NFTs: crypto grifters try to scam artists, again

The NFT grift works like this:

  1. Tell artists there’s a gusher of free money!
  2. They need to buy into crypto to get the gusher of free money.
  3. They become crypto advocates, and make excuses for proof-of-work and so on.
  4. A few artists really are making life-changing money from this!
  5. You probably won’t be one of them.

WTF is an NFT?

NFT stands for non-fungible token. Fungible means interchangeable. It’s the idea that one asset can be swapped out for another and nothing is lost.

Bitcoin and ether, the two most popular cryptocurrencies, are examples of fungible tokens. One bitcoin works like every other bitcoin; likewise with ether.

A non-fungible token is different because only one ever exists. Each NFT contains unique data, so NFTs are not interchangeable with each other. They are not divisible either, whereas fungible tokens are.

This is a wonderful play on bitcoiners’ idea of scarcity. There will only ever be 21 million bitcoin—and there will only be one NFT! Scarcity clearly means something is valuable. Grab it while you can.

Most of the ICO tokens in the 2017 crypto bubble ran on Ethereum and were based on the ERC-20 token standard, so exchanges and wallets would know how to integrate them. NFTs on Ethereum also have their own standard: ERC-721. 

Other blockchains, like Tron, Binance Chain, EOS, and Polkadot, support NFTs but Ethereum is by far the most popular and widely used.

Because NFTs are unique, they are hyped as “collectibles,” rare one-of-a-kinds that will only go up in value over time. 

judge a man

Paul Gauguin – What Are We? Where Are We Going?

Gauguin, on the evidence of this show, was a monstrous sexual predator, a near-perfect embodiment of the malignly lubricious male gaze, a man from France who took himself off to the French colonies, and not only sexually exploited many of the women he saw there, but also did his best to exoticize them in his paintings, to lay them out sideways, scantily clothed, in dreamy readiness for everyone-knows-what, and surround them with inscrutable ancestral gewgaws and snatches of mumbo-jumbo writing, all in the service of creating a seductively alluring species of art for mock-serious-minded, top-hatted collectors in Paris. Or so he hoped.

Carlos Saladen Vargas ‘apotropaic’ (2013)

While based in Margarita Island, Venezuela, Carlos’s work embodied an evolving journey, encouraged, in large part, by being in contact with the island’s local art production and tradition (naïf art as conceived by the avant-garde at the turn of the 19th century). This led him to investigate two main lines of inquiry. The first, related to theories concerning the primordial origins of art as well as Primitivist attitudes in Western Art. The second examined contemporary Decolonial thought that attempted to dignify the ways of life, thinking and feeling of cultures demonised by Modernity.

Carlos Saladen Vargas ‘Apotropaic #1’ (2013)
Carlos Saladen Vargas ‘Apotropaic #2’ (2013)
Carlos Saladen Vargas ‘Apotropaic #3’ (2013)
Carlos Saladen Vargas ‘Apotropaic #4’ (2013)