Just my own personal experience in three acts.
- A few years back I decided I should own at least a bit of a variety of cryptocurrencies. I’m a computer guy, I write about tech a little bit, I should have an understanding of it that typically comes from hands-on experience. I decide on a sum to “invest” that wouldn’t be a disaster if it all went bust, but if it went huge (doubled or more) we would really benefit as a family. Since then, essentially every story related to blockchain/NFTs/crypto/web3 is horrible. My investment? It was split across what seemed to be the obviously big-name coins. Big picture, the investment lost about 50% of its value and has hung out there. I’m not mad about my investment, all investments are a risk. I’m mad about how stupid this all is. How many years into this are we with no practical use cases for the world? How many resources have to be burned before this is seen?
- I love generative art. It’s so cool. Art, generally, is cool, and moreso the idea that an expressive idea doesn’t need to be locked into one exact form, but instead can be more fluid, and have external input or randomness affect the form. CodePen has lots of generative art on it, because the web and code is a perfect medium for it. I saw some CodePen users trying stuff on fxhash, which is an NFT thing specifically for front-end technology generative art. I went through the rigamarole of actually buying some. You can’t just use any cryptocurrency, you have to use the special one that this marketplace uses. And you can’t buy an NFT by connecting to where you store your cryptocurrency, first you have to sign up for a “wallet” and then move the coins into the wallet and pay through the wallet. Weird but OK? Except for that of course leads to all the more places for vulnerabilities, which happen all the damn time. I did manage to ultimately own one, as silly and boring as it is. Then later got this other one by Varun Vachhar that is someone who I really do think makes cool work. But now if I look at my “owned” NFTs, it’s full of a bunch of them I didn’t buy — because apparently you can just send anyone an NFT they don’t want, and they can have code in them that does nefarious shit? What in the absolute fuck is that? How is that not the absolute top priority of all NFT-affiliated anything to entirely put an end to?
- Just this week I saw Charlotte Dann release a project called Ceramics that’s literally the coolest generative art I’ve ever seen. I was a ceramics guy in college, getting my BA largely focused around that. This work is incredible! All my old ceramics buddies agreed. It evokes real clay, porcelain, and glazes, incredibly well. Charlotte did an art auction thing for 300 NFTs of this work, randomly generated. At this point I’m fully disenchanted with owning any crypto, so I thought this would be a cool way to spend some of it supporting Charlotte a little and then fully dip out. I readied myself for the auction, but I just missed getting in on it. All 300 sold out before I got the chance to snag one. No trouble, they’ll be on OpenSea later, I’m told. I bite the bullet and get an account there and wire up my wallet and whatnot. I search for “Charlotte Dann”, find the project there (screenshot), and buy one. Well that was my mistake (it’s not Charlotte’s for the record), this wasn’t Charlotte’s actual project, but some criminal grifter fuck selling fake nothing. Actual nothing, by the way. I don’t even own the fake thing I bought, it somehow was entirely removed from my ownership after purchasing it, instead it was replaced with some weird spammy garabage that even OpenSea knows is garbage and hides it (screenshot). Plus, OpenSea has no record of this transaction, even though, uhm, I obviously bought it on that platform? My “wallet” does have the record. I just can’t even. What a shitshow.
Literally every experience I have in this world is gross at best and criminally evil at worst. Who it benefits that actually needs the benfefit is vanishingly few. I’m sorry I even dipped a toe.
Plagiarized art has always been a massive issue in the NFT space. So much so, that I used to run a Twitter account solely dedicated to outing scammers and helping artists get plagiarized art removed from NFT marketplaces. https://twitter.com/nfttheft
It was a shit fad that made things considerably worse for artists AND consumers. I’m glad it’s dying. The whole premise of NFTs is that they somehow will magically solve this problem, but it turns out that minting something as an NFT will not in anyway prevent someone else from copy-minting it and selling it to some other victims.
Same. I thought I’d try selling some photography through NFTs, and after a solid year of trying, I got one sale. I also got hacked, and experienced many similar stories as yours.
Nope. This is not the “next big thing”. And now that AI has come, web3 seems relegated to a backseat now and will likely become the next Second Life.
My parting words to those who soldier on: “Have fun storming the castle!”