By now you know that the NFT or “Non-Fungible Token” market is booming (but if you’re still unfamiliar with NFTs, check out my beginner’s guide here). An artist with barely a Twitter following to their name, puts together a digital work and with a few magical waves of the mysterious blockchain wand, shazam! It sells for the going rate of a Banksy. The market has become so lucrative, SNL even did a skit on it.
You likely know someone that talks about NFTs like they’re the birth of a new digital age in art, music, authentication or commerce as whole…
It's really nice to see a perspective that looks at NFTs through the evolution of art. It's interesting to think about the current conversation as artistically focused with NFTs just being another medium for artists to explore. History has also shown that people yelling "this is not art" is a surefire way to turn something into art.
There is also a lot of potential in providing more tools for digital artists. How can we make the medium of digital art more accessible to creators? How can we make creators less reliant on exchange fees? The opportunities here are pretty incredible.
Great NFT summary. Clearly a lot of people are struggling with the question of "why would anyone buy this" and as you said, it's about collectors and investors. I would add though that the underlying idea behind all of the current buying and selling of these NFT items is that of scarcity. That's why I certainly think that the value of these items could be a bubble as you mentioned. What I don't think is a bubble, because it doesn't rely on scarcity as a foundation of worth, is the NFT authentication technology in general- the implications there are quite large and it will be interesting to see where they extend to.
The question of where creators go from here is the right one. I think two things happen:
1. As people return back to their normal jobs, content creation takes a slight dip as lower-mid-market creators find that they can't support themselves on this revenue alone and start posting less frequently.
2. Platforms begin moving to distinguish themselves with creators by the services they offer as opposed to just large bags of money. Your example of Clubhouse's incubator program is a great one. I would also point to YouTube Spaces which have amplified that creator community globally over the last few years.
A really interesting observation about another usage for NFTs that hasn't yet gotten mainstream attention. I definitely agree that the future of the technology lies in authentication of real world 'tangible' items in the digital space.
It will certainly be interesting to see where luxury brands make there stance when it comes to secondary marketplace sales when authentication comes into play. I think the biggest potential benefit is that since all transactions are noted in the ledger, you could envision a world where the brands require a percentage of all future sales. This is exactly what you're seeing now on exchanges like Nifty Gateway with artists continuing to get a cut out of every secondary transaction.
It seems like everyone is talking about NFTs these days and it can be hard not to get stuck in the noise. Maybe you heard about them from your tech savvy friend and nodded in agreement, pretending you knew what they were talking about. Maybe you read about a seemingly underwhelming piece of NFT ‘digital art’ that was sold for millions (or in the case of the artist Beeple, $69 million) to a buyer who will have a tough time ever showing it in their living room. …