By Anil Dash
When we invented non-fungible tokens, we were trying to protect artists. But tech-world opportunism has struck again.
The only thing we’d wanted to do was ensure that artists could make some money and have control over their work. Back in May 2014, I was paired up with the artist Kevin McCoy at Seven on Seven, an annual event in New York City designed to spark new ideas by connecting technologists and artists. I wasn’t sure which one I was supposed to be; McCoy and his wife, Jennifer, were already renowned for their collaborative digital art, and he was better at coding than I was.
At the time, I was working as a consultant to auction houses and media companies—a role that had me obsessively thinking about the provenance, ownership, distribution, and control of artworks. Seven on Seven was modeled after tech-industry hackathons, in which people stay up all night to create a working prototype that they then show to an audience. This was around the peak of Tumblr culture, when a raucous, wildly inspiring community of millions of artists and fans was sharing images and videos completely devoid of attribution, compensation, or context. As it turned out, some of the McCoys’ works were among those being widely “reblogged” by Tumblr users. And Kevin had been thinking a lot about the potential of the then-nascent blockchain—essentially an indelible ledger of digital transactions—to offer artists a way to support and protect their creations.
By the wee hours of the night, McCoy and I had hacked together a first version of a blockchain-backed means of asserting ownership over an original digital work. Exhausted and a little loopy, we gave our creation an ironic name: monetized graphics. Our first live demonstration was at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City, where the mere phrase monetized graphics prompted knowing laughter from an audience wary of corporate-sounding intrusions into the creative arts. McCoy used a blockchain called Namecoin to register a video clip that his wife had previously made, and I bought it with the four bucks in my wallet.
Read this entire article @ The Atlantic
Can you really trust NFTs?
Speculative crypto art market takes off
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One fake Banksy, by an artist calling themselves Pest Supply, sold for more than 60 ETH, or about $100,000. The artwork featured a stencil saying “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this NFT shit.” It’s not clear where or how the buyer could resell the work, given that the Opensea platform has now disabled all future sales by that artist.