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Doc Sportello

(7,593 posts)
Fri Feb 18, 2022, 11:35 AM Feb 2022

NFTs aren't art -- they're just the Cult of Crypto's latest scam

Conversation with media analyst Dan Olson. Some aren't going to like it, but he makes some salient observations.

snip

If it looks like a scam, it's probably a scam.

Cryptocurrency and its ugly art spin-off, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), are perhaps the 21st century's greatest example of that eternal principle.

But don't try saying that to anyone who's been sucked into the Cult of Crypto, because the next hour — or five!— of your life is about to be spent buried in technobabble jargon to make this particular form of tulip-trading sound like it's simply mathematics on a plane too high for your small brain to comprehend.

snip (from the interview)

"The biggest problem that's been plaguing crypto since 2009 has been a lack of things to use it on and a lack of respectability that comes out of that. It's like, "nah, it's not a currency. You don't use it to buy and sell stuff." Crypto has a long history of not being spendable. There's nothing that you can actually use it on.

So NFTs effectively get built as a thing to spend crypto on. The two end up being unextractable from one another. NFTs, they're literally built on top of cryptocurrency. They literally share the same technological foundation. NFTs were basically these goods being wheeled into existence in order to provide something crypto can be spent on."

Compares to MLM schemes:

snip

"The product exists to sell the culture and the culture exists to get people to buy into the ecosystem and buy the starter pack and sign up and develop a downstream and recruit, recruit, recruit.

I think people accurately recognize that just by watching people get involved in crypto. You watch an artist who starts selling NFTs, and over the course of months, their artwork itself shifts and it starts becoming more and more about crypto itself. We see those shifts in the people around us and the people who get involved in it, it's like it becomes the singular thing that they talk about. It very much mirrors the same cultural trajectory of somebody getting involved in multi-level marketing."

https://www.salon.com/2022/02/16/nfts-arent-art--theyre-just-the-of-cryptos-latest-scam/


My take: I don't claim to be an expert on the subject, but if it walks like a duck ...
When a friend who gets involved with every scheme from MLM to an EST-spinoff self-improvement to get rich program got into Crypto I thought here we go again.

49 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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NFTs aren't art -- they're just the Cult of Crypto's latest scam (Original Post) Doc Sportello Feb 2022 OP
Olson's long video explanation of NFTs and Crypto... PoliticAverse Feb 2022 #1
Thanks for posting Doc Sportello Feb 2022 #3
I've been watching this. It's well researched. GoneOffShore Feb 2022 #37
NFTs explained: Pinback Feb 2022 #2
Hilarious Doc Sportello Feb 2022 #4
That's funged up! lagomorph777 Feb 2022 #5
Clear as mud. I think I've been funged over. keithbvadu2 Feb 2022 #7
I have a crush on her genxlib Feb 2022 #9
Yes! Pinback Feb 2022 #12
It is being and nothingness. It can't be funged...like Sarte created NFT's. Duh. JanMichael Feb 2022 #24
+1 dalton99a Feb 2022 #35
This is great! smirkymonkey Feb 2022 #43
Hats off to DUer gristy Pinback Feb 2022 #45
I have been watching her videos all night and she is very talented! smirkymonkey Feb 2022 #48
Fantastic! Pinback Feb 2022 #49
r&k This will take me a couple days to MerryBlooms Feb 2022 #6
NFTs amd Crypto are both scams LetMyPeopleVote Feb 2022 #8
Absolutely not... Your music will be an NFT soon and artists will JCMach1 Feb 2022 #34
........ GoneOffShore Feb 2022 #38
Crypto and NFT's just a chain. GoneOffShore Feb 2022 #39
Always thought snowybirdie Feb 2022 #10
If NFTs were honest... PoliticAverse Feb 2022 #11
"Why waste all that time hanging a painting in your home Pinback Feb 2022 #13
Funny stuff! chowder66 Feb 2022 #17
still true: there's a sucker born every minute bringthePaine Feb 2022 #14
And I have a cyber bridge to sell cheap. Or maybe some cyber land in Florida suits better? Tommymac Feb 2022 #15
I STILL DONT GET IT! Why buy made-up shit? oldsoftie Feb 2022 #16
Things of value all have only the value people give to it Johnny2X2X Feb 2022 #18
They want it because they believe in the "Greater Fool Theory"... PoliticAverse Feb 2022 #20
Oh yeah I've heard of that too. I just meant other than that oldsoftie Feb 2022 #27
If it is a somewhat famous picture you get your name linked to it and if you pay a lot... PoliticAverse Feb 2022 #29
As I read that link I KNEW who it was! And I guess I CAN see it from her POV. oldsoftie Feb 2022 #31
What I don't get..... getagrip_already Feb 2022 #19
The sellers hope buyers care, so the price goes up. But, like with other bubbles and fads... PoliticAverse Feb 2022 #21
There IS a difference but its nothing that would matter to me. Look at the first one; oldsoftie Feb 2022 #28
"If you nail together two things that have never been nailed together Buns_of_Fire Feb 2022 #22
Tape works, too Pinback Feb 2022 #26
I thought that the duck was better. GoneOffShore Feb 2022 #40
No copyright transfer with NFTs andym Feb 2022 #23
Correct you don't get rights to the image, only your name linked to it really. n/t PoliticAverse Feb 2022 #30
The rightsholder isn't even minting the NFT in a lot of cases sir pball Feb 2022 #33
If you ask me to pay any amount of money for a JPG image, my answers are "hell" and "no". Initech Feb 2022 #25
Yeah but you also get a bunch of symbols Hav Feb 2022 #32
It is a scam. dalton99a Feb 2022 #36
Waiting for the NFT bros to appear shouting..... GoneOffShore Feb 2022 #41
It's funny how I know f**k all about NFTs smirkymonkey Feb 2022 #44
The way someone explained it to me was DVRacer Feb 2022 #42
What you describe is also known as the greater fool theory Hav Feb 2022 #46
They are today's version edhopper Feb 2022 #47

GoneOffShore

(17,356 posts)
37. I've been watching this. It's well researched.
Sat Feb 19, 2022, 02:39 PM
Feb 2022

Sure, it's confirming my bias against crypto, but I had the same bias when I was approached by the Mormons, the Scientologists, the Amway-ites, the EST-ers, and the Campus Crusade for Christ folks.

The crypto/nft bros love to shill for this stuff, not getting that it's only making guys like Thiel and Musk richer and just about no one else.

genxlib

(5,557 posts)
9. I have a crush on her
Fri Feb 18, 2022, 12:23 PM
Feb 2022

She is like a cross between Desi Lydec and Anna Kendric

She did some great stuff on the pandemic that helped to keep me sane.

Pinback

(12,197 posts)
12. Yes!
Fri Feb 18, 2022, 01:16 PM
Feb 2022

That one where her future self advises her February 2020 self... hilarious! "You might want to plan a trip to Costco."

Pinback

(12,197 posts)
45. Hats off to DUer gristy
Sat Feb 19, 2022, 07:02 PM
Feb 2022

for posting this to the Personal Finance and Investing group about a month ago. Glad you enjoyed this as much as I did!


I think she did a great job all around — writing, acting, photography, audio, and editing. I thought it was especially slick to have one “character”’s dialogue begin while the other is still on the screen.

If you’ve seen her other videos, you know there’s lots more where this came from! Hope she has a lot of success — very entertaining, appealing, and she has loads of talent.

 

smirkymonkey

(63,221 posts)
48. I have been watching her videos all night and she is very talented!
Sat Feb 19, 2022, 10:21 PM
Feb 2022

What a find! Thanks to you and gristy for sharing her with the rest of us!

Pinback

(12,197 posts)
49. Fantastic!
Sat Feb 19, 2022, 11:19 PM
Feb 2022

I’ve actually watched only a couple so far myself. Lots to catch up on, and what fun it will be! I think perhaps this will be added to tomorrow’s agenda!

JCMach1

(27,606 posts)
34. Absolutely not... Your music will be an NFT soon and artists will
Sat Feb 19, 2022, 12:29 PM
Feb 2022

Finally have some control over it vs. getting ripped off by corporations.

It amazes me how myopic and anti-tech the anti-crypto DU crowd is.

Judging NFTs and smart contracts as they are would be like judging the internet based on your personal review of Gopher in 1993.

snowybirdie

(5,300 posts)
10. Always thought
Fri Feb 18, 2022, 12:40 PM
Feb 2022

I had a fairly good vocabulary. However a phrase like "non-fungible tokens" makes absolutely no sense. Sticking with plain old English words to make investments.

Pinback

(12,197 posts)
13. "Why waste all that time hanging a painting in your home
Fri Feb 18, 2022, 01:39 PM
Feb 2022

like you're some sort of Renaissance baronet, when you could just pay to associate your name with a jpeg of a fecund echidna?"

Tommymac

(7,263 posts)
15. And I have a cyber bridge to sell cheap. Or maybe some cyber land in Florida suits better?
Fri Feb 18, 2022, 02:35 PM
Feb 2022

A fool and their crypto are never parted.

oldsoftie

(12,871 posts)
16. I STILL DONT GET IT! Why buy made-up shit?
Fri Feb 18, 2022, 02:36 PM
Feb 2022

I heard a guy in the bank the other day talking about getting his two kids computers and they were "making NFTs and selling them for .003 (something like that) Ether. I think we'll make about 10k this month"
I may be off on some of that because I didn't wanna be TOO obvious in my eavesdropping. But I still don't know what he's talking about. WHAT are they "making" to sell & why would anyone want it?
Or he could be lying. trump talks about all the money HE makes and most of that's a lie!

Johnny2X2X

(19,655 posts)
18. Things of value all have only the value people give to it
Fri Feb 18, 2022, 02:42 PM
Feb 2022

Gold is relatively worthless except for electrical applications, human being place value on it, same with dollars or baseball cards. All worth next to nothing unless people say so. So NFTs are worth something because they are unique and people have created a market for them that gives them value.

PoliticAverse

(26,366 posts)
20. They want it because they believe in the "Greater Fool Theory"...
Fri Feb 18, 2022, 03:08 PM
Feb 2022
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_fool_theory

In finance, the greater fool theory suggests that one can sometimes make money through the purchase of overvalued assets — items with a purchase price drastically exceeding the intrinsic value — if those assets can later be resold at an even higher price.

In this context, one "fool" might pay for an overpriced asset, hoping that he can sell it to an even "greater fool" and make a profit. This only works as long as there are new "greater fools" willing to pay higher and higher prices for the asset. Eventually, investors can no longer deny that the price is out of touch with reality, at which point a sell-off can cause the price to drop significantly until it is closer to its fair value, which in some cases could be zero.


What they are making isn't important, what is important is the buyers think it will go up in price which is why they are buying it.

Why were people paying $1,000 for a Beanie Baby (original tags, nonsmoking home only please)?





oldsoftie

(12,871 posts)
27. Oh yeah I've heard of that too. I just meant other than that
Fri Feb 18, 2022, 05:07 PM
Feb 2022

Obviously you expect someone else to pay more than you but is it actually something that can be USED? Like a stock is a piece of a company but WTH is this crap

PoliticAverse

(26,366 posts)
29. If it is a somewhat famous picture you get your name linked to it and if you pay a lot...
Fri Feb 18, 2022, 05:17 PM
Feb 2022

you get your name in some news stories, so it can be an ego/publicity thing.

For example:
https://gizmodo.com/disaster-girl-finally-gets-the-ca-h-money-she-deserv-1846772804

No you can't really do anything with it other than sell it.



oldsoftie

(12,871 posts)
31. As I read that link I KNEW who it was! And I guess I CAN see it from her POV.
Sat Feb 19, 2022, 09:13 AM
Feb 2022

And you're right, EGO is a massive driver of shit like this. That guy I heard at the bank was nowhere near me, but spoke loud enough so we ALL could hear him!

getagrip_already

(15,325 posts)
19. What I don't get.....
Fri Feb 18, 2022, 02:45 PM
Feb 2022

If I buy an oil painting, I can be relatively certain I have an original, or at least a 1/x copy. Sure, the artist could later make more copies, but the provinance of my copy would still hold value as a physical item.

If I buy an nft, that original still exists and could easily compete with the nft.

Copies could be made of the original, and then what happens to the value of the nft?

We aren't talking about painted elvis's here. These are 5 and 6 figure purchases.

Who could tell if your digitally displayed nft is any different from my digital capture of that nft?

Doesn't seem like there is any real value in it being an nft. Who cares if it is an original digital image?

PoliticAverse

(26,366 posts)
21. The sellers hope buyers care, so the price goes up. But, like with other bubbles and fads...
Fri Feb 18, 2022, 03:13 PM
Feb 2022

the price can continue to go up until there are no "greater fools" left to buy. Eventually reality will assert itself.

Just having your name in a book (or blockchain) as being "associated" with something isn't usually worth anything.





oldsoftie

(12,871 posts)
28. There IS a difference but its nothing that would matter to me. Look at the first one;
Fri Feb 18, 2022, 05:09 PM
Feb 2022

That silly video of the British kid saying "Charlie bit me"
If you copy it and post it on FB, they'll block out the music playing. Big deal I can still see the stupid kid

Buns_of_Fire

(17,304 posts)
22. "If you nail together two things that have never been nailed together
Fri Feb 18, 2022, 03:26 PM
Feb 2022

before, some fool will buy it from you." ~George Carlin

sir pball

(4,815 posts)
33. The rightsholder isn't even minting the NFT in a lot of cases
Sat Feb 19, 2022, 09:56 AM
Feb 2022

It's literally like a bloke outside the Louvre offering to sell you an un-copyable chit that grants you "ownership" of the Mona Lisa, by dint of its uncopyability, but you can't actually take the painting off the wall and if you did (or tried to demand payment for its display, or exercise any other intellectual property right over it), you'll be laughed out of court.

Hav

(5,969 posts)
32. Yeah but you also get a bunch of symbols
Sat Feb 19, 2022, 09:35 AM
Feb 2022

so that you can prove to anybody that cares that you are part of a very special group in regards to this specific image (a group that still doesn't own the image)!

Yes, it so obviously is a scam.

dalton99a

(82,121 posts)
36. It is a scam.
Sat Feb 19, 2022, 12:34 PM
Feb 2022
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-fungible_token

An NFT is a unit of data stored on a digital ledger, called a blockchain, which can be sold and traded.[3] The NFT can be associated with a particular digital or physical asset (such as a file or a physical object) and a license to use the asset for a specified purpose.[4] An NFT (and, if applicable, the associated license to use, copy or display the underlying asset) can be traded and sold on digital markets.[5] The extralegal nature of NFT trading usually results in an informal exchange of ownership over the asset that has no legal basis for enforcement,[6] often conferring little more than use as a status symbol.[7]

NFTs function like cryptographic tokens, but, unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, NFTs are not mutually interchangeable, hence not fungible. While all bitcoins are equal, each NFT may represent a different underlying asset and thus may have a different value.[8] NFTs are created when blockchains string records of cryptographic hash, a set of characters identifying a set of data, onto previous records therefore creating a chain of identifiable data blocks.[9] This cryptographic transaction process ensures the authentication of each digital file by providing a digital signature that is used to track NFT ownership.[9] However, data links that point to details such as where the art is stored can be affected by link rot.[10]

Ownership of an NFT does not inherently grant copyright or intellectual property rights to the digital asset a token represents.[11][12] While someone may sell an NFT representing their work, the buyer will not necessarily receive copyright privileges when ownership of the NFT is changed and so the original owner is allowed to create more NFTs of the same work.[13][14] In that sense, an NFT is merely a proof of ownership that is separate from a copyright.[12][15] According to legal scholar Rebecca Tushnet, "In one sense, the purchaser acquires whatever the art world thinks they have acquired. They definitely do not own the copyright to the underlying work unless it is explicitly transferred."[16]
 

smirkymonkey

(63,221 posts)
44. It's funny how I know f**k all about NFTs
Sat Feb 19, 2022, 05:00 PM
Feb 2022

but somehow, I instinctively knew right off the bat that what you are saying is true, even when they first came out.

DVRacer

(711 posts)
42. The way someone explained it to me was
Sat Feb 19, 2022, 03:55 PM
Feb 2022

All crypto has become is a multilevel marketing scheme and NFT’s are an offshoot to bring in fresh dollars. They wrap it up in buzzwords to hide what is really happening. Part of it a big part is the 5% wanting to become the next 1%. You don’t really understand anything because that’s a feature not a bug. Keep in mind the players behind the scenes are the same ones that preceded the crash in 2008, Wolf of Wall Street and Winkelvoss twins are near the top.

We nod and go along with all this because we fear looking stupid, you are not stupid it looks like a scam because it is a scam. The only way to make money is to find someone else to pay more than you did there is zero value in the thing itself just the idea it could be worth more later if someone else will buy it from you.

Hav

(5,969 posts)
46. What you describe is also known as the greater fool theory
Sat Feb 19, 2022, 07:07 PM
Feb 2022

NFTs have become the perfect example for that.

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