Author Topic: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)  (Read 9400 times)

Stimpy

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #50 on: March 30, 2021, 10:01:12 AM »
GuitarStv is correct about how we judge energy use.   Based on utility and value.   

HOWEVER, I can't think of ANY industry that hasn't been criticized about it's energy use.   Their reply has NEVER been, "Well, what about everyone else."  If you can't give a real argument, stick to the best one I have heard (on a Pro-Crypto Currency site non the less), which boiled down to "Yea we do use a lot of electricity, and have no justification for it. But eventually, if the stars align just right, we will use less...."

dandarc

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #51 on: March 30, 2021, 10:41:19 AM »
Preach @Stimpy !

ChpBstrd

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #52 on: March 30, 2021, 12:14:43 PM »

the_gastropod

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2021, 04:14:55 PM »
Energy use is usually justified based upon the utility that it provides people.

Running 500 space heaters, when it's cold, is hard to argue against.  Running 500 hair dryers is harder to justify.

Running a 500 hundred graphics cards to "mine" pretend currency that can't really be used to buy anything (beyond drugs online) and thus has no real value beyond speculation . . . that requires a rather nuanced sales pitch to argue for - from a utility perspective.

Yes. This. But I think there's a detail that makes this even more sinister that many people seem to miss. "Mining" is literally the purposeful waste of electricity. And as the price of bitcoin goes up, not only does the collective waste increase, as more people try to "mine", but the individual waste also goes up, because the requisite wasted-electricity also goes up. So it's necessarily an exponential increase, even if the price only increases linearly.

The whole thing is mind numbingly stupid. The standard whataboutism arguments crypto-enthusiasts deploy with uzi-like frequency are as predictable as they are ridiculous. We live in the stupidest time.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 08:09:21 PM by the_gastropod »

scottish

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2021, 04:46:15 PM »
We used to say that in the 90's.    A guy named Spider Robinson even had a weekly column in the newspaper called "The Crazy Years"  (the name came from Robert Heinlein).

Anyone else remember that?

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2021, 10:10:03 PM »
Fans of Elon Musk are unfortunately feeding his theory that life could be a simulation.  I mean, if everything I said caused reality to change, yeah I'd probably wonder that as well.  He mentioned Tesla owning Bitcoin, and accepting Bitcoin to buy their vehicles, and Bitcoin surged on the news.

But getting back to the topic of NFTs, Elon Musk turned down $1 million for an NFT of a tweet he made.  NFT sales are largely drawn from people who got rich on Bitcoin, so there's definitely a chunk of NFT buyers following Mr Musk.  NFT sales have dropped recently, so maybe Musk's view signals where NFTs are headed.
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/17/elon-musk-turns-down-1-million-offer-to-buy-his-tweet-as-an-nft.html

talltexan

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #56 on: April 12, 2021, 06:56:23 AM »
If you have Bitcoin or ethereum, but don't believe it's actually worth anything, why not use it to buy a token linked to a video clip?

Mr. Green

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #57 on: April 27, 2021, 06:23:20 PM »
I keep seeing articles about NFTs pop up in the news. I just don't get it. So you can digitize something, anything, and try to sell it as an object. It sounds like digital alchemy, essentially trying to turn nothing into something of value. It's peak marketing for sure.

GuitarStv

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #58 on: April 27, 2021, 06:42:49 PM »
I keep seeing articles about NFTs pop up in the news. I just don't get it. So you can digitize something, anything, and try to sell it as an object. It sounds like digital alchemy, essentially trying to turn nothing into something of value. It's peak marketing for sure.

Well, they looked at the value of bitcoin . . . and then figured out that there was a market for people literally buying nothing.  And it's working spectacularly well, because of the only constant that has never been proven wrong - people are idiots.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #59 on: April 27, 2021, 08:52:51 PM »
https://www.livabl.com/2021/04/la-realtor-tries-fails-auction-thousand-oaks-home-nft.html

He pushed the envelope of stupidity and found the outer limit; housing bubble buyers and NFT bubble buyers are not the same customers.

jinga nation

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #60 on: April 27, 2021, 09:05:06 PM »
If I were a meme, I'd do what Disaster Girl did. Sell the NFT, take the money (in her case 180 ether) and call it a day.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/woman-in-disaster-girl-meme-sells-the-original-photo-for-more-than-dollar473k/ar-BB1g7r9P

Mr. Green

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #61 on: April 28, 2021, 07:30:51 AM »
https://www.livabl.com/2021/04/la-realtor-tries-fails-auction-thousand-oaks-home-nft.html

He pushed the envelope of stupidity and found the outer limit; housing bubble buyers and NFT bubble buyers are not the same customers.
This was one of the articles I just saw. The guy thought the auction would bring $20 million. For what?! Obviously there is a real, physical house involved but subtracting out the real value of the house, what would the buyer be buying? Nothing! It would literally be the equivalent of setting your money on fire. I just...don't understand how anyone would think there is a market for that. It hurts my brain to think we've collectively (or individually enough for there to be a group of individuals) become this stupid.

Mr. Green

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #62 on: April 28, 2021, 07:46:39 AM »
I guess the part that fails to compute for me is the concept of uniqueness. Take the Disaster Girl meme picture for example. I'm guessing millions of copies of that picture exist on the internet. So someone bought the exact same thing, but with some kind of certificate of authenticity attached declaring it the original, for half a million dollars. I guess I just don't see the point. You can't display it well. Do you bring it up in conversation? Who would care?

"You know that disaster Girl meme?"
"Yeah."
"I own the original photograph."
"Oh. Good for you, bro!"

It just doesn't seem the same as physical art because the half million dollar version of all those electronic bits is exactly the same as every other copy of those electronic bits, save the certificate of authenticity attached to it. I guess we'll eventually get to the point where a machine could make an exact replica of the Mona Lisa or the statue of David and then whose to say the same thing couldn't happen with physical art. But someone would have to want to really make an effort and even then it would be effort to make thousands or millions of copies of those works. For something digital, making a million copies of something is as simple as pushing a button and waiting a couple minutes.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #63 on: April 28, 2021, 07:57:21 AM »
https://www.livabl.com/2021/04/la-realtor-tries-fails-auction-thousand-oaks-home-nft.html

He pushed the envelope of stupidity and found the outer limit; housing bubble buyers and NFT bubble buyers are not the same customers.
This was one of the articles I just saw. The guy thought the auction would bring $20 million. For what?! Obviously there is a real, physical house involved but subtracting out the real value of the house, what would the buyer be buying? Nothing! It would literally be the equivalent of setting your money on fire. I just...don't understand how anyone would think there is a market for that. It hurts my brain to think we've collectively (or individually enough for there to be a group of individuals) become this stupid.

One rationale I've heard is that there is a chance that owning THE FIRST of a particular kind of collectible has a lot of potential value. E.g. If you owned the first Chevrolet Corvette or Ford Mustang to roll off the assembly line, or Andy Warhol's first painting to go on public display, the first Apple computer, rookie baseball cards, original Air Jordans, etc. these collectibles could sell for many times more than the same thing produced later. So we can expect some high bids for the first of things because it is logical to pay more for something with a higher potential for appreciation, no matter how small the chances. A investment policy of buying the first version of lots of new products that could potentially become cultural icons could potentially net an investor the next Mickey Mantle rookie card, the next multi-million dollar 1950's sports car, the next Apple 1 computer, etc. even if the strategy fails and buys Beanie Babies or Reebok Pumps 99% of the time.

This also means we shouldn't necessarily expect prices for these collectibles to go up as production of them continues. 99.9% of products made as collectibles will not actually become collectibles - they'll become estate sale trash just like bicentennial plate sets, 1980's sports cars, or console stereos.

GuitarStv

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #64 on: April 28, 2021, 08:15:22 AM »
https://www.livabl.com/2021/04/la-realtor-tries-fails-auction-thousand-oaks-home-nft.html

He pushed the envelope of stupidity and found the outer limit; housing bubble buyers and NFT bubble buyers are not the same customers.
This was one of the articles I just saw. The guy thought the auction would bring $20 million. For what?! Obviously there is a real, physical house involved but subtracting out the real value of the house, what would the buyer be buying? Nothing! It would literally be the equivalent of setting your money on fire. I just...don't understand how anyone would think there is a market for that. It hurts my brain to think we've collectively (or individually enough for there to be a group of individuals) become this stupid.

One rationale I've heard is that there is a chance that owning THE FIRST of a particular kind of collectible has a lot of potential value. E.g. If you owned the first Chevrolet Corvette or Ford Mustang to roll off the assembly line, or Andy Warhol's first painting to go on public display, the first Apple computer, rookie baseball cards, original Air Jordans, etc. these collectibles could sell for many times more than the same thing produced later. So we can expect some high bids for the first of things because it is logical to pay more for something with a higher potential for appreciation, no matter how small the chances. A investment policy of buying the first version of lots of new products that could potentially become cultural icons could potentially net an investor the next Mickey Mantle rookie card, the next multi-million dollar 1950's sports car, the next Apple 1 computer, etc. even if the strategy fails and buys Beanie Babies or Reebok Pumps 99% of the time.

This also means we shouldn't necessarily expect prices for these collectibles to go up as production of them continues. 99.9% of products made as collectibles will not actually become collectibles - they'll become estate sale trash just like bicentennial plate sets, 1980's sports cars, or console stereos.

But that's not how digital information works.  There is no 'first' because everything online is a copy of a copy  of a copy.  A first edition of something gathers value because it's rare.  But heavily copied digital images aren't rare by any stretch of the imagination.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #65 on: April 28, 2021, 08:18:26 AM »
I guess the part that fails to compute for me is the concept of uniqueness. Take the Disaster Girl meme picture for example. I'm guessing millions of copies of that picture exist on the internet. So someone bought the exact same thing, but with some kind of certificate of authenticity attached declaring it the original, for half a million dollars. I guess I just don't see the point. You can't display it well. Do you bring it up in conversation? Who would care?

"You know that disaster Girl meme?"
"Yeah."
"I own the original photograph."
"Oh. Good for you, bro!"

It just doesn't seem the same as physical art because the half million dollar version of all those electronic bits is exactly the same as every other copy of those electronic bits, save the certificate of authenticity attached to it. I guess we'll eventually get to the point where a machine could make an exact replica of the Mona Lisa or the statue of David and then whose to say the same thing couldn't happen with physical art. But someone would have to want to really make an effort and even then it would be effort to make thousands or millions of copies of those works. For something digital, making a million copies of something is as simple as pushing a button and waiting a couple minutes.

I don't get collectibles either, but I like your post so I'm gifting you this mint-9 condition 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie baseball card. I suspect the person who just paid $5.2M for the physical version gets a lot of satisfaction out of owning the physical version. I also suspect you or I would not get anything more out of owning the physical version than we are currently getting out of the digital version. If I were prohibited from ever reselling, bartering, renting, or charging admission for the physical version of this card, I wouldn't give $1 for it. But it has some kind of intrinsic emotional utility to someone out there, who presumably likes to hold it, gaze at it, and talk about it with friends. My experience with such people is generally limited to this episode of Star Trek: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/star_trek_the_next_generation/s03/e22

I wonder if NFTs could possibly create an emotional attachment for anyone, or if this is all just FOMO / greater-fool investing?

ChpBstrd

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #66 on: April 28, 2021, 08:20:43 AM »
https://www.livabl.com/2021/04/la-realtor-tries-fails-auction-thousand-oaks-home-nft.html

He pushed the envelope of stupidity and found the outer limit; housing bubble buyers and NFT bubble buyers are not the same customers.
This was one of the articles I just saw. The guy thought the auction would bring $20 million. For what?! Obviously there is a real, physical house involved but subtracting out the real value of the house, what would the buyer be buying? Nothing! It would literally be the equivalent of setting your money on fire. I just...don't understand how anyone would think there is a market for that. It hurts my brain to think we've collectively (or individually enough for there to be a group of individuals) become this stupid.

One rationale I've heard is that there is a chance that owning THE FIRST of a particular kind of collectible has a lot of potential value. E.g. If you owned the first Chevrolet Corvette or Ford Mustang to roll off the assembly line, or Andy Warhol's first painting to go on public display, the first Apple computer, rookie baseball cards, original Air Jordans, etc. these collectibles could sell for many times more than the same thing produced later. So we can expect some high bids for the first of things because it is logical to pay more for something with a higher potential for appreciation, no matter how small the chances. A investment policy of buying the first version of lots of new products that could potentially become cultural icons could potentially net an investor the next Mickey Mantle rookie card, the next multi-million dollar 1950's sports car, the next Apple 1 computer, etc. even if the strategy fails and buys Beanie Babies or Reebok Pumps 99% of the time.

This also means we shouldn't necessarily expect prices for these collectibles to go up as production of them continues. 99.9% of products made as collectibles will not actually become collectibles - they'll become estate sale trash just like bicentennial plate sets, 1980's sports cars, or console stereos.

But that's not how digital information works.  There is no 'first' because everything online is a copy of a copy  of a copy.  A first edition of something gathers value because it's rare.  But heavily copied digital images aren't rare by any stretch of the imagination.

It can be copied, but was it? Metadata can be modified, so there is no way to tell with anything digital.

Besides, what exactly is the physical difference between an original 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card and a brand new reproduction that makes the reproduction not worth as much?

GuitarStv

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #67 on: April 28, 2021, 08:27:54 AM »
https://www.livabl.com/2021/04/la-realtor-tries-fails-auction-thousand-oaks-home-nft.html

He pushed the envelope of stupidity and found the outer limit; housing bubble buyers and NFT bubble buyers are not the same customers.
This was one of the articles I just saw. The guy thought the auction would bring $20 million. For what?! Obviously there is a real, physical house involved but subtracting out the real value of the house, what would the buyer be buying? Nothing! It would literally be the equivalent of setting your money on fire. I just...don't understand how anyone would think there is a market for that. It hurts my brain to think we've collectively (or individually enough for there to be a group of individuals) become this stupid.

One rationale I've heard is that there is a chance that owning THE FIRST of a particular kind of collectible has a lot of potential value. E.g. If you owned the first Chevrolet Corvette or Ford Mustang to roll off the assembly line, or Andy Warhol's first painting to go on public display, the first Apple computer, rookie baseball cards, original Air Jordans, etc. these collectibles could sell for many times more than the same thing produced later. So we can expect some high bids for the first of things because it is logical to pay more for something with a higher potential for appreciation, no matter how small the chances. A investment policy of buying the first version of lots of new products that could potentially become cultural icons could potentially net an investor the next Mickey Mantle rookie card, the next multi-million dollar 1950's sports car, the next Apple 1 computer, etc. even if the strategy fails and buys Beanie Babies or Reebok Pumps 99% of the time.

This also means we shouldn't necessarily expect prices for these collectibles to go up as production of them continues. 99.9% of products made as collectibles will not actually become collectibles - they'll become estate sale trash just like bicentennial plate sets, 1980's sports cars, or console stereos.

But that's not how digital information works.  There is no 'first' because everything online is a copy of a copy  of a copy.  A first edition of something gathers value because it's rare.  But heavily copied digital images aren't rare by any stretch of the imagination.

It can be copied, but was it? Metadata can be modified, so there is no way to tell with anything digital.

Besides, what exactly is the physical difference between an original 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card and a brand new reproduction that makes the reproduction not worth as much?

The difference lies entirely in the physical aspect of the card.  It physically existed long ago, it was physically handled and cared for by (probably many) people over the years, it has absorbed UV light which change how the pigments are shaded, it has absorbed smells over time, it was created in a factory that probably no longer exists using techniques that are probably illegal now because of how polluting they were . . . it's a physical piece of our history that is effectively impossible to duplicate perfectly.

Why go visit the pyramids in person when you could watch a national geographic special about them?  Shouldn't that be just the same?  I'd argue no, not at all.

Bumperpuff

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #68 on: April 28, 2021, 08:52:26 AM »
I think NFT’s , or a similar tech, will be important in the future. They could be used as a means of proving ownership and transferral of digital documents, games, event tickets, and other things of value.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #69 on: April 28, 2021, 09:20:19 AM »
https://www.livabl.com/2021/04/la-realtor-tries-fails-auction-thousand-oaks-home-nft.html

He pushed the envelope of stupidity and found the outer limit; housing bubble buyers and NFT bubble buyers are not the same customers.
This was one of the articles I just saw. The guy thought the auction would bring $20 million. For what?! Obviously there is a real, physical house involved but subtracting out the real value of the house, what would the buyer be buying? Nothing! It would literally be the equivalent of setting your money on fire. I just...don't understand how anyone would think there is a market for that. It hurts my brain to think we've collectively (or individually enough for there to be a group of individuals) become this stupid.

One rationale I've heard is that there is a chance that owning THE FIRST of a particular kind of collectible has a lot of potential value. E.g. If you owned the first Chevrolet Corvette or Ford Mustang to roll off the assembly line, or Andy Warhol's first painting to go on public display, the first Apple computer, rookie baseball cards, original Air Jordans, etc. these collectibles could sell for many times more than the same thing produced later. So we can expect some high bids for the first of things because it is logical to pay more for something with a higher potential for appreciation, no matter how small the chances. A investment policy of buying the first version of lots of new products that could potentially become cultural icons could potentially net an investor the next Mickey Mantle rookie card, the next multi-million dollar 1950's sports car, the next Apple 1 computer, etc. even if the strategy fails and buys Beanie Babies or Reebok Pumps 99% of the time.

This also means we shouldn't necessarily expect prices for these collectibles to go up as production of them continues. 99.9% of products made as collectibles will not actually become collectibles - they'll become estate sale trash just like bicentennial plate sets, 1980's sports cars, or console stereos.

But that's not how digital information works.  There is no 'first' because everything online is a copy of a copy  of a copy.  A first edition of something gathers value because it's rare.  But heavily copied digital images aren't rare by any stretch of the imagination.

It can be copied, but was it? Metadata can be modified, so there is no way to tell with anything digital.

Besides, what exactly is the physical difference between an original 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card and a brand new reproduction that makes the reproduction not worth as much?

The difference lies entirely in the physical aspect of the card.  It physically existed long ago, it was physically handled and cared for by (probably many) people over the years, it has absorbed UV light which change how the pigments are shaded, it has absorbed smells over time, it was created in a factory that probably no longer exists using techniques that are probably illegal now because of how polluting they were . . . it's a physical piece of our history that is effectively impossible to duplicate perfectly.

Why go visit the pyramids in person when you could watch a national geographic special about them?  Shouldn't that be just the same?  I'd argue no, not at all.

I'm not sure I agree or disagree, but I want to see where this goes so I'll put up the best counterarguments I can think of.

First, what utility does a collectible have due to being old, original, or authentic, other than what others are willing to pay for it? Does the original baseball card have better utility because the ink has lead and a carcinogen in it? As another example, a modernized reproduction of a 1960 Porsche would be many times more reliable, economical, practical, lower maintenance, and less costly to insure or use than the original, so why would we rather have the original? Because it existed a long time ago? Because James Dean drove it? What do these physical attributes do for us?

Second, people are already trading tangible, physical things such as time and money for informational goods like software, social media services, and digital entertainment subscriptions (Arguably, we'd all be wealthier, healthier, and happier if we did not, but the point is we do.). People find utility in spending 3 hours a day on social media, buying expansion packs for games, leasing hosting services for their blogs, and watching sitcoms on Netflix. Hundreds of millions of people are literally trading as much time and money as it would take to actually see the Egyptian pyramids to instead have an experience staring into a screen, so which experience is worth more? The market for digital experiences is as real as the market for physical experiences, and if NFTs come with some kind of digital experience that would be just another category in an already large area of the economy, right?

GuitarStv

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #70 on: April 28, 2021, 09:44:55 AM »
https://www.livabl.com/2021/04/la-realtor-tries-fails-auction-thousand-oaks-home-nft.html

He pushed the envelope of stupidity and found the outer limit; housing bubble buyers and NFT bubble buyers are not the same customers.
This was one of the articles I just saw. The guy thought the auction would bring $20 million. For what?! Obviously there is a real, physical house involved but subtracting out the real value of the house, what would the buyer be buying? Nothing! It would literally be the equivalent of setting your money on fire. I just...don't understand how anyone would think there is a market for that. It hurts my brain to think we've collectively (or individually enough for there to be a group of individuals) become this stupid.

One rationale I've heard is that there is a chance that owning THE FIRST of a particular kind of collectible has a lot of potential value. E.g. If you owned the first Chevrolet Corvette or Ford Mustang to roll off the assembly line, or Andy Warhol's first painting to go on public display, the first Apple computer, rookie baseball cards, original Air Jordans, etc. these collectibles could sell for many times more than the same thing produced later. So we can expect some high bids for the first of things because it is logical to pay more for something with a higher potential for appreciation, no matter how small the chances. A investment policy of buying the first version of lots of new products that could potentially become cultural icons could potentially net an investor the next Mickey Mantle rookie card, the next multi-million dollar 1950's sports car, the next Apple 1 computer, etc. even if the strategy fails and buys Beanie Babies or Reebok Pumps 99% of the time.

This also means we shouldn't necessarily expect prices for these collectibles to go up as production of them continues. 99.9% of products made as collectibles will not actually become collectibles - they'll become estate sale trash just like bicentennial plate sets, 1980's sports cars, or console stereos.

But that's not how digital information works.  There is no 'first' because everything online is a copy of a copy  of a copy.  A first edition of something gathers value because it's rare.  But heavily copied digital images aren't rare by any stretch of the imagination.

It can be copied, but was it? Metadata can be modified, so there is no way to tell with anything digital.

Besides, what exactly is the physical difference between an original 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card and a brand new reproduction that makes the reproduction not worth as much?

The difference lies entirely in the physical aspect of the card.  It physically existed long ago, it was physically handled and cared for by (probably many) people over the years, it has absorbed UV light which change how the pigments are shaded, it has absorbed smells over time, it was created in a factory that probably no longer exists using techniques that are probably illegal now because of how polluting they were . . . it's a physical piece of our history that is effectively impossible to duplicate perfectly.

Why go visit the pyramids in person when you could watch a national geographic special about them?  Shouldn't that be just the same?  I'd argue no, not at all.

I'm not sure I agree or disagree, but I want to see where this goes so I'll put up the best counterarguments I can think of.

First, what utility does a collectible have due to being old, original, or authentic, other than what others are willing to pay for it? Does the original baseball card have better utility because the ink has lead and a carcinogen in it? As another example, a modernized reproduction of a 1960 Porsche would be many times more reliable, economical, practical, lower maintenance, and less costly to insure or use than the original, so why would we rather have the original? Because it existed a long time ago? Because James Dean drove it? What do these physical attributes do for us?

Second, people are already trading tangible, physical things such as time and money for informational goods like software, social media services, and digital entertainment subscriptions (Arguably, we'd all be wealthier, healthier, and happier if we did not, but the point is we do.). People find utility in spending 3 hours a day on social media, buying expansion packs for games, leasing hosting services for their blogs, and watching sitcoms on Netflix. Hundreds of millions of people are literally trading as much time and money as it would take to actually see the Egyptian pyramids to instead have an experience staring into a screen, so which experience is worth more? The market for digital experiences is as real as the market for physical experiences, and if NFTs come with some kind of digital experience that would be just another category in an already large area of the economy, right?

The utility of a baseball card has to do with it's age (physical piece of history) and it's rarity.  Most humans are romantic creatures and place emotional value on old things.  Old cars, old guitars, old furniture . . . these things often gain enhanced desirability because of their age and the uniqueness that that age imparts.
 What do these physical attributes do for us?  Tricky question.  I think the argument can be made that most collectible things have no measurable/quantifiable value, we seem to derive most pleasure from romantic notions about the item.

I don't disagree that people place value on digital things, and sometimes value them higher than physical objects.  I question the value of NFTs though.  How many people pay for a freeware game when an alternative exists?  I don't have exact stats on this, but have to assume that if the game was sold in a store, or available for free download online very few instances of the game would sell in the store.  NFTs do not typically offer any unique digital experience - they are usually available online for download for free.  It's a great example of someone choosing to buy a game rather than download the free one.

Without uniqueness, without history, easily available elsewhere for free, and without any physical presence I fail to see any point to an NFT.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #71 on: April 28, 2021, 10:25:43 AM »
https://www.livabl.com/2021/04/la-realtor-tries-fails-auction-thousand-oaks-home-nft.html

He pushed the envelope of stupidity and found the outer limit; housing bubble buyers and NFT bubble buyers are not the same customers.
This was one of the articles I just saw. The guy thought the auction would bring $20 million. For what?! Obviously there is a real, physical house involved but subtracting out the real value of the house, what would the buyer be buying? Nothing! It would literally be the equivalent of setting your money on fire. I just...don't understand how anyone would think there is a market for that. It hurts my brain to think we've collectively (or individually enough for there to be a group of individuals) become this stupid.

One rationale I've heard is that there is a chance that owning THE FIRST of a particular kind of collectible has a lot of potential value. E.g. If you owned the first Chevrolet Corvette or Ford Mustang to roll off the assembly line, or Andy Warhol's first painting to go on public display, the first Apple computer, rookie baseball cards, original Air Jordans, etc. these collectibles could sell for many times more than the same thing produced later. So we can expect some high bids for the first of things because it is logical to pay more for something with a higher potential for appreciation, no matter how small the chances. A investment policy of buying the first version of lots of new products that could potentially become cultural icons could potentially net an investor the next Mickey Mantle rookie card, the next multi-million dollar 1950's sports car, the next Apple 1 computer, etc. even if the strategy fails and buys Beanie Babies or Reebok Pumps 99% of the time.

This also means we shouldn't necessarily expect prices for these collectibles to go up as production of them continues. 99.9% of products made as collectibles will not actually become collectibles - they'll become estate sale trash just like bicentennial plate sets, 1980's sports cars, or console stereos.

But that's not how digital information works.  There is no 'first' because everything online is a copy of a copy  of a copy.  A first edition of something gathers value because it's rare.  But heavily copied digital images aren't rare by any stretch of the imagination.

It can be copied, but was it? Metadata can be modified, so there is no way to tell with anything digital.

Besides, what exactly is the physical difference between an original 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card and a brand new reproduction that makes the reproduction not worth as much?

The difference lies entirely in the physical aspect of the card.  It physically existed long ago, it was physically handled and cared for by (probably many) people over the years, it has absorbed UV light which change how the pigments are shaded, it has absorbed smells over time, it was created in a factory that probably no longer exists using techniques that are probably illegal now because of how polluting they were . . . it's a physical piece of our history that is effectively impossible to duplicate perfectly.

Why go visit the pyramids in person when you could watch a national geographic special about them?  Shouldn't that be just the same?  I'd argue no, not at all.

I'm not sure I agree or disagree, but I want to see where this goes so I'll put up the best counterarguments I can think of.

First, what utility does a collectible have due to being old, original, or authentic, other than what others are willing to pay for it? Does the original baseball card have better utility because the ink has lead and a carcinogen in it? As another example, a modernized reproduction of a 1960 Porsche would be many times more reliable, economical, practical, lower maintenance, and less costly to insure or use than the original, so why would we rather have the original? Because it existed a long time ago? Because James Dean drove it? What do these physical attributes do for us?

Second, people are already trading tangible, physical things such as time and money for informational goods like software, social media services, and digital entertainment subscriptions (Arguably, we'd all be wealthier, healthier, and happier if we did not, but the point is we do.). People find utility in spending 3 hours a day on social media, buying expansion packs for games, leasing hosting services for their blogs, and watching sitcoms on Netflix. Hundreds of millions of people are literally trading as much time and money as it would take to actually see the Egyptian pyramids to instead have an experience staring into a screen, so which experience is worth more? The market for digital experiences is as real as the market for physical experiences, and if NFTs come with some kind of digital experience that would be just another category in an already large area of the economy, right?

The utility of a baseball card has to do with it's age (physical piece of history) and it's rarity.  Most humans are romantic creatures and place emotional value on old things.  Old cars, old guitars, old furniture . . . these things often gain enhanced desirability because of their age and the uniqueness that that age imparts.
 What do these physical attributes do for us?  Tricky question.  I think the argument can be made that most collectible things have no measurable/quantifiable value, we seem to derive most pleasure from romantic notions about the item.

I don't disagree that people place value on digital things, and sometimes value them higher than physical objects.  I question the value of NFTs though.  How many people pay for a freeware game when an alternative exists?  I don't have exact stats on this, but have to assume that if the game was sold in a store, or available for free download online very few instances of the game would sell in the store.  NFTs do not typically offer any unique digital experience - they are usually available online for download for free.  It's a great example of someone choosing to buy a game rather than download the free one.

Without uniqueness, without history, easily available elsewhere for free, and without any physical presence I fail to see any point to an NFT.

I agree that people derive emotional satisfaction from the "romantic notions" about original, old, or rare things that were once culturally influential. As someone on the border between INTP and INTJ personality type, I cannot easily understand such notions, but I acknowledge they exist in other people. I can also relate them to the limited romantic notions and feelings of connection I feel when I look at old family photographs, old handmade objects, etc. I would very much enjoy the digital experience of playing Thexter or Silent Service from a 5 1/2 inch floppy drive on a Radio Shack Tandy 1000 personal computer like I did in the early 90's, but such experiences would probably be very costly to re-engineer.

The argument for NFT's is that here you have a product that captures all the attributes that make a physical collectible valuable without being the physical thing. I.e. an indelible record exists that at this point in history, a person named you bought this unique and original piece of digital information. It is unique and original, compared to all the perfectly identical copies of it, because of this record which was created. This record is external to the object itself, and serves as proof of its originality and uniqueness. In a sense, this is the same as the value for the Mickey Mantle rookie card. It is valuable not because of intrinsic traits or usefulness, but because of information external to itself which tells us "this particular piece of cardboard is rare and highly sought-after by hundreds of thousands of collectors and investors." Similarly, all of us would breeze by the Mona Lisa in a museum if we had not been taught from an early age that this is one of the most influential pieces of art in Western culture, a rare record created at a key pivot point in history. A copy of such items is near-worthless, not because of the intrinsic failings of the copy, but because of the information that it is a copy. 

JohnnyZ

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #72 on: April 28, 2021, 11:42:46 AM »
I think NFT’s , or a similar tech, will be important in the future. They could be used as a means of proving ownership and transferral of digital documents, games, event tickets, and other things of value.

Some means of ensuring that the digital ticket you buy for a live event is genuine and not duplicated? I can understand and get behind that, and your other examples.
A physical object being sold for good money because it was produced in small quantities, or has some sort of historical/popular significance? Totally understand that too.
Paying more than what I'd make in decades of full-time work for a digital token attached to a jpeg that literally billions of people, including myself, can have for free? That is without question the dumbest fad I have ever heard of. Rich people really live in a different world.

GuitarStv

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #73 on: April 28, 2021, 12:12:25 PM »
It is unique and original, compared to all the perfectly identical copies of it, because of this record which was created. This record is external to the object itself, and serves as proof of its originality and uniqueness.

This is the part where I feel that NFTs fall apart.  You don't have anything unique and original beyond an external proof of purchase.  It's like owning a receipt for the baseball card, rather than the baseball card.  To the best of my knowledge, receipts are not typically highly valued - the object is.  The receipt can be useful - but only to prove the origins/validity of an already valued item.  More on that in a minute.


In a sense, this is the same as the value for the Mickey Mantle rookie card. It is valuable not because of intrinsic traits or usefulness, but because of information external to itself which tells us "this particular piece of cardboard is rare and highly sought-after by hundreds of thousands of collectors and investors."

See, I disagree here.  The value is largely due to rarity of the item and the romantic attraction to the card comes from the intrinsic traits that were bestowed upon it by age and by rarity.  That's why a photocopy or replica of the card is worthless.  External information like a receipt is useful only to verify that we are indeed looking at something that is real and not faked.  But a .gif or video on the internet is just as real as a .gif or video on the internet that has a receipt, and nobody is calling this into question . . . so the receipt is purely superfluous.


Similarly, all of us would breeze by the Mona Lisa in a museum if we had not been taught from an early age that this is one of the most influential pieces of art in Western culture, a rare record created at a key pivot point in history. A copy of such items is near-worthless, not because of the intrinsic failings of the copy, but because of the information that it is a copy.

The comparison of the Mona Lisa to a replica Mona Lisa is invalid.

An NFT is like someone taking a generic over the counter USPS stamp* at random, then writing a certificate of authenticity for that stamp.  The stamp is no more valuable than any of the other generic USPS stamp because of the certificate of authenticity.  The certificate is only of importance if there exists intrinsic value in the thing being certified (age/rarity bestowed, or otherwise).  Since our certified stamp doesn't hold more cultural import than any other stamp, and it hasn't accumulated some romantic age related peculiarities that make it valuable there's no valid reason that this stamp should be worth more.

If DaVinci painted a billion identical Mona Lisas and gave them out for free, carpeting the streets of Italy with them but sold a single one and wrote out a sales receipt for it . . . I'd argue that the Mona Lisa with the receipt probably wouldn't be worth any more than the ones that were free.  This is the problem that NFTs have.  They're providing receipts to prove the validity of something that has no value - so are fundamentally useless and without value themselves.




*Imperfect analogy since stamps have some actual value, whereas internet pictures/videos do not and are freely available, but close enough I think for the point I'm trying to make.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #74 on: April 28, 2021, 01:00:46 PM »
It is unique and original, compared to all the perfectly identical copies of it, because of this record which was created. This record is external to the object itself, and serves as proof of its originality and uniqueness.

This is the part where I feel that NFTs fall apart.  You don't have anything unique and original beyond an external proof of purchase.  It's like owning a receipt for the baseball card, rather than the baseball card.  To the best of my knowledge, receipts are not typically highly valued - the object is.  The receipt can be useful - but only to prove the origins/validity of an already valued item.  More on that in a minute.


In a sense, this is the same as the value for the Mickey Mantle rookie card. It is valuable not because of intrinsic traits or usefulness, but because of information external to itself which tells us "this particular piece of cardboard is rare and highly sought-after by hundreds of thousands of collectors and investors."

See, I disagree here.  The value is largely due to rarity of the item and the romantic attraction to the card comes from the intrinsic traits that were bestowed upon it by age and by rarity.  That's why a photocopy or replica of the card is worthless.  External information like a receipt is useful only to verify that we are indeed looking at something that is real and not faked.  But a .gif or video on the internet is just as real as a .gif or video on the internet that has a receipt, and nobody is calling this into question . . . so the receipt is purely superfluous.


Similarly, all of us would breeze by the Mona Lisa in a museum if we had not been taught from an early age that this is one of the most influential pieces of art in Western culture, a rare record created at a key pivot point in history. A copy of such items is near-worthless, not because of the intrinsic failings of the copy, but because of the information that it is a copy.

The comparison of the Mona Lisa to a replica Mona Lisa is invalid.

An NFT is like someone taking a generic over the counter USPS stamp* at random, then writing a certificate of authenticity for that stamp.  The stamp is no more valuable than any of the other generic USPS stamp because of the certificate of authenticity.  The certificate is only of importance if there exists intrinsic value in the thing being certified (age/rarity bestowed, or otherwise).  Since our certified stamp doesn't hold more cultural import than any other stamp, and it hasn't accumulated some romantic age related peculiarities that make it valuable there's no valid reason that this stamp should be worth more.

If DaVinci painted a billion identical Mona Lisas and gave them out for free, carpeting the streets of Italy with them but sold a single one and wrote out a sales receipt for it . . . I'd argue that the Mona Lisa with the receipt probably wouldn't be worth any more than the ones that were free.  This is the problem that NFTs have.  They're providing receipts to prove the validity of something that has no value - so are fundamentally useless and without value themselves.

*Imperfect analogy since stamps have some actual value, whereas internet pictures/videos do not and are freely available, but close enough I think for the point I'm trying to make.

The question is whether the object has value or whether its socially-ascribed non-utility-providing properties hold the value. This is another way of stating that the cardboard of the Mickey Mantle card, or the canvas/pigment combination of the Mona Lisa is trash in and of itself. The only valuable part of the collectible is what people think about it, which exists separately and independently of the thing.

NFTs are an attempt to only sell the "what people think about it" aspect of a thing. For physical collectibles, this property accounts for approximately 100% of the value of the physical collectible. So NFTs are simply jettisoning the worthless part that is made of matter. It's OK that this is not a rational utility-seeking explanation because collecting is not a rational behavior. If we try to rationalize the value of art, we get into the same predicament the Classicists once got into, arguing that modern art and music did not involve the same level of effort to produce compared to the classical forms and therefore was worthless.

What impresses collectors and the people collectors seek to impress? Uniqueness, authenticity, and historical significance. All these components of a collectible, comprising ~100% of the value, exist in the receipt and the cultural context, not the matter.

GuitarStv

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #75 on: April 28, 2021, 01:41:02 PM »
The question is whether the object has value or whether its socially-ascribed non-utility-providing properties hold the value. This is another way of stating that the cardboard of the Mickey Mantle card, or the canvas/pigment combination of the Mona Lisa is trash in and of itself. The only valuable part of the collectible is what people think about it, which exists separately and independently of the thing.

I'll preface this by saying that I'm not really a collector . . . but least in my mind, there is value in the canvas/pigment combination that forms the Mona Lisa - because of who mixed and painted them, because they were physically touched by one of greatest artists of his age.  It just doesn't compute for me that the only value of art exists in a receipt and not the work.  That's why I usually throw my receipt away, but hang the art on my wall.  Even if that art is a knock off duplicate.  Do you hang the receipt, or know people who do?  Is this some weird collector thing?


NFTs are an attempt to only sell the "what people think about it" aspect of a thing. For physical collectibles, this property accounts for approximately 100% of the value of the physical collectible. So NFTs are simply jettisoning the worthless part that is made of matter. It's OK that this is not a rational utility-seeking explanation because collecting is not a rational behavior. If we try to rationalize the value of art, we get into the same predicament the Classicists once got into, arguing that modern art and music did not involve the same level of effort to produce compared to the classical forms and therefore was worthless.

What impresses collectors and the people collectors seek to impress? Uniqueness, authenticity, and historical significance. All these components of a collectible, comprising ~100% of the value, exist in the receipt and the cultural context, not the matter.

Why do we only see NFTs for valueless digital things?  Why don't we also see them for physical objects, like the stamps earlier discussed?

My conclusion is that this doesn't happen because there is an inherent value in physical things - even low value things like stamps.  This value cannot simply be dismissed with a hand wave.  Otherwise we would be seeing people selling receipts for stamps without including the stamp - exactly the NFT business model.

You can argue that the 'value' of something is heavily influenced by uniqueness, authenticity, and historical significance . . . and I'd agree!  All three are important.  But take something I can understand - an old guitar.  It's plausible that I'd value an old guitar more for it's uniqueness, authenticity, and historical significance . . . but only when I physically hold it in my hands and try to make music with it.  If you tried to sell me a receipt for an old guitar though. I'd laugh at you.

Even if the receipt guaranteed that it would be the only one every made (super unique!), that it was 100% rock solid authenticatable through block chain (super authentic!), we fall down on the third point.  Historical significance.  The receipt has no historical significance.  The guitar does.  Remove the guitar and you remove any historical significance from the equation.  Without historical significance then nobody really cares about authenticating something anymore.  At this point we're just left with uniqueness . . . and with an NFT the 'uniqueness' is being derived entirely from the receipt.  Well, every receipt that includes an accurate date/time stamp is unique.  Which then means that none of them are really unique at all.

So, these three pillars of collectability all seem to be built upon sand.

Mr. Green

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #76 on: April 28, 2021, 07:10:56 PM »
@GuitarStv made me think of a great physical comparison from my childhood. Around 1994, when I was collecting tons of baseball cards, Topps came out with a small set of special insert cards. The chances of getting one was rare, like 1 in 20 packs or something. Even rarer still, Topps included several special cards that when mailed in, Topps would send you a whole bunch of cards from the small special set.

So let's say a Barry Bonds or Ken Griffey card from this special set would be valuable. I got a couple of these mail-in cards that would have given me most of the special set. But I never mailed them in (I couldn't tell you why) so I never got the actual player cards. Well my mail-in cards should still be worth all those player cards combined, right? I mean, after all, I was guaranteed to get those player cards with a simple stamp. But those special mail-in cards are worthless now.

This is basically an example of a physical NFT. I owned that special mail-in card. That card guaranteed me all those other cards. Yet it is now worthless because it wasn't actually those cards. Because the realness of something matters. I don't think we are ever going to convince everyone that "unique" digital bits are any different from all the other same digital bits, and so I just can't see the concept going anywhere.

Some marketer should get a Guinness World Record or something though. They've truly invented a way to sell nothing for something.

Bumperpuff

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #77 on: April 29, 2021, 12:00:07 AM »
I think NFT’s , or a similar tech, will be important in the future. They could be used as a means of proving ownership and transferral of digital documents, games, event tickets, and other things of value.

Some means of ensuring that the digital ticket you buy for a live event is genuine and not duplicated? I can understand and get behind that, and your other examples.
A physical object being sold for good money because it was produced in small quantities, or has some sort of historical/popular significance? Totally understand that too.
Paying more than what I'd make in decades of full-time work for a digital token attached to a jpeg that literally billions of people, including myself, can have for free? That is without question the dumbest fad I have ever heard of. Rich people really live in a different world.

I agree with you, though I would not be surprised if those sales were a tax avoidance/evasion or money laundering scheme in the same way that “fine art” and high end real estate are.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #78 on: April 29, 2021, 09:35:08 AM »
The question is whether the object has value or whether its socially-ascribed non-utility-providing properties hold the value. This is another way of stating that the cardboard of the Mickey Mantle card, or the canvas/pigment combination of the Mona Lisa is trash in and of itself. The only valuable part of the collectible is what people think about it, which exists separately and independently of the thing.

I'll preface this by saying that I'm not really a collector . . . but least in my mind, there is value in the canvas/pigment combination that forms the Mona Lisa - because of who mixed and painted them, because they were physically touched by one of greatest artists of his age.  It just doesn't compute for me that the only value of art exists in a receipt and not the work.  That's why I usually throw my receipt away, but hang the art on my wall.  Even if that art is a knock off duplicate.  Do you hang the receipt, or know people who do?  Is this some weird collector thing?

I'm not a collector either [looks around at way too much useless stuff I'm keeping] but I agree this is how it works. Authenticity is a link to the past. Babe Ruth hit a home run with this bat. This Apple 1 computer was the first in a long series of world-changing products. Van Goh spent hours working on this canvas. This relic is from a saint! The past and our pasts as human beings seem like a piece of reality, yet they are constantly disappearing. As the past and our pasts disappear, and as memories fade, we cannot be sure what the past really was, and reproductions are suspect because they cannot be looked upon to establish with certainty what the past looked like. This is where I get the idea that the authenticity of the thing carries the value, not the intrinsic characteristics of the thing. You would be wise to keep any documentation you have for collectibles you bought - they form a chain of information that could someday prove the authenticity of the thing. This is an issue when occasionally a piece of art turns up by an unknown artist. Was it by someone famous? It can be hard to tell just from physical attributes, and so the value is low until a history is proven. When the world realizes the piece is a long-lost classic by a famous person, its value jumps even though its physical form has not changed. Thus the value is in the authenticity, more specifically the shared belief in its authenticity, not the physical thing.       

Quote
NFTs are an attempt to only sell the "what people think about it" aspect of a thing. For physical collectibles, this property accounts for approximately 100% of the value of the physical collectible. So NFTs are simply jettisoning the worthless part that is made of matter. It's OK that this is not a rational utility-seeking explanation because collecting is not a rational behavior. If we try to rationalize the value of art, we get into the same predicament the Classicists once got into, arguing that modern art and music did not involve the same level of effort to produce compared to the classical forms and therefore was worthless.

What impresses collectors and the people collectors seek to impress? Uniqueness, authenticity, and historical significance. All these components of a collectible, comprising ~100% of the value, exist in the receipt and the cultural context, not the matter.

Why do we only see NFTs for valueless digital things?  Why don't we also see them for physical objects, like the stamps earlier discussed?

My conclusion is that this doesn't happen because there is an inherent value in physical things - even low value things like stamps.  This value cannot simply be dismissed with a hand wave.  Otherwise we would be seeing people selling receipts for stamps without including the stamp - exactly the NFT business model.

You can argue that the 'value' of something is heavily influenced by uniqueness, authenticity, and historical significance . . . and I'd agree!  All three are important.  But take something I can understand - an old guitar.  It's plausible that I'd value an old guitar more for it's uniqueness, authenticity, and historical significance . . . but only when I physically hold it in my hands and try to make music with it.  If you tried to sell me a receipt for an old guitar though. I'd laugh at you.

Even if the receipt guaranteed that it would be the only one every made (super unique!), that it was 100% rock solid authenticatable through block chain (super authentic!), we fall down on the third point.  Historical significance.  The receipt has no historical significance.  The guitar does.  Remove the guitar and you remove any historical significance from the equation.  Without historical significance then nobody really cares about authenticating something anymore.  At this point we're just left with uniqueness . . . and with an NFT the 'uniqueness' is being derived entirely from the receipt.  Well, every receipt that includes an accurate date/time stamp is unique.  Which then means that none of them are really unique at all.

So, these three pillars of collectability all seem to be built upon sand.

Ownership of utility-bearing physical things is already taken care of by the government or banks/brokerages. When you buy a car, you have the title transferred to your name. The thing that makes you own the car is not physical possession, it is a record of the transaction kept at a government office. This is why you can borrow my physical car and if you refuse to give it back the police will come and take it back for me. Same thing with he deed to real estate.

Your bank does not set aside your physical dollars and put it in a box - instead your "account" consists of a record of a liability. The deposits you put into the bank go into their general funds. Your brokerage does the same thing. Your account is not a box containing physical stock certificates, it is a record of transactions. As we learned with the GME / Robinhood debacle, our brokerages might just substitute an IOU to a third party instead of fulfilling your order, and yet you see shares of stock on your account screen; it's the record you own. The shares themselves are records that a particular person transacted for a particular share - ownership consists entirely of being on that record.

Most of our NW consists of things the government says we own or things a bank/brokerage says they owe us. The only exceptions are small things like bikes, lawnmowers, or simple electronics that are not worth tracking, given today's technology. Interestingly, people routinely lose things like mowers, bikes, and electronics to theft, but it is extremely rare for someone to lose their car to title fraud*, their house to deed fraud, or their stocks when a brokerage collapses.  Again - you add a record of authenticity to something and it becomes safer to own and therefore more valuable. As you can see, we've been transacting for digital symbols of abstractions for decades. So why not collect digital symbols of abstractions, if their date of creation and chain of ownership can be verified with external records? Why couldn't sentimentality apply to such things for at least some people?

I would argue that a receipt for a guitar bought by John Lennon or Jimi Hendrix would be worth quite a bit, and not due to the paper or the ink.

*A physically stolen car is generally broken down for parts, transformed from a thing with recorded ownership into things without recorded ownership, at a great loss of net value due to the loss of the value created by recorded ownership. Because of the title recorded in a government office, the stolen car is unusable as a car and is only valuable for parts/scrap.

EricEng

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #79 on: April 29, 2021, 09:59:21 AM »
I guess the part that fails to compute for me is the concept of uniqueness. Take the Disaster Girl meme picture for example. I'm guessing millions of copies of that picture exist on the internet. So someone bought the exact same thing, but with some kind of certificate of authenticity attached declaring it the original, for half a million dollars. I guess I just don't see the point. You can't display it well. Do you bring it up in conversation? Who would care?
The weirdest part is most these don't construe ownership as we would think of it.  The person selling them usually isn't the person who owns the rights to the original picture.  Even when it is rightful owner, they are never selling ownership, distribution rights, reproduction rights, licensing rights, nor rights to anything.  They are selling you that single, digital file.  Sometimes it is just a web link even, so if the link goes down or the file at the end of the link changes you have little proof you bought anything.  You are expected to store that cat meme/gif yourself after you buy it.  It is NOT stored on the block chain, just the transaction data and a web link or unique file identifier.

So yes, this is completely and utterly bonkers.  They are taking a tool meant for handling transactions and ignoring all the rest that needs to go along with it (like actually owning something, actually selling something).  Even funnier how NBA Top Shots will sell multiple copies of the same video clip kind of defeating the purpose.  NFT's have a use case, but what we are seeing atm is not it.

GuitarStv

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #80 on: April 29, 2021, 11:29:47 AM »
The question is whether the object has value or whether its socially-ascribed non-utility-providing properties hold the value. This is another way of stating that the cardboard of the Mickey Mantle card, or the canvas/pigment combination of the Mona Lisa is trash in and of itself. The only valuable part of the collectible is what people think about it, which exists separately and independently of the thing.

I'll preface this by saying that I'm not really a collector . . . but least in my mind, there is value in the canvas/pigment combination that forms the Mona Lisa - because of who mixed and painted them, because they were physically touched by one of greatest artists of his age.  It just doesn't compute for me that the only value of art exists in a receipt and not the work.  That's why I usually throw my receipt away, but hang the art on my wall.  Even if that art is a knock off duplicate.  Do you hang the receipt, or know people who do?  Is this some weird collector thing?

I'm not a collector either [looks around at way too much useless stuff I'm keeping] but I agree this is how it works. Authenticity is a link to the past. Babe Ruth hit a home run with this bat. This Apple 1 computer was the first in a long series of world-changing products. Van Goh spent hours working on this canvas. This relic is from a saint! The past and our pasts as human beings seem like a piece of reality, yet they are constantly disappearing. As the past and our pasts disappear, and as memories fade, we cannot be sure what the past really was, and reproductions are suspect because they cannot be looked upon to establish with certainty what the past looked like. This is where I get the idea that the authenticity of the thing carries the value, not the intrinsic characteristics of the thing. You would be wise to keep any documentation you have for collectibles you bought - they form a chain of information that could someday prove the authenticity of the thing. This is an issue when occasionally a piece of art turns up by an unknown artist. Was it by someone famous? It can be hard to tell just from physical attributes, and so the value is low until a history is proven. When the world realizes the piece is a long-lost classic by a famous person, its value jumps even though its physical form has not changed. Thus the value is in the authenticity, more specifically the shared belief in its authenticity, not the physical thing.
   

As mentioned in my previous post . . . authenticity is worthless without something to authenticate.  Authenticity only confers value because we want to know that the baseball bat was held by Babe Ruth.  Remove the bat and you remove the value of the authenticity.  With the digital things that NFTs are being used with, there is nothing to authenticate - it's just copies of copies of copies.


Ownership of utility-bearing physical things is already taken care of by the government or banks/brokerages. When you buy a car, you have the title transferred to your name. The thing that makes you own the car is not physical possession, it is a record of the transaction kept at a government office. This is why you can borrow my physical car and if you refuse to give it back the police will come and take it back for me. Same thing with he deed to real estate.

You're mentioning only exceptions to the rule here.  Houses and cars are unusual in that their receipts are important.  Do you keep every reciept to prove ownership for your clothing, shoes, hand tools in the garage, light bulbs you buy, etc?  The vast majority of things in your life have no record of transaction held in a government office somewhere.  But this whole thread of thought seems to be a tangent.  People don't need to prove that they own the lightbulb in their house because they physically possess that light bulb.  Just as they physically possess a .gif on their computer by downloading it - even if they don't have an NFT or receipt for it.


Your bank does not set aside your physical dollars and put it in a box - instead your "account" consists of a record of a liability. The deposits you put into the bank go into their general funds. Your brokerage does the same thing. Your account is not a box containing physical stock certificates, it is a record of transactions. As we learned with the GME / Robinhood debacle, our brokerages might just substitute an IOU to a third party instead of fulfilling your order, and yet you see shares of stock on your account screen; it's the record you own. The shares themselves are records that a particular person transacted for a particular share - ownership consists entirely of being on that record.

Most of our NW consists of things the government says we own or things a bank/brokerage says they owe us. The only exceptions are small things like bikes, lawnmowers, or simple electronics that are not worth tracking, given today's technology. Interestingly, people routinely lose things like mowers, bikes, and electronics to theft, but it is extremely rare for someone to lose their car to title fraud*, their house to deed fraud, or their stocks when a brokerage collapses.  Again - you add a record of authenticity to something and it becomes safer to own and therefore more valuable. As you can see, we've been transacting for digital symbols of abstractions for decades. So why not collect digital symbols of abstractions, if their date of creation and chain of ownership can be verified with external records? Why couldn't sentimentality apply to such things for at least some people?

Short of NFTs this year, there hasn't been much indication that people are overly sentimental about receipts for valueless things.


I would argue that a receipt for a guitar bought by John Lennon or Jimi Hendrix would be worth quite a bit, and not due to the paper or the ink.

I mean, maybe?  There's a buyer for everything out there.  But it will never be worth what the guitar is . . . because it's a receipt.  If it came with the guitar, it would be worth more because the receipt adds to the authenticity of the physical instrument.  But you know what wouldn't be worth any money?  Try selling an NFT for the physical receipt for a guitar that Jimmy Hendrix played.  :P

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #81 on: May 13, 2021, 10:39:06 AM »

damnedbee

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #82 on: August 14, 2021, 06:27:04 AM »
I'm fairly new to the NFT world but have gotten pretty immersed in the last few weeks. Like many (most) in this thread, I was highly skeptical and on team "It's just a JPEG" for a long time. I kept researching and didn't GET it.

Until I bought my first one. Now I get it. Like it or not, they are here to stay, and early adopters are light years ahead of the game. By early adopter, I mean if NFTs are even on your radar.

I'll start by saying I have a sensible low-cost index fund in true Mustachian fashion. It comprises the bulk of my portfolio, and I don't mess with it. But one of my financial goals this year was to diversify my assets, try new and more speculative experiences, and generally learn more about day trading and such.

I devoted a small pool of "play" money for crypto. Made some great decisions, some bad, but learned a ton. (Also made a LOT more money in a few weeks than in a year in the stock market, but that's neither here nor there.)

One day I saw an interesting tweet from a respected crypto influencer about an NFT they had just "minted" a few minutes earlier. It was a picture of a beautiful woman that reminded me of what I used to love to draw when I was younger. I was intrigued -- you don't see a lot of women or woman-centric art in NFTs yet, so this project stood out.

I clicked over to the website, quickly did some research, liked the mission and the artist statement, felt pretty confident it was all legit, and immediately decided to pay $150 (about .07 ETH) to mint my first NFT. I balked at spending $150 on a picture, but I got my new woman! It felt exciting to have this unique piece of beautiful art that a computer had randomly generated and it was all mine. The only one like her in the world.

From there, I got more involved in the community to figure out what I had just done. NFTs use chat rooms (run on the Discord platform) and community members are very engaged and active, just like in the earlier days of the internet (we've come full circle, really). I quickly saw how people were "flipping" or trading up their women to collect more women with certain traits. I decided to buy more while they were still "cheap" to get. I went after a few with some particularly beautiful traits that would actually turn out to be quite rare. It was a frenzy, but it was a ton of fun. I also saw a lot of influential and respected "whales" were collecting this particular NFT. Many believed it was going to be the next big thing. Within a few days, the floor prices skyrocketed and people were paying premium for the rare ones. The project had barely even taken off yet -- all this was organic growth and word of mouth. I felt like I was dreaming and had visions of getting rich quick. The thing with NFTs, though, is there actually is a TON of money flowing through these projects. Getting rich quick is actually quite common. All this was blowing my sensible index-fund loving mind.

While there's no telling what will happen, and I'm prepared for anything, my conservative estimate is that I will net a profit of $100,000 (before tax) from an initial $4,000 investment. My dream estimate is closer to $950,000 if the project really becomes popular. When people in NFTs talk about life-changing money, they mean it. Worst case, I will have beautiful art to hang on my walls for the rest of my life.

So this is a long thread, but I wanted to show how a "normal" person gets pulled in. Here's what I've learned.

1. People appreciate the art, and it has a lot of potential to give platforms to women and minority voices. Currently, though, it's very "tech bro centric."
2. Some projects are crappy pump and dump schemes; others are backed by strong missions and developers. Like with any investment, do your research and trust your gut.
3. The best projects give the owner commercial rights over the artwork and a share in royalties. This is the real game changer. It means the potential is nearly limitless if the art is strong. You now OWN the brand itself.
4.  People make friends and build strong communities around their common interest. It's as powerful as a sports franchise, and NFTs become part of individual identities.
5. The dopamine hit is real. Collecting NFTs triggers the same psychological rush as any other collectible or gambling.
6. The potential for scams and criminal activity is high. It's the wild west.
7. The technology and use cases are in their bare infancy. The possibilities are endless, and it's probably wise to at least dip your toe in the water now before mass adoption occurs.
8. They're going to make taxes a nightmare. Your phone will ring off the hook if you're an accountant who specializes in NFT/crypto.
9. Entire new job industries are going to spring up (e.g., NFT community manager, marketing strategists).

TL;DR: Don't knock 'em til you've tried 'em. This might be a bubble, but it's more likely to evolve than burst entirely. NFTs are here to stay.














Malcat

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #83 on: August 14, 2021, 08:48:00 AM »
The question is whether the object has value or whether its socially-ascribed non-utility-providing properties hold the value. This is another way of stating that the cardboard of the Mickey Mantle card, or the canvas/pigment combination of the Mona Lisa is trash in and of itself. The only valuable part of the collectible is what people think about it, which exists separately and independently of the thing.

I'll preface this by saying that I'm not really a collector . . . but least in my mind, there is value in the canvas/pigment combination that forms the Mona Lisa - because of who mixed and painted them, because they were physically touched by one of greatest artists of his age.  It just doesn't compute for me that the only value of art exists in a receipt and not the work.  That's why I usually throw my receipt away, but hang the art on my wall.  Even if that art is a knock off duplicate.  Do you hang the receipt, or know people who do?  Is this some weird collector thing?


Uh, yeah, art collectors absolutely value their certificates of authenticity and will often mount them beside the art piece itself. Other collectors consider this tacky. Some prefer just to hang pieces prominently and then host social events for the sole purpose of having people see that they own a piece, and others find that tacky, but that's kind of a feature of the world of wealth, everyone thinks that *other people's* behaviour is tacky. Either way, in many cases, it's the display of ownership that matters most, often more than the ownership itself. Not always, but often enough.

A HUGE part of the art collecting community is the prestige of ownership. Sure, you can argue that a painting or sculpture is more unique and actually physically rare, but that's usually not the reason someone is willing to pay 500K for it. They're willing to pay for the prestige of having paid for it, and the culture and connections that that implies. Ultra wealthy people aren't just magically more refined in their art taste, the art community generates and curates the talented artists, and then the collectors buy what bubbles to the top of the industry.
Sure, it's great art, but tons of great art will be produced and never be sold to millionaires.

So if what people are buying is actually the experience of buying, and the prestige of having bought, then it makes sense that if someone's social ecosystem consists of blockchain enthusiasts, then NFTs aren't actually that different from buying and displaying art. If all the people whose opinions they care about are impressed with their NFT, then I don't see that as any different than some of the insipid art collectors I've known who would buy a crumpled Wendy's burger wrapper for a million dollars if it would raise their social station.

Now, that doesn't negate the argument that the original art is fundamentally different from the digital art, but what I'm saying is that the originality or even quality of the concrete collectible doesn't actually account for it's market value. If the market value of art and collectibles is primarily set by some kind of collective agreement about what it means to be the person who owns that thing, then that's the same driving force behind the value of NFTs.

Now, I say this as someone who sees all collecting as kind of silly. I have little to no romanticism about old or rare objects. I used to, especially art, but I've long since gotten over it. When I look objectively at my own previous motivations for owning things that I and other people perceived as having value, and the pride I took in that ownership, I can't legitimately say that I was any different than someone who feels pride of ownership for an NFT. Sure, I had a painting, or an antique ring, or a 130 year old book that smelled like spores, I did have those unique, physical things, but once I got over the psychological value assigned to those items, I was able to see them as just items, and start seeing them for their objective value to my day to day life, and not just how *being* the owner of them made me feel.

Now, the physical object obviously does have more value. I will never say that an original painting has the same value as a digital image that can be perfectly copied. What I'm saying is that that value of originality isn't the main driving force behind the price of a lot of crazy high priced goods. The pride of ownership alone accounts for an enormous amount of the value of a lot of high priced items. So you can't just say "well this 8M painting is so valuable because it's a physical painting, but this 8M NFT is worthless". The bulk of that 8M value is how ownership of that item is perceived within society.

NFTs seem stupid to me because I don't circulate in a social environment where anyone would ever care about NFTs. If I spent 10K on an NFT, everyone who's opinion I care about would think I was stupid. But if the people I most wanted to impress in the whole world were impressed by NFTs, then that would be a different matter. Hell, the NFT buyer might look at someone who spends thousands on a Funko Pop doll as fucking nuts.

I used to be the kind of person who wore a giant diamond ring and thought that that mattered because everyone around me thought it mattered. I could barely sell it for 10% of it's purchase price because in actuality, it wasn't worth much. The value in that ring was the pride of ownership and display of what my fiance was willing to buy me, which people around me agreed reflected on my value. That had real value for me in my younger, stupider days when I circulated more among people who cared about that shit. Now it seems insane to me to spend a premium just to display that you spent a premium, for an item that is barely worth a tenth of the purchase price, aka the actual value of the tangible, unique item itself minus the social hype.

So yes, NFTs and physical collectibles are different, but not AS different as they might seem on the surface.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2021, 08:54:07 AM by Malcat »

WoodsRun

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #84 on: August 25, 2021, 09:58:45 AM »
Is it possible that publicly traded companies can issue NFTs as a way of verifying stock ownership?
This way they are not relying on brokerages to not lend out their shares.
In other words, unless you have the NFT then you do not actually own the stock.

The technology is new and at the moment that might be expensive but if more companies adapt then the barrier to entry might decrease.

Public companies might also get creative and issue an NFT as a dividend.

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #85 on: August 25, 2021, 10:36:49 AM »
Shares in a company are a perfectly fungible thing. There's zero reason to manage them as non-fungible tokens. Can you imagine needing to buy thousands of shares individually because each one is now its own special snowflake?

You could potentially issue them as regular old fungible blockchain tokens, but why? Do the benefits of a blockchain over the current system (if any) outweigh the costs? I'd say no. I have zero problem with my broker making their money by loaning out my shares instead of charging me a fee directly. I would have a problem with my ownership stake in the company being diluted every day in order to pay the miners who secure the blockchain.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #86 on: August 25, 2021, 11:59:42 AM »
I have zero problem with my broker making their money by loaning out my shares instead of charging me a fee directly. I would have a problem with my ownership stake in the company being diluted every day in order to pay the miners who secure the blockchain.

This scares me a bit, because a product of inferior quality can displace a product of superior quality if it is more profitable to produce. This is why paid journalism has largely ceased to exist in most locales and clickbait / fake news is everywhere, why cell phones have a planned obsolescence of 2-3 years, why houses are now made from wafer-board instead of real lumber, and why restaurant food is almost universally unhealthy. At some point, higher-quality products which would deliver greater benefits to consumers disappear because higher margins or turnover can be had selling the lower-quality product. Additionally, subscription-based models like Netflix or Pandora have beaten out the pay-per-view model that would be cheaper for many consumers. They want to lock in your spending, and they can use their duopolistic power to ensure the only business model that exists is the one which extracts the most from your wallet.

Thus, if blockchain can become an excuse to charge an expense on top of stocks and funds, then an incentive will exist for financial companies to justify this blockchain tax. Finding investments without blockchain-related drag could become as difficult as finding broccoli or kale at fast food restaurants. The financial products and services of the future could be inferior to the things we enjoy today.

thesis

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #87 on: August 25, 2021, 04:44:20 PM »
I was reading about this a few evenings ago. I think my largest concern about NFTs is that laws haven't caught up to them, and so they can't yet deliver on what they are trying to promise. Just because an NFT exists for something doesn't mean that the owner of the NFT owns the intellectual property to it, ie, the right to reproduce and sell a digital image. The systems that trade NFTs say this is the case, but does the law actually back that claim up? And probably what will be seen, if it hasn't already, is people creating NFTs for things they don't have the intellectual rights to, which could be construed as fraud when done deliberately. So it's the wild west right now, and I think it would be extremely difficult to know if a piece of artwork, etc. was actually made by the person who claims to have made it. When the laws do finally catch up, there will need to be some way to lawfully transfer the IP rights along with ownership to the thing itself. I'm no expert, but I don't think that's going to be easy.

I can see NFTs being great for, say, digital collections, like baseball cards. Say only 500 NFTs are created for some series, and you can win one of them randomly or through some sort of game, then yes, that makes sense. I have no interest in this, but that doesn't mean other people don't.

But saying that NFTs aren't going away, and therefore people should invest in them, is ludicrous. Most things in this world aren't going away, but that doesn't mean I have to care.

It's an interesting application of blockchain technology. But that's about it, in my opinion. I think people are running out of ways to invest and getting hyped up by any new thing that comes along. I'm sure there is some money to be made by some individuals, but I wouldn't treat it as investment, per se.

I have actually commissioned art before. It's on my walls. It makes me happy to look at. That's what I care about. Not abstract ownership of some sort of digital asset. But YMMV

the_gastropod

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #88 on: August 25, 2021, 05:24:40 PM »
Just because an NFT exists for something doesn't mean that the owner of the NFT owns the intellectual property to it, ie, the right to reproduce and sell a digital image. The systems that trade NFTs say this is the case, but does the law actually back that claim up?

Eeeeeexactly! No. It does not. And if it did, it’d obviate the entire reason for being on a blockchain to begin with. Blockchain’s raison d'ętre is to transact without trust. That means no authority, law, etc. This is why using it to denote ownership is so fundamentally stupid. Without a trusted authority to enforce that ownership, you’re just holding a very expensive series of bits that point to another series of bits that represent an image that is freely copyable on the internet.Cool.

aceyou

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #89 on: September 06, 2021, 08:23:55 AM »
I finally understand NFT's.  I'll probably own some by the end of 2021.  The part I'm still needing to learn is how to feel confident when judging a strong project form a weak project(kind of a big deal:).  That's the only thing holding me back at the moment, but that's just a thing that can be learned, jus like anything else. 

Also, I'll probably be upping my crypto asset allocation soon from 80/20 (vtsax to bit/ether) to 60/40. 

These are really amazing times we are living in to see society shifting and transforming so quickly. 

talltexan

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #90 on: September 07, 2021, 07:11:06 AM »
U may not need to take any action to carry out that rebalance, the surge in prices may take care of it for you.

EricEng

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #91 on: September 09, 2021, 01:34:01 PM »
I finally understand NFT's.  I'll probably own some by the end of 2021.
These two statements seem to run contrary to each other.  If you understand NFTs, you wouldn't waste money on them.
Just because an NFT exists for something doesn't mean that the owner of the NFT owns the intellectual property to it, ie, the right to reproduce and sell a digital image. The systems that trade NFTs say this is the case, but does the law actually back that claim up?

Eeeeeexactly! No. It does not. And if it did, it’d obviate the entire reason for being on a blockchain to begin with. Blockchain’s raison d'ętre is to transact without trust. That means no authority, law, etc. This is why using it to denote ownership is so fundamentally stupid. Without a trusted authority to enforce that ownership, you’re just holding a very expensive series of bits that point to another series of bits that represent an image that is freely copyable on the internet.Cool.
Yep, the NFT does not buy you any legal or enforceable privileges. You don't have any legal authority or exclusivity to what you bought via the NFT.  You are simply gambling that someone else will mistakenly want it more later.

If NFT's have value, they would be held up in a court of law as proof when someone violates your supposed ownership rights.
U may not need to take any action to carry out that rebalance, the surge in prices may take care of it for you.
Or you may need to rebalance weekly/monthly as the value drops/gains 30-50% every month.

aceyou

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Re: Non-fungible Tokens (NFT)
« Reply #92 on: September 12, 2021, 12:11:45 PM »
I finally understand NFT's.  I'll probably own some by the end of 2021.
These two statements seem to run contrary to each other.  If you understand NFTs, you wouldn't waste money on them.
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It appears I have officially been face-punched...I suppose this is the correct site for that:)  Cheers!