First and foremost, I want to apologize for how long it took to publish this. I know many of you were anticipating an immediate follow-up to Part 1, but writing that took an incredible amount of time and effort, which unfortunately was not realistic due to a lack of time. Instead, Part 2 will focus more on my own perspectives and address individual criticisms of Part 1.
At this point, you are either against NFTs or not. Honestly, I’m surprised that people are still talking about them since this is the internet and the internet as we all know has the world’s largest attention span. The discourse has taken such a direction where pro-NFT/Crypto people and anti-NFT/crypto groups have made themselves clear. In a weird way, many artists and fans have made hating/loving crypto such a large part of their social media presence that I feel obligated to my fans (and peers) to make my stance clear. While personally I would never base my friendship with someone based on their stance on NFTs/crypto, I understand that’s a threshold for others.
While I still want to be thorough, I’m not going to explain every technical term in detail. I also cannot provide sources to the same extent as I did Part 1. I’m also going to skip over most of the ecological points because the internet has torn that topic to pieces. (A number of articles have come out debunking that too). Most of this is due to time, but ultimately — educating people on this is not my job. If you support an artist based off their stance on NFTs, I feel that you should be well-researched and doing your due diligence.
The format will be:
- Addressing criticisms of Part 1
- Addressing new viral articles (NFT market “crash”, NFTs Weren’t Supposed to End Like This, Most Artists Are Not Making Money)
- Addressing further developments within the crypto world at large
- My own concerns about cryptocurrency and NFTs
- My ultimate stance
I am aware that most people probably won’t care to read this. I am writing this mostly for my own conscience and to provide a roadmap for my supporters (or haters lol) to see where I stand. So to anyone who takes the time to review this and whether we respectively agree or disagree—thank you.
Key Criticisms of Part 1
I’m going to summarize the points I’ve seen in many threads/replies. I cannot list every source since most of these points were spread across many people. If you are really curious to see these criticisms you can view the replies and quote retweets from my original tweet.
“This article is biased”
I think this is a valid critique. I can openly admit I’m not an academic writer. I make it pretty clear at the beginning that I’ve been following crypto since 2015, so it’s safe to assume I’m pretty excited about it. That being said, I think Part 1 still remains largely balanced. I laid out most if not all criticisms expressed by my peers from within and outside the crypto community and provided sources from both sides, and will do my best to address ones I missed in this write-up. On the other hand, most articles I’ve seen (even the ones from “official” platforms) use sensationalism and polarizing titles to illicit strong flames from either side. While I may insert my opinion, that doesn’t change that I provided the data first and it’s there for you to digest and come to your own conclusions.
I also think it’s important to re-emphasize that true academic writings are truly lacking in this topic. I made it clear in Part 1 that it’s pretty impossible to find an “unbiased” source since NFTs and Cryptocurrency as a whole is still such a new thing. I also pointed out how it’s pretty difficult to find an expert or source on anything who ISN’T passionate about whatever they’re an expert on.
“Another point to address is the criticism of going to “crypto experts”. If you go to a marine biologist and ask them about marine life, they are more than likely passionate about marine animals. Similarly, if you ask someone who has dedicated a lot of time to studying cryptocurrency, they are probably very passionate about it.” — Part 1
Even though I’ve been following crypto, Part 1 was the first time I ever talked about it. There are many other artists who have been into crypto and just aren’t vocal about it. It’s a pretty common form of investment and especially amongst open-minded technologically-based industries (digital creatives). While many of us have an interest or even investment in crypto, it’s pretty naïve to assume that we are incapable of recognizing its pros and cons. Even the founder of Ethereum is its largest critic (another point I made clear in Part 1), and to assume someone is just pure evil for following crypto is ignorant and juvenile.
“No matter the carbon output — NFTs do not provide real value”
There was a comparison made to how Youtube has a large carbon output, but provides true “valuable” content, while NFTs do absolutely nothing. I actually agree with this concept, (not necessarily with NFTs, but I get the idea) since I’m not really consumerist in general and need utility behind most of my purchases, but that doesn’t change that others do not feel the same as me, nor will that stop them from spending their money in that way.
In Part 1, I outlined that value is a malleable thing, and while you may find something incomprehensibly useless, it may be another person’s treasure. A good example of this is fashion. Have you heard of the Supreme Bricks that originally resold for up to $1000? There are numerous critics of hypebeast culture or high fashion where some scoff at the idea of paying $1000+ for one article of clothing, but clearly there’s a market. The matter of whether NFTs are actually valuable comes down to opinion. You can make the argument that clothing beyond function is a waste, but clearly expressing oneself in such medium is important to many.
On the topic of ecological impact as well, the fashion industry is actually such a public enemy that it’s pretty unanimous with young liberals and eco-minded groups to shop exclusively vintage or thrifted. That doesn’t stop fast fashion or high fashion from existing, where excess is so abundant that major brands even burn their excess stock in the name of “exclusivity”. So despite fashion taking real resources — fabric, trees, gas, electricity, etc .— it is still an art form that many artists — both pro and anti-NFT — love and cherish.
Now, the concept can be different from the reality, and it has been pointed out that the reality of NFTs gets very unsettling. One such example of this is the phenomenon of broken-URLs and invalid web-hosts for your precious NFT.
“NFTs aren’t real — They are a series of broken URLs”
One of the first responses I received to my article was the unsettling discovery of many NFTs being “broken”. This obviously induced much concern as what was essentially a fine art market based on the exchange of money for an unbreakable certificate seemed fundamentally broken.
When I saw this tweet thread discussing how and why NFTs are broken, I realized I was NOT educated enough about the technology itself or how these NFT marketplaces host their data to follow this discussion. (Note, the creator of this thread ends by saying they do NOT hate NFTs.)
I turned to Ramesh Nair —a blockchain dev and programmer I referenced in Part 1. I needed a clear explanation of 1) How could something as “unbreakable” as a blockchain be in question and 2) What the heck does this thread mean?
After a thorough explanation of what exactly IPFS hashing is and how data hosting works — it became clear that the fault wasn’t in how blockchains or NFTs work, but in how these large marketplaces host their NFTs. I’m not going into detail, but essentially platforms like Nifty Gateway made poor design decisions like hosting their data and transactions on their own centralized servers, instead of spreading them out on the decentralized IPFS network.
Not all platforms are broken. KnownOrigin is a large, curated platform that boasts how all of its NFTs are hosted on the IPFS network. I don’t know how all the major platforms host their data, but it is a valid criticism that no NFT marketplace should be using centralized networks. Centralized networks are why we get problems like entire sectors of the web being down and broken URLs on web-hosting platforms (eg. photobucket or tinypic.com). This is essentially how any NFT hosted on a flawed-network becomes “broken”.
The IPFS network is basically a new solution to such problems. Like NFTs, it is a very new technology. It is not popularly distributed on the web at large since most of the web now has scaled on older technologies. If you want learn more about how exactly it works, I encourage you to dive deeper and research yourself. It is a fascinating prospect and just another great development of the open-source, decentralized scene, but if you just want to know how it affects NFTs — just know NFTs themselves aren’t broken, just how platforms are hosting their data.
“Cryptocurrency & NFTs are pure speculation”
I’m going to start by addressing that cryptocurrency is essentially speculation. It is an asset with an increasing and decreasing value — but so are many mainstream investments in life. Homes, cars, stocks, college degrees, etc. — the only reason why we differentiate these assets from volatile assets is due to longevity. Real-estate is typically cited as one of the safest investments, but it’s not immune to crashes. Higher education is also one of the most popular forms of “investment”, but should probably be cited more as a scam. Sure, you can track bitcoin at any second of the day and see the ups and downs, but that’s just because it’s a 24/7 market that is trackable. It’s a new market that has yet to establish itself, but the goal of an investor is to get a slice of the pie before something explodes. Investment is all about risk/reward management, and not everyone is going to win, but to many, that is worth the risk of potentially investing x amount and making millions.
Now for NFTs — this criticism seems mostly geared at the buyer side. I think it’s valid to critique buyers who seem only in it for the resale market, but that’s generally an unavoidable development in markets with scarcity. One good example of this is the sneaker resale market.
Have you seen those giant lines of people waiting for the latest sneaker drop? While a good portion are definitely in it to own the sneaker themselves, a growing population are in it to buy and resell at a profit. There are many people who make their entire livings off of this and global sneaker resale platforms like StockX have become so mainstream that they now even offer exclusive items like Pokémon cards. Speculative buying is an old concept, with many traditionally using platforms like eBay to flip their items. Any market based on scarcity is going to develop a speculative market, and especially one where its value is tied to a currency whose potential to go up in value is probable.
Now this addresses the buyer side, but what if you are the artist? I made it pretty clear in Part 1 that even if you believe cryptocurrency as a whole is speculation, you can pull your money out of it at any second. Most major crypto wallets allow you to convert your crypto into USD or your preferred currency 24/7. So if you make a sale, once the processing is done, you can avoid the speculative aspect and choose to convert your ETH into cash and that’s that.
If the volatility of crypto as a whole scares you, then don’t participate. I’m not going to tell you what to do with your money. Just because your risk threshold stops you from entering a market doesn’t mean it will stop others. I personally could never make a living from flipping sneakers or Pokémon cards, but there are plenty of people who do.
“Cryptocurrency and NFTs are still a pyramid scheme”
So I’ve seen a ton of people make the connection that because people are invested in ETH/NFTs/BTC — they want you to participate so it raises the value of their investment. On paper, this makes sense, especially if it is a small alt-coin or less established start-up NFT platform. For large, well-established cryptocurrencies like Ethereum or Bitcoin however, that argument doesn’t apply.
There are generally two categories of cryptocurrency: mainstream and alt-coins. Alt-coins are the random, volatile coins that pop up with inherently no value (eg. dogecoin). Even though Bitcoin and Ethereum essentially are the same thing technology-wise, they are categorized differently because they have enough history and investors where there is a clear foundation in value, and that value is spread out across enough invested parties that it essentially cannot collapse (or be manipulated without some serious collusion).
I want to point out that not every invested party is an investor either. Many people develop technologies or industries reliant on cryptocurrency, which will cause the value to increase, but in a natural way. NFTs are one such development, but there are many others such as Defi.
Now, if you look into such large-scale sales such as the Beeple sale, or huge drops on exclusive alt-coin platforms — I believe we have another case. While I don’t believe the vast majority of NFT artists and collectors dedicate themselves to increasing the value of ETH (nor do I think they could on an individual scale) — if two whales (someone with a lot of money) collude, eg. Beeple and MetaKovan, they have the power to move markets. While it is a valid criticism of the NFT market, it’s not exclusive to NFTs and is something that happens in stocks all the time. It’s valid to decry it since it is inherently self-interested and unfair, but that won’t stop it from happening.
“It is disingenuous to interview artists from developing countries — they don’t even have the infrastructure to use Cryptocurrency!”
This is probably the most ridiculous criticism I’ve seen. Some of the artists I interviewed actually came back to me appalled and almost disgusted by the level of ignorance.
Like I stated in Part 1, cryptocurrency is a really appealing alternative to countries whose currencies are rife with instability. This is particularly the case in developing countries, and while a lot of propaganda in the west paints these countries as super impoverished, many of its citizens own smartphones and know how to operate technology. It’s almost ironic that somehow the views of these artists’ from developing countries are being overshadowed again, by people who are so privileged to be ignorant of their situation.
“I am a foreign resident of a developing country and I decry NFTs & Cryptocurrency”
That’s a valid belief. I can’t tell you how to feel about how the world is affecting you. On one hand, a lot of people in developing countries are excited about these technologies, but it’s totally valid to disagree. It is a new technology where its true implications are not understood and won’t be for awhile. I respectfully agree with your stance in the sense that everything sucks and it really sucks to see the world continue to collapse on itself in the pursuit of money.
In the face of indigenous people historically being thrown aside in the pursuit of “development” — I don’t know what the solution is either. The world is comprised of finite resources and on one side is the developed world living lavishly with excess, but the other side are the people from whom they are leeching their wealth. It’s an imbalance that I wouldn’t know how to fix without rewriting history and completely restarting society from the ground-up.
“NFTs are just another extension of capitalism and I hate it”
I think we all hate capitalism in some capacity. It’s valid to hate any extension of a system so entrenched in self-interest and values that promote profit above all. It’s also a little disheartening to see all the same problems with existing markets translate to a new market (eg. only popular artists making money). With that being said, it’s not really a fault of NFTs and to hate on an artist for pursuing another means of income when it would be no different from them launching work on a new platform or medium is pretty ironic.
I also don’t disagree that seeing soulless, permutations of what were essentially DeviantArt adoptables are now selling for thousands is a little disgusting. That’s just one aspect of the market however, and to say that ALL of NFTs are bad because of that is pretty narrow-minded. There has been a lot of cool art I’ve seen that gets collected by genuine collectors, and as the market matures it’ll get better with time.
“Cryptocurrency & NFTs are NOT here to stay”
Within investing, there are basically two camps — bulls and bears. A ‘bull’ is someone who believes an investment will go up, while a ‘bear’ anticipates it will go down. Any asset with speculation will have opinions — but the truth is no one knows what will really happen.
Anticipating the downfall of cryptocurrency is not a lowkey sentiment. There are bears like the finance professor at NYU Stern School of Business, who believe crypto will crash or has no real value and is pure speculation.
Investing is a game where you make a play anticipating some result. All companies and parties investing (or not investing) in an asset do so because they hold a belief. These beliefs are referred to as theses and it’s as simple as compiling a list of reasons why you believe something will succeed or fail. If you do your research on cryptocurrency and believe that it will fail, then you are free to have that belief. Likewise, people are free to believe that it will succeed.
The reality is though, nobody knows. Just know that if you see these opinions being thrown around, they are as simple as that — opinions. It’s up to you as an investor to come to your own conclusions and make your own plays. I personally am bullish on cryptocurrency (I am unsure of NFTs at the moment), but there are conditions that could change that which I’ll detail on later.
Addressing Viral Articles
The NFT Market “Crash”
NFTs have JUST reached the mainstream and so its hard to say what their true market patterns are. Cryptocurrency itself is again, new, and will take a lot of time to establish any real patterns.
This chart shows the value of Bitcoin from its inception to now. These charts are regularly analyzed by investors to assess value. For example, here is the chart for AAPL (Apple stock).
Now, both charts clearly exhibit ups and downs. While BTC’s lifespan is much shorter than AAPL’s, it clearly exhibits an overall up pattern (for now) and provides another reason for why people are bullish — however, it does contain some significant crashes (notably in 2018) so it is largely touted as volatile. Until it reaches the mainstream and matures, it’s hard to say when there will be another crash and how bad.
NFTs are such a small portion of cryptocurrency as a whole that it’s nearly impossible to track their true capital value. There are no fancy charts for tracking the value of an NFT minus the mental ones artists are probably creating in their heads after minting their work. I think it was clear to many people — NFT enthusiasts and haters like — that the recent spotlight on NFTs created a bubble or fanned an already swelling one, and would imminently burst with NFT values dropping nearly 70%.
That being said, since there is no real data on NFTs, whether this the end or not…we’ll have to see. How exactly the crash happened, no one really knows. It could be such that the market corrected at such a rapid pace since it’s largely all digital, or that some whale just decided to make moves — no one really knows. In my own perusing though, it seems like the NFT community on social media is very strong and while they might represent a small portion of the market at large, there is a support building and it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. Realistically, I have concerns, but I will address those towards the end.
“NFTs Weren’t Supposed to End Like This”
There’s a viral article floating around featuring one of the co-creators of NFTs. In it, they lament how their creation took the route of many innovative, creator-minded technologies that serve to empower, but rather end up serving the hands of the tech-industrial complex.
I actually agree that this is a sad reality of the world and unfortunately a sad reality of NFTs. I am glad the author does cite that his co-creator Kevin McCoy (and from what I’m gathering, the main mastermind behind NFTs) still believes in the fundamental idea of an NFT.
“Since the day he and I first teamed up to work on the technology, Kevin McCoy has been the authority on NFTs for me. He is more responsible for the concept than any other person”
“I don’t want to let go of the optimistic ideal behind NFTs. McCoy still believes that blockchain technologies can help artists sustain their work.”
The article also loses credibility to me when they cite Everest Pipkin’s viral article which I spent a large portion of Part 1 debunking. They offset the doom and gloom from that article by citing that, again, Kevin McCoy is still optimistic about green NFTs.
“…and he told me recently that he believes green NFTs will succeed. I want to believe him.”
I do agree when they point out that there is no evidence to suggest that green NFTs will succeed. The market is so new that the only real reason artists or collectors would go into this space is purely eco-minded passion.
Ultimately, I empathize with the author’s sentiment. The inevitable reality of so many great inventions is that it will fall into the profit-minded and drive it into such a soulless, twisted form. Concepts such as the Toilet Paper NFT or Pringles NFT disgust me, and seeing celebrities and large brands trying to cash in disgusts me likewise. It’s an unavoidable reality at this stage of capitalism, but it is still a better alternative for many.
As I stated in part 1, NFT marketplaces have provided a real means for many artists all over the world to earn money. It’s not a perfect picture, but it’s better than having no option at all. And even in the fine art exhibition space, NFT exhibits provide an alternative with minimal fees where traditional spaces charge up to 50% of a sale to exhibit. It’s still too early to say where the pendulum will swing, but there are legitimate reasons to be optimistic.
“Most Artists Are Not Making Money off NFTs”
I saw this article suggested to me and took a read. I’m going to focus primarily on the charts and what they represent since we’ve largely covered the other topics they address.
First and foremost, I think the quotation that “most people are not making money in x industry” shouldn’t have to be said. Maybe the author saw something I didn’t, but I think in any industry — especially creative — most people aren’t going to make money. Most aspiring musicians/writers/actors/performers/etc. don’t make money, and most businesses also fail. It does seem prevalent within the NFT space to support fellow artists (eg. buying each other’s work), but that happens in other creative industries, it just happens to be easier (and more visible) for NFTs. Limiting these phenomena to just NFTs feels unfair, though maybe for some it needs to be said.
Here’s a chart going over the primary price of sales:
33.6% of Primary Sales were $100 or less
20.0% of Primary Sales were $100-$200
11.1% of Primary Sales were $200-$300
7.7% of Primary Sales were $300-$400
3.9% of Primary Sales were $400–500
3.3% of Primary Sales were $500-$600
2.5% of Primary Sales were $600–$700.. you get the idea.
I am personally not surprised at all by these numbers. I actually think it’s a good wake-up call to let people know that hey, NFTs aren’t a get-rich-quick scheme — they’re a marketplace where the typical downfalls of capitalism are at work. I did cite this a lot in Part 1, but it couldn’t be understated that the transfer of wealth from collectors to artists isn’t a magical, guaranteed transaction. This is especially true when there are more artists than collectors, and I see plenty of twitter threads with artists pitching their work like they’re lining the streets of a tourist spot in a rich city.
It is important that they highlight how platforms will push the idea that artists can make a lot of money. It’s in the platform’s interest to gain as many artists as possible so that they profit off the cut they take from any work sold. I do think that there is a key difference between open platforms and curated platforms however. Curated platforms tend to have a much stronger emphasis on gallery-style exhibitions, where it’s moreso “collect this one-of-a-kind by famous artist x” and not really “look at how much money can be made!” The open platforms (aka the ones where anyone can join) are typically the ones overrun with low-quality, low-effort, cash-grab art and it’s clear that the tide is turning against those.
While I don’t necessarily agree or believe in the possibility of the ultimate implications of the article (eg. an artist union), I respect the author’s opinions and can see where she’s coming from. I think I’ve made it abundantly clear in Part 1 that I would treat NFTs like any other marketplace — and for myself, that means valuing a good long-term game aka good quality work and a real passion for the technology v. a short-term gain aka spamming any work in hopes of a quick profit. And like in any other market — there will be more losers than winners, and especially as the NFT marketplace takes steps to mature.
Further Developments within the Crypto Space
There are a number of things that I want to share to paint a bigger picture. I’m not going to go into detail, I just want to show that whether or not you agree with NFTs /cryptocurrency/blockchains— the world at large is moving anyways.
- Blockchain explored by Louis Vuitton, Prada and Cartier to fight counterfeiters by guaranteeing the authenticity of luxury fashion items
- Fortnite and the Metaverse
- You can now buy crypto on Venmo (owned by Paypal)
- You can buy crypto on Paypal
- You can earn ETH 2.0 staking rewards on Coinbase
- Valid Points: The Reality of ‘Rayonism,’ a New Plan to Merge Ethereum and Eth 2.0
- Revised FATF Crypto Guidelines Could Spell The End of DEXes and DeFi
(Confused by some of these headlines? Read Part 1)
I hope it’s clear that 1) these are new technologies 2) big industry is already making moves. These are just a few examples of developments I’ve seen. Whether or not these moves will last is up to speculation, but if you’re seriously concerned about NFTs/crypto you should be staying up to date and trying to get the full picture.
My Own Concerns
Lack of Longevity (Data) for NFTs
Anyone entering a space is going to be pretty wary without data. NFTs are scary since their data set is so limited and untested against various conditions. I don’t fault anyone for not participating for this reason. I don’t want to get into the moral grounds debate on NFTs, but from a purely analytical perspective, it’s perfectly reasonable to avoid risk in an untested market.
It’s also unclear who or what is really controlling the market. This goes for cryptocurrency as a whole. History says it’s going to be the market makers (aka big institutions) yet again, but markets controlled by big money has history; whereas the wild west does not. It’s exciting, it’s promising, and most importantly it’s a real opportunity — but it’s also unstable and could collapse for any unknown reason at any point. There’s no real patterns to go off of until history plays out and we look back on the charts and why those dips and runs happened 50–100 years later.
I still remain bullish on cryptocurrencies, and NFTs are something I believe in conceptually as someone who is passionate about technology and how that interplays with being an artist. But there are real conditions which would change my thesis which leads me to my next concern.
I think this is the big questions within the crypto space. On one hand, it’s a good thing that bigger institutions continue to legitimize BTC or ETH so they gain stability, on the other hand, it introduces pressure from the government to regulate this new currency.
Regulation could imply anything, it could be as simple as taxing it like a normal currency to restricting it from being used. The beautiful thing about cryptocurrency is that paired with encryption and VPN technology — you really can’t stop it (eg. the dark web market), but serious negative regulation would cause public sentiment to subside, which would greatly hurt the value. On the other hand, positive regulation could stabilize the currencies and even make them mainstream, bolstering their value.
For now, regulation developments seem slow, especially in countries whose values are intrinsically capitalist since it is another form to launder and create wealth, but there’s no telling what could happen. It’s something I personally monitor day-by-day and ponder the implications of.
Implications in Capitalism
I think we are all disgusted by the cheap, cash-grab NFTs by huge corporations and celebrities. In so many ways, NFTs seem to have devalued the real value of art, and is following the pattern of big commercialized creative industry. While this is a pattern for many industries, there is something that needs to be said when we’ve reached such late-stages where buying the digital signature for an internet meme for hundreds of thousands of dollars is a flex.
Personally, I think there’s a trend where there’s a “theoretical reality” — people truly valuing NFTs like the original copies of some priceless traditional art — and then the real reality — money laundering, speculation, flexing, etc. This is a dangerous trend I notice from silicon valley, where there is some theoretical unicorn world they envision where all the alpha-phases of their creations magically work. The reality however ends up being messier as the world is not a contained, controlled environment, and humans cannot factor in everything.
There is no way to quantify what proportion of collectors are truly in it for the “right” reason; but, it is important to recognize again that having a moral compass for what makes something valuable does usually come down to opinion. That being said, personally, I really don’t like the low-effort adoptable spam. I also don’t like a lot of commodified music, film, fashion, etc. I can’t blame NFTs as being bad, moreso just revealing just how low people are willing to go. Again, I don’t think this is necessarily a fault of NFTs, but as technology progresses, we are only going to see more displays of blatant human greed and nature.
My Ultimate Outlook
The real scope of NFTs
Beyond just the one-to-one fine art market-esque sales — I think a large portion of us are missing the bigger picture. Companies like Gucci and Epic Games are already entering the space. There will probably be a day where one-of-a-kind digital goods (aka in-game items or skins) will be certified on a blockchain. Even if the NFT marketplace matures into just a mirror of already existing marketplaces, they will pave a new world where tech-savvy, cultural moguls will be the leaders and influencing popular culture into (un)knowingly owning an NFT.
Technology and Art
I should clarify that I am not as excited about NFTs particularly as much as they space they come from. In part 1, I outlined how there is much overlap between the open-source and decentralization crowd. While NFTs are cool (in concept), I’m typically optimistic when it comes to developments from this space and remain excited to see where it goes.
If it weren’t for cultural and technological rebels, we would not be using a computer or even finding each other on the world-wide web. For artists, we wouldn’t even be drawing digitally or utilizing the unified efforts of software like Krita or Blender. When music became synthesized, traditionalists scoffed and decried “digitized music”. Disruptive technology has always gone hand-in-hand with cultural rebellion, ESPECIALLY for creatives, and I will always support these movements.
The most important aspect of all of this to me is that regardless of how you feel about NFTs/crypto — you need to adapt. You can hate them all you want, and I respect that, but that’s not going to stop the art theft, the devaluation of art, etc. I’ve already seen a number of NFT artists themselves have their work stolen and calling out the platforms. Likewise, I’ve seen so many people grossly misrepresent what the NFT world is truly like when uninvolved onlookers inquire. The best thing to do is to really know what they are and staying ignorant/being wrong isn’t going to change that.
Overall, I’m optimistic and believe that first and foremost — cryptocurrency is going to continue to explode, and with that, NFTs. To quote my stance from Part 1:
I myself am a believer in climate change and an advocate for better alternatives. I am also a huge advocate for decentralization and have been passionate about the solutions to society that cryptocurrency and NFTs offer. I’ve been supporting myself off my art since I was 15, and the hustle never changes. As a child, I’ve moved from house to apartment to nearly the streets multiple times, and I am going to do whatever I can to prevent that. To me, NFTs are just another marketplace to try and make ends meet. I even feel so strongly about my cause that I’ve even taken radical routes like dropping out of highschool and foregoing normal college just to avoid playing into student debt and the objectively flawed school system.
I don’t support the blatant capitalism behind them but I don’t fault anyone for participating in the NFT marketplace. Sooner than later, we’re probably all going to be participating in the larger crypto world whether we know it or not. It’s not an inherently “evil” thing, and the more large companies continue to adopt it, the more it’s going to become a part of your life.
Sometimes, I feel foolish for writing this all out. It almost feels counter-productive to spend huge amounts of time writing my thoughts, knowing that a good part of it will probably be dismissed. I just want anyone supporting me to know where I truly stand, and why. I think that’s more than you can say for a lot of brands/people (which is sadly a low bar), but even though I anticipate a lot of hate, I would rather be upfront about my stance than try to weasel my way out of the anticipated backlash.
If you made it this far — good shit. This about concludes my thoughts. Thank you again to everyone who’s participated with me in writing this. I don’t know what possessed me to write Part 1, but it lead me to connect with some truly rich minds and bolstered my love for the techno-rebel creative community. I hope Part 2 can do the same, though I know it’s reach is not as far, but connecting with people through shared code and ideas is what this is all about, so I’m looking forward to wherever moving into this space leads me :)