Link: Scarcity, ownership, and the inexorable rise of NFTs
Not a bad description of NFTs:
What Wikipedia mentions but I’d like to emphasize is that buying an NFT does not buy you the art in question, nor the right to do what you will with it. It’s like walking into a bookstore, choosing a book that looks interesting, paying for a copy, and then leaving with only the receipt, proud of your brand new Book NFT, while the book itself remains in the store and anyone who wants to can come in and perfectly replicate and take a copy of the real thing for free. Yes, you do own….something. But the thing you own isn’t the art.
On web3 more generally:
Web 3, including Blockchain and NFTs, makes the argument that everything can and should be monetized. Each interaction has a value that can be measured in financial terms, each retweet or compliment or Kickstarter backing or Amazon review should help monetary value accrue to the tweeter or complimenter or backer or reviewer. The entire world could be Wall Street, and the fabric of our choices and online lives should rise or fall in financial value.
That is the terrifying promise, or ominous threat, of the new internet that Web3 folks are trying to usher in. It’s so deeply transactional, so exactly the opposite of the concept of mutual aid, community, and human caring.
I want to live in a world where joy exists, where things like inspiration, creation, education, and friendship are not monetized, because their value is greater and more than money can or should contain.
To me, this is one of the most understated downsides of web3.
I heard Jacob Silverman talk about this on a podcast: web3 would have everyone thinking constantly about money. Paid in Bitcoin? You’ll be forever wondering what that’s worth, if that will cover your rent, etc – a total nightmare.
On top of that, unlike traditional markets, these currencies fluctuate in value 24/7. They can be high when you go to bed and crash by the time you wake up. That’s a fundamental difference to other forms of investment and trading, especially if a significant portion of our [online] lives were to shift to transaction-based interactions.
I’m not sure it’s possible to mitigate the impact of introducing perpetual uncertainty and worry on top of already-stressful lives.