NFT - digital ownership (3Lau)

The digital unique ownership of art and music is heating up. EDM artist 3Lau auctioned off 33 digital assets. The top two bidders got into a bidding war and paid 3.6 and 3.5 million dollars respectively!! What?!

tbh, I am not totally clear what the digital tokens represent ownership of. More here:

This FAQ page gives more details but I’d advise caution, it’s pretty sketchy. They are clear that you should bring money, their commission rates are high and these apply to all transactions.

Oh not promoting it at all. Just many here are interested in the music industry

Out of interest I did a bit of tech reading about NFT’s (Non-Fungible Tokens). So this is blockchain by another name, the same decentralised, tamper proof ledger tech used in crypto-currency but here to assert an items “uniqueness”. One area the tech’s getting traction is to denote a copy of a digital file as an “original”. Think digital art works, without the token how do you identify an original? It’s not like other collector domains. Imagine the art world if no body can distinguish the original Mona Lisa from a print. In the digital world it feels a painful stretch to try to square an old world view with modern reality. That said, folk are funny, especially when it comes to ways to express supposed “superiority” through ownership/conspicuous consumption, so it may catch on.

While blockchain and crypto-currency are synonymous, blockchain could have many applications. Shareable, tamper-proof financial records or health records are all aspects of the same problem. The only downside is that validating shared records across a large number of computers is expensive computationally. The implications are becoming alarming:

There are a lot of models for NFTs:

  • The thing could be digital (music file, video game unique content, etc.)
  • the NFT could be linked to a real world thing, it is a proxy of ownership (some challenges here)
  • It could be a representation of an experience - the person with this NFT gets access to this event
  • authenticity - this is tricky. You need some real world trust system, but the NFT can be used for chain of custody
  • perpetual ownership of content by artists, that they get commissions every time the NFT changes hands

The issue of Bitcoin using energy is complex. I would not believe everything you read on that front, especially more simple articles. The block chains used for NFT primarily are not Bitcoin (yet!), so the energy consumption argument does not apply to NFTs.

There are possibilities that NFT can help artists retain value in their works. There are also a lot of scams going on (get rich opportunities). Both can be true. Proceed with caution if investing.