NFT Fifty

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Honestly, I get it. I understand that new technologies come along, and people unacquainted with them will eschew them. I’ve been mixed up in high tech for almost my entire life, and I understand this. Plus, I’ve never seen myself as a luddite. It may take me a while to fully grasp the consequence of something new, but I don’t have a knee-jerk reaction to reject everything that comes along with is novel.

But here’s the thing – – – when I saw new things come out in my lifetime – – be it graphical user interfaces, or the LaserWriter, or LANs, or WiFi, or the commercial Internet, or electric cars, or the iPhone, or anything else – – no one could plausibly make the argument that one of those given things was useless and idiotic. Any reasonable person could be convinced that, yes, this new “thing” might just turn out to be important, even if it wasn’t immediately obvious as to why.

Try as I might, this still hasn’t clicked for me with crypto, which is pretty odd, since this is literally a multi-trillion dollar market now with hundreds of well-funded companies in that ecosystem. But my refusal to embrace the idea that crypto is going to change the entire universe is dwarfed by my eye-rolling about the latest extension of crypto, which is NFT. I just stumbled upon a site whose sole purpose in life is to sell digital artwork by way of NFT, and it’s quite a sight.

Here’s one auction of note – – you will kindly note that the winning bid was well over a million dollars.

Now, since I’m very grateful for your presence here, I am going to present to you the exact, bit-for-bit, pixel-for-pixel, digital artwork that someone else paid $1,111,211 to own. I’m not even requiring a Platinum membership for you to see it! OK, ready? Here you go (and please feel free to press Play to really experience it fully):

Awesome, right? The recipient of those funds, incidentally, was none other than Paris Hilton. Because God knows that’s where some cash is needed these days.

Of course, not all the artwork is scoring seven-figure bids……..

But I must say, I’m flabbergasted that some artists are actually doing incredibly well, to the tune of millions of dollars in sales. I can only assume that, setting aside the cut that the marketplace gets, this is almost pure profit. Surely this is one of those “long tail” situations in which a handful of artists make almost all the money, but still, these sure beats the hell out of showing up at your local summer Art & Wine Festival and trying to sell your work for a couple hundred bucks.

Oh, and as for the marketplace – which has the clumsy name of NiftyGateway – – they make the following promise (or threat, if you prefer) very clear on their site. Good luck with that.