NFT’s are misused and misunderstood
“NFT’s are a scam, worthless, pollute the environment and steal copyrighted material.“
I have heard this argument from friends and almost everyone else. Just because people misuse and misunderstand a new technology does not make it bad. In the 90’s I remember people refusing to use the internet because it was “All scams and criminals trying to steal your identity or produce illegal/immoral content”
The fact is that an NFT (non fungible token) is nothing more than a serial # assigning a digital asset an authentic trackable timestamp.
I have created paintings and digital artwork. I have spent the same amount of time and effort into each but the painting is an original. The digital work only exists in a digital copyable format. The only way you used to be able to create an original from a digital was to make a print and number it. There is no way of proving that the print with the number is really the first print. By creating a registered NFT, you give it a timestamp and a verifiable record.
Recently discovered Andy Warhol’s original digital artwork on a disk in his computer that he created for Amiga computers advertising. Love him or hate him, clearly the original files on Andy Worhal’s computer had value, but how? They registered them as NFT’s. This created verifiable originals from digitals.
NTF’s are stolen artwork – While it is true that you can post anything as an NFT. Both the buyer and the NFT seller should be doing their research. Allowing copyrighted material to be sold as the original artists work without a proper rights agreement should not be allowed. The buyer should research the origin and rights of the work before purchasing. This is such a new arena that the NFT minters will have to retool to help avoid this in the future.
Artists can just upload a million of the same NFT – True, the artist can upload as many as they want. Uploading more than one dilutes the rarity but the first one will still have the earliest timestamp.
NFT’s Pollute the environment – You can mint your NFT with a wide variety of cryptocurrencies. Many use very little energy or renewables or both. Others, like Ethereum, are moving towards (POS) proof-of-stake instead of mining (POW) proof-of-work.
NFT’s are a scam – If you validate the authenticity of the minter and artist you will be able to purchase an NFT that is 100% authentic.
NFT’s are worthless – This is the same argument that was made for Bitcoin when it was 10 cents. While you DO NOT retain the copyright to the work, that always belongs to the artist until they sign that right away. You do own a digital original. This is no different than when you purchase an artist original painting. You do not own the right to make prints or license that artwork to media companies. The same applies to NFT’s.
This is a digital illustration that took me three months to draw. When NFT’s were a new available tool I could see it’s use right away. There is no other way to sell a digital painting as an original without the use of NFT’s other than prints, which are unverifiable. Furthermore, for the first time ever in art, there is a royalty structure embedded. Once sold, the percentage of royalty is included in every future sale! Up until now, an artist would sell an original painting for say $500, the purchaser could turn around and sell that for $12,000 and the original artist would get nothing more than the original $500. What’s worse is that artwork could change hands hundreds of times and go for millions of dollars and again, the original artist would only have gotten the 500, plus some notoriety.
In conclusion. NFT’s are like the early internet. The misuse and enabling of misuse by the minting companies are misrepresenting what is an amazing and necessary tool for both digital artist and art collectors.