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Erik Trautman

“Everything you can imagine is real.”
-- Pablo Picasso

A response to Seth Godin on NFTs

This is based on a tweetstorm

Recently, @thisissethsblog posted about #NFTs, saying they are a "Dangerous Trap" His 4 arguments are reasonable-sounding surface concerns but they're all off the mark.

A point-by-point look at why we have to think more carefully about NFTs 👇

Argument #1: Art is silly too but it's ok for Real Art because we've done it that way for a long time.

This just doesn't make sense and seems backwardly purist.

Status conveyed by owning original editions of physical art doesn't just come from showing 3 ppl a week your wall, it's from making sure people know you own an original edition (art as flex, art as humble brag).

In the digital world there is tons of status to claim using mediums beyond that narrow view, which you see on Twitter everyday. So it's not just a different "wall" to hang, but a totally different environment for related status seeking.

Owning a Honus Wagner card doesn’t mean you own Honus Wagner. Or a royalty stream or anything else…

👆Why should you limit your thinking on what art can be and why it's valuable to people based on an old model?

The "other stuff" which can be layered into an NFT increases its value substantially to some segments of buyers and there's no reason the artist shouldn't benefit from this. Or don't do it. Choice is wonderful.

Argument #2: It'll become a soulless money-grab

CREATORS may rush to start minting NFTs as a way to get paid for what they’ve created.

This is a very top-down, privileged argument. Why shouldn't creators get paid!?

The biggest impediment for most creatives to creating their creations is usually worrying about money! Why shouldn't we get them paid as much as possible with as little work as possible so they can go back to making the things we love?

A good post by @cdixon showed how NFTs allow more fine-tuned segments of fan groups, letting artists gain more while serving the market better. Seth understands segmentation intimately, so prob an oversight.

The embedded fear here is that we'll corrupt the purity of art by finally allowing creators to have a business model. Yes, we will see some crazy bubble stuff and abuses. But that's well worth it if the world becomes a more creative place with better tools to support creators!

Argument #3: Buyers don't understand scarcity

BUYERS of NFTs may be blind to the fact that there’s no limit on the supply.

👆And buyers of stock may be blind to the fully diluted EPS of the shares they're buying… what's the point?

Again, there's a reasonable embedded fear that we'll get over our skiis and convince people or imply value that isn't real, resulting in mismatched expectations, but this isn't sufficient to call NFTs a "Dangerous Trap"

Argument #4: It's killing the environment due to Proof of Work on Ethereum

They use an astonishing amount of electricity to create and trade.

This is a fully Ethereum-centric view of the world but Ethereum isn't the only chain!

Ethereum is only used for NFT minting right now because it had years to build up tooling but it is unsuitable for creators because fees run in the $50 range just to xfer tokens and >$100 to mint, so obviously creators are desperately trying other places to deploy.

And they're out there — I work on the NEAR project ( which is Proof of Stake, has purchased offsets to become fully carbon neutral, and is cheap enough to test in prod. Look where the ball is going, not where it is today!

Sorry for the rant. We need the biggest voices to present a more nuanced case for this technology.

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