4 weeks ago

Loading NFT

The accompanying text for my "Loading NFT" NFT

Loading NFT

Earlier this year I started exploring this new NFTerritory. It fascinated me to witness this new art world, including all the hype and all the WTF surrounding it. And in the relatively short period of time since I entered this new world, it feels like I already witnessed quite a few Boom and Bust cycles.

It made me want to capture the essence of WTF was happening, because it feels like one of those periods in time that needs to be documented. So, I wrote a WTF NFT manifest, created a WTF NFT, and jumped right in.

At least, that was my intention. Jumping in was actually not that easy, because just when I had figured it all out and was ready to go, suddenly “gas fees” went skyrocketing. “To the moon” is a favorite saying of crypto enthusiasts, and that’s exactly what happened, which meant that suddenly minting an NFT would cost me hundreds of dollars more. So, for a few days I watched those gas fees fluctuate wildly until they calmed down again so I could finally go live. Phew.

I also noticed that a lot of artists I knew were getting a lot of shit for minting an NFT. So I held my breath, but received only positive reactions. My followers really understood why I minted the WTF NFT. YAY! So I was happy and curious to see what was going to happen next.

But then the first reactions started trickling in from disappointed followers, who wanted to bid on the NFT, but just could not make it happen for technical reasons: creating a new wallet, transferring from one wallet to another, wrapping ETH into WETH, bidding etc. So many steps which for the tech and crypto savvy are easy, but unfortunately too often proved to be challenging and cumbersome for my oldskool art followers.

Another realization was also interesting: in a world where more and more people spend increasing chunks of their lives in virtual computer space, owning a digital artwork to hang on the wall of your virtual house in the Metaverse, so your Avatar can show it to the Avatars of your virtual friends, is actually not as strange as it might seem, even though our analog brains might still have difficulties in processing this.

It also became clear to me that not only there is a big divide between the crypto savvy and those who are not, but there’s also a big gap between the Believers and those who are convinced that this is just a passing fad with no value at all.

I tend to believe that NFTs might be here to stay. I actually want to believe that they are here to stay, because any new development that might empower artists, and any online platform which could actually earn some money for artists rather than just provide exposure is great.

But yes, there still are a lot of technical issues and glitches. Also, user-unfriendliness often seems to be a real barrier for those who are not full-time techies. However, I believe that NFTs might become an amazing tool for artists worldwide.

But it’s not there yet.

It’s still loading….