If you live in present society, chances are you have encountered photos of grotesque cartoon animals on the internet or social media, mainly apes or lions. They resemble the zoo coloring pages of childhood, with bright colors and tacky decorations.
Old memes or dead celebrities can also make an appearance in this photo category.
One may ask, how do these correlate into a category and what are these ugly images clogging up my timeline?
Glad you asked! They’re called NFTs, short form for non-fungible tokens. In a short definition they are the ownership of a digital image, usually purchased by crypto, in hopes for the value or rate of exchange to increase over time.
A good analogy to explain NFTs is the trend of “buying a star” a few years back.
While you have a certificate saying that the star is yours, you do not actually own the star. Stupid, right?
My biggest gripe with NFTs is that it is creating scarcity in the unlimited digital space, one that without manual creation would have none. Capitalism is infiltrating yet another place it has no business being.
The NFT scene, which began as a way for digital artists to sell original work, has been taken over by billionaires and crypto bros, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.
Crypto mining and NFTs themselves are horrendous for the environment, leaving behind massive carbon footprints in an already dangerously heated earth.
The minting of NFTs on a blockchain and mining crypto take up insanely large amounts of electricity.
One NFT can use the electricity equivalent of up to a month of average use in one household.
In typical imperialist fashion, a new term called “crypto-colonialism,” which Vice describes as “blockchain technologies bring surveillance and political pressures, undermine local sovereignty and create resource allocation controls on recipients” has risen as a result.
In common terms, it means more exploitation of the global south that is unneeded.
Also, let’s not disregard the dystopian culture accompanying the rise of NFTs.
Some celebrities are paying millions of dollars for a CARTOON APE. Sure, people are starving and living paycheck to paycheck, but why not throw money at a mindless cartoon image that only causes harm.
Justin Bieber recently spent $1.29 million on an ape NFT and Jimmy Fallon recently bragged on his show for dropping $216,000 on his.
This is an almost inconceivable amount of money for us average people; seeing celebrities throw money at a clear scam is enough to make anyone mad.
Even a fraction of the money spent on NFTs could make a real difference in so many lives.
So, don’t get mad when I screenshot your apes. It was never yours to begin with.