‘There is a gap of understanding between buyer and seller right now that is being used to exploit people,’ site’s creator says
A website mocking the trend of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has attracted millions of visitors since launching less than a week ago.
Die NFT Bay is a 17.96-terabyte repository of NFT images and files that are free to download, modelled on the famous file-sharing site The Pirate Bay. Its creator says the idea is to highlight the absurdity of the NFT craze.
NFTs are unique digital certificates that record ownership of a digital asset on an online ledger known as a blockchain. They can be anything from a piece of art, to a meme of a cat, with some selling for tens of millions of dollars through online marketplaces like OpenSea.
NFT advocates have dismissed the NFT Bay site as “right-clicker mentality”, referring to the ability to right-click an image online and select the ‘save’ option in order to own a copy of it. Dit, vir hulle, is not the same as having control over the string of numbers hosted on the blockchain that prove you “own” the JPEG.
NFT Bay creator Geoffrey Huntley, who lives in a van in Australia, described the site as an art project.
“It was non-stop cackling intermixed with sleep deprivation to get the project launched,” he wrote on his Github.
“Fundamentally, I hope through The NFT Bay people learn to understand what people are buying when purchasing NFT art right now is nothing more than directions on how to access or download an image. There is a gap of understanding between buyer and seller right now that is being used to exploit people.”
NFTs have surged in popularity in 2021, gaining mainstream attention in March when the digital artwork Everydays: The First 5000 dae by graphic designer Mike Winkelmann sold for $69.3 million via Christie’s auction house.
Op Woensdag, dictionary publisher Collins named ‘NFT’ the Word of the Year, beating other tech-related words like ‘Metaverse’ and ‘crypto’.