I have been writing an essay about the controversies surrounding NFT, as I want to bring attention to some of the harm that they do and can potentially do. I also wanted to discover if there was a good and freeing side to NFT, to see if there was a balanced argument for the new phenomenon.
What is an NFT?
NFT or 'Non Fungible Tokens' are units of data stored on a blockchain that certifies that a digital asset is unique or one of a kind. They can take the form of images, sound, or video, and have been an almost 'digital extension' of the traditional art world, in that high-value paintings are often sold off to private collectors. This new form of trade has exploded in the last few months, and with this comes controversy and criticism.
(Beeple's 'The First 5000 Days', a collection of daily artworks he sold as an NFT for 69 million dollars.)
Summary of the Pros and Cons of NFT
To keep things short and sweet, I've boiled down my main arguments for and against NFT into 3 bullet points each.
Pros of NFT
- Allows artists to have control of the spread of their art online, and allows them to set decent prices for their digital work
- Allows for the transition of the traditional art world (galleries and auctions etc) into the digital realm
- As an industry generates a lot of money
Cons of NFT
- Bad for the environment because of the sheer amount of energy the creation and selling of NFT uses
- Allows for people to steal art and turn it into NFT to make money while making it hard for the original artist to retaliate
- Transitioning physical artworks into NFT could potentially destroy the original work in order to preserve it's non-fungibility
I personally struggle to agree with the current practices of NFT, but perhaps this will change as the medium matures, and the world adapts to start working with them.
What are your views on NFT?