video, whatever…
Let’s say you buy an NFT. What do you own then? An entry in a blockchain that exactly nobody looks into except the snake oil platform. (How I can tell? In January 22, was down. And who used the blockchain to represent or validate anything?

*Insert cricket chirp here* They’re all just using the Opensea APIs!

So in the entry is a URL to the platform’s web server. On the webserver there is for example a video. Whoever uploaded it, just like Youtube. Only that Youtube somehow has to take care of the copyright. The snake oil sellers don’t.

In short, you don’t own anything, not even proof of ownership. The mytical blockchain simply points to a web server that is outside of any law somewhere in the 3rd world. If the company goes bankrupt or is liquidated, your link also goes up in smoke and your tokens are practically worthless. So not only as worthless as all the time already, but also the globule buyers don’t want them now. This happened e.g. here or here
OK, have we clarified the T, the token is a link to the platform’s web server.

The N and the F stand for non fungible. Non fungible…. but then what means fungible?
Money is fungible. If you buy something for 10$, it doesn’t matter with which dollar bill you use. They are all exchangeable (fungible).
Technically, this is also true for NFTs, they are all completely worthless. To keep you from taking this mental step, they tell you in an endless litany that the worthless tokens are non fungible, that they have value because they only exist in the blockchain….
Those who haveseen the documentary “The Lunar Conspiracy” will remember the scene in which people proudly present title deeds of properties on the moon…same principle.

Of course, you can also mint a second NFT, pointing to the same URL. Then you have two interchangeable NFTs.
So the NF in NFT is already wrong at the elemntary level.

To summarize:

  • NFTs can be set by anyone [sic!]. In the rarest cases (at most 20% ;-) ) these are the authors or rights holders.
  • No one manages anything via the blockchain, everyone just uses the APIs of crude platforms. You could see that when Opensea was down in January 22.
  • The allocation is not clear, in the blockchain two NFTs can point to the same content.
  • There is no owner management, which could use the blockchain. Just because it says something doesn’t mean at all that that is -correct-, -a natural person-, -the owner of the token, or the linked content-.

So, a very big please, please, please; with sugar on top: Don’t spend your money on NFTs!
And if you are artists thinking about entering the “market”: Sell prints. Limit and sign them. That’s how you create something special.

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