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NFTs and the Blockchain - What the hell is all this?


squirtle
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1 hour ago, SozzlyJoe said:

It's the NFT you are buying and selling not the art. It might as well just be numbered. NTF #395,245 for sale, get it while it's hot! The image is the pretty (or not) picture stamped on the back of your imagined coin, or the funky hologram on your moon land deed.

What's the point then, just buy real art.

I don't mean to be disingenuous, i genuinely don't understand it.

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You can’t just press a button and make a computer print more art to sell though. This is so much simpler than setting up a branch of Castle Fine Art if you want to get in to supplying branded art to speculators.

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46 minutes ago, sbrandon111 said:

What's the point then, just buy real art.

I don't mean to be disingenuous, i genuinely don't understand it.

 

Well how I see it, there are two reasons to buy NFTs.

In the benign scenario, it allows the artist and the purchaser to enter a kind of mutual understanding that signifies that the patron has truly 'bought' the piece (albeit to my eyes via a ludicrously over-engineered method)

In the profit motive scenario, it's not about art at all, it's a speculation vehicle - the link between the NFT and art is notional anyway. To be fair, 'real' art is often about traded on this motive too.

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23 hours ago, SozzlyJoe said:

 

Well how I see it, there are two reasons to buy NFTs.

In the benign scenario, it allows the artist and the purchaser to enter a kind of mutual understanding that signifies that the patron has truly 'bought' the piece (albeit to my eyes via a ludicrously over-engineered method)

In the profit motive scenario, it's not about art at all, it's a speculation vehicle - the link between the NFT and art is notional anyway. To be fair, 'real' art is often about traded on this motive too.

This matches my understanding too.

I'd add that the believability of the first scenario is significantly weakened by the ability to re-sell your NFT. If it was all about patronage and supporting the artist, why would you want to be able to sell it? Patreon exists if you want to support artists.

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8 minutes ago, ryanm said:

This matches my understanding too.

I'd add that the believability of the first scenario is significantly weakened by the ability to re-sell your NFT. If it was all about patronage and supporting the artist, why would you want to be able to sell it? Patreon exists if you want to support artists.

Life circumstances change. You can re-sell any art you buy. I could sell a Damien Hirst NFT for 100x the value i bought it at yet remain a Damien Hirst fan. With the NFT the artist will get a %age of any subsequent sale. I imagine artists are pretty pleased to see their work moon in value with each sale becaseu they're often automatically reeiving anything from 5-25% of any subsueqent sale (depending on what they set their royalty at in the code).

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It's perhaps unfortunate, then, that it's so difficult to distinguish the NFT buyers that want to support that artist from those that couldn't give two tiny fucks about the art, and are just after an speculative investment.

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I don’t think that smart contracts that pass a percentage to the originator are the standard, and even where they are used, most NFT art was actually produced by work for hire artists who don’t get any of that money. The firm that minted the NFT does.

 

Put it this way, the fact that we’re talking about these upsides as hypotheticals rather than specific concrete examples, while the leading marketplace is mature enough to be valued at twelve billion dollars, suggests it’s not a major part of the business. Streaming “could” let Disney give away their entire back catalogue for free. That’s not what the actual business is.

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1 hour ago, ryanm said:

It's perhaps unfortunate, then, that it's so difficult to distinguish the NFT buyers that want to support that artist from those that couldn't give two tiny fucks about the art, and are just after an speculative investment.

Just as with physical art?

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1 hour ago, joemul said:

Apology accepted 

Ah. It seems like there's a significant difference between our understandings of the last few posts.

At the risk of delving deeper into this semantic gap, what did I write that you understood as an apology, and what do you think I'm apologising for?

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On 06/01/2022 at 12:39, Melon_Bread said:

Thank god I am full time on games nowadays cuz every illustration job enquiry ends with me asking if it's for NFT's and explaining how I refuse to work on them.


It’s exhausting isn’t it. I get asked from time to time to talk to investors curious about the game industry. These days I’m getting more of these requests than ever. I say yes, unless they want to talk about NFTs, in which case no. It’s always NFTs. 
 

I’ve got a friend who runs a gaming PR firm and he’s getting two or three requests to rep blockchain nonsense every week. Journo inboxes are full of the stuff. I’ve no doubt it’ll all blow over but for now it’s just relentless. 

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There must be a real sense of inertia pulling a lot of people in the industry in, so much that they'd be forgiven for just going "fuck it" and joining in with the rest of the nonsense just to finally stop fighting and go down with the ship like the rest. So I have a lot of respect for those putting their foot down and fighting against the tide, even if it must feel daunting at times.

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Does the blockchain have enough capacity that it doesn't matter whether it's wasted?  I'd hate to think that someone finally comes up with a good use for NFT's in future only to not be able to do it because it's full of receipts for Apes & Lions & Llamas & it's melting everyone's computers to try & run it all.

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I don't believe that's an issue, the rate of new transactions is in some senses constrained by the properties of the network, but the crytographically-secured ledger is just a relatively small amount of data stored on (and distributed around) the computers involved.

 

Edit - A quick Google suggests every single transaction ever performed on Bitcoin fits in to a ledger file less than one terabyte in size.

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On 08/01/2022 at 18:17, Jarik said:

Does the blockchain have enough capacity that it doesn't matter whether it's wasted?  I'd hate to think that someone finally comes up with a good use for NFT's in future only to not be able to do it because it's full of receipts for Apes & Lions & Llamas & it's melting everyone's computers to try & run it all.


there was a particularly shit trend last year - proof of capacity blockchains. Basically led to large multi-TB hard drives disappearing from sale because miners.

some places still have restrictions on sale of your 4TB+ disks.

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On 08/01/2022 at 18:59, Alex W. said:

I don't believe that's an issue, the rate of new transactions is in some senses constrained by the properties of the network, but the crytographically-secured ledger is just a relatively small amount of data stored on (and distributed around) the computers involved.

 

 

It's an issue when the gas/transaction fees goes up the bigger the blockchain is.

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On 07/01/2022 at 14:50, Alex W. said:

I don’t think that smart contracts that pass a percentage to the originator are the standard, and even where they are used, most NFT art was actually produced by work for hire artists who don’t get any of that money. The firm that minted the NFT does.

 

I think they are the norm, and if the NFT creator is the artist then it bypasses the “firm”. 
 

Either way, if you cut through the bullshit there’s a chance for people to get closer to artists they like (in music, illustration whatever) in exactly the same way they do when they buy a limited edition album or a members only limited print. The never-NFT Artists seems to me like old painters rejecting doing work on computers. Fair enough, the line is different for everyone.

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I'm not sure that analogy works. Are NFTs a creative tool that allows for new forms of expression, or just a means of conducting a transaction? I've not seen anything that suggests the former, really.

 

Would it be more accurate to say 'The never-NFT Artists seems to me like old painters rejecting selling work on computers'?

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I wont touch them cuz I do not want to be cancelled by a community that has been good to me over the years and I have a decent job doing art for games, that's all I ever wanted to do so why ruin it. Also the sketchy environmental impact.

 

I have also had experience of the cryptobro community first hand and it wasn't exactly fun and half the time I had no idea what they were going on about. Just seem to be all about the money and not the artwork, everything is how much this is worth or how much it is going to make you and 90% of it looks total shit.

 

 

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34 minutes ago, therearerules said:

A lot of artists don't want their work to be artificially scarce. The alternative is for it to be primarily a speculative asset, which is what most artists reject.


If you sell digital art (or anything digital), it’s already artificially scarce. It can be reproduced endlessly and trivially with no cost to the artist or producer other than lost potential earnings, so if you impose a charge you are making it artificially scarce - you are limiting its distribution to those who can pay. Artificial scarcity. Torrent sites are an example of combating this artificial scarcity, at a cost to the original creators of course.

 

I understand people don’t like acknowledging this though, because it neatly debunks the ‘NFTs are introducing artificial scarcity’ meme.

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Still, even if you want to look at it that way, by your definition NFTs do not introduce artificial scarcity, as the image itself can be right-clicked until the cows come home, available in an infinite number, so there is no inherent scarcity at all.

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Imposing a charge is not artificial scarcity. Artificial scarcity can see people speculating on items because there's few of them. If the artist still sells them then those items will never be worth more than the price the artist sells them at.

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