The Discord chat below ran parallel to the MoneyLab #11 session MONEY TALKS – A Participatory Online Debate on Crypto Art & NFTs on Friday night March 26, 2021.
What are NFTs, why do people get excited by them and what are the controversies they spark? Why are they interesting, what possibilities do they open up, what are the important trends they point at? This session will start with an introduction to NFTs, followed by a deep-dive into interesting projects, marketplaces and infrastructures. Facilitated by the team of Economic Space Agency (ECSA), community members were invited to engage in a debate on Crypto Art and NFTs. An NFT primer, the structure of the session, the NTF-works analyzed, and the key questions for discussion were available at the MoneyLab Discord before the start.
Alle : @rachel : I’m not sure, but I haven’t checked big enough amounts of data, but from what I’ve seen, many very young black and Asian people are making really decent money… maybe they’re not the majority yet but still make really good incentivizing examples IMO.
20:46:22 Von Michelle Kasprzak an Alle : @Max it really is objectively bad and therefore also totally unsurprising that it was collected by a crypto investor, not someone from Christie’s more traditional crowd
20:48:46 Von email@example.com an
Alle : @aude yes some other people are earning money but the majority are white men.
20:49:37 Max Haiven (he/him) an Alle : @Aude – yes, and those Beeple-buyers have a really weird “resurgence of the global South” rhetoric going on… “The point was to show Indians and people of color that they too could be patrons, that crypto was an equalizing power between the West and the Rest, and that the global south was rising”.
20:49:44 Von Max Haiven (he/him) an Alle : https://news.artnet.com/art-world/beeple-buyers-metakovan-twobadour-1953418
20:50:04 Von Economic Space Agency an Alle : here is the structure and idea and example links again https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Qxdjw_sm_e2Zamv6t4JskBx39xst5p-FtJ_CsZUoZuE/edit#
20:50:49 Von aude launay an Alle : @rachel totally willing to follow this opinion but do you have any database I could check? (Not willing to deep dive into all of the platforms to explore who everyone is 😉
20:50:49 Von Ataberk Casur an Alle : @Rachel is there any intermediary that historically privileges certain groups over others on blockchain though? It is permission less and open for anyone to participate. Not sure how that critique offers any points of action for the blockchain networks.
20:51:12 Von Martin Zeilinger an Alle : @Max keep in mind Beeple has/had a significant business stake in the crypto conglomerate that bought his piece.
20:51:42 Von Max Haiven (he/him) an Alle : @Martin – classic Damien Hirst move!
20:52:19 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : The structure is just all wrong. Even look at the promo— these images all show white men. Lol.
20:52:49 Von Ela Kagel an Alle : agreed!
20:52:57 Von Ela Kagel an Alle : That’s a structural issue.
20:53:00 Von email@example.com an Alle : Well this is beating a dead horse at this point but this one is about environmental impact— https://memoakten.medium.com/the-unreasonable-ecological-cost-of-cryptoart-2221d3eb2053
20:53:08 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : Important read.
20:53:16 Von Ataberk Casur an Alle : Structure allows anyone to build an alternative that they think is more fair though. No institution can entrench themselves in the space and restrict access to others.
20:53:19 Von Denise Thwaites an Alle : @Max thanks for that sharing that Artnet review! Horrific and objectionable on so many levels *shudder*
20:54:48 Von email@example.com an Alle : https://news.artnet.com/market/women-artists-nft-1949832
20:54:56 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : “Male Artists Have Made Fortunes in the Exploding NFT Market. Now Feminist Artists Are Staking a Claim With Their Own Crypto-Art Drop”
20:56:28 Von email@example.com an Alle : @ataberk also one of the issues are the “gas fees” that are a part “minting” of this NFT
20:56:40 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : So its not really so accessible to all
20:57:19 Von Ataberk Casur an Alle : That is a problem that will be solved though. It is an issue with the current state of the tenchology. No one argues for higher gas fees. Matic and other scaling solutions on Ethereum allows minting NFTs with cents
20:57:51 Von email@example.com an Alle : @ataberk basically do you not think capitalism is fundamentally a problem?
20:58:32 Von Ataberk Casur an Alle : I do, that’s why I love crypto & NFTs 🙂
20:58:43 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : And raping the environment?
20:58:46 Von Adam Hayes an Alle : @rachel/@ataberk not only is gas price a barrier, but you need a certain level of knowledge and technical acumen, you need to own ETH, need to be able to sync a wallet like Metamask with your NFT stash, etc. Send your ETH or NFT to the wrong address and it’s gone. There are a lot of ways to mess it up and who has this knowledge and skills is not random either
20:58:47 Von Martin Born an Alle : @Pekko right now – but there is no NFT mechanisms in the example?
20:58:56 Von Martin Zeilinger an Alle : @ataberk re: accessibility – most of the platforms are not accessible at all – tech knowledge needed is prohibitive for many / “invites” are required / or curation is required
20:59:26 Von Martin Zeilinger an Alle : it all looks more to me like a shift from elite of gatekeepers to another
20:59:39 Von Martin Zeilinger an Alle : *one elite to another
20:59:58 Von Max Haiven (he/him) an Alle : @Martin – yes, precisely. And the art world and capitalism have both always renewed themselves this way…
20:59:59 Von email@example.com an Alle : I don’t know about you all but when I go outside these days for a walk there are generally about 3 different kinds of weather within a very short period of time. Extreme. This is not normal.
21:00:18 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : I hope none of you want babies. Lol.
21:00:31 Von email@example.com an Alle : Proof of Work is not about longevity
21:00:45 Von Jonathan Beller an Alle : Neither is work
21:00:47 Von Max Haiven (he/him) an Alle : @Rachel – but at least our species will leave behind some wonderful pieces of digital art!
21:00:53 Von Ataberk Casur an Alle : @Martin big difference is you are not dependent on them. You have open platforms like OpenSea and Rarible. Each marketplace can design how they want to do it. What is the problem?
21:01:06 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : Proof of Stake Is the only thing that is acceptable. If you really wanna do NFT look at Eco NFT
21:01:13 Von email@example.com an Alle : Which I haven’t even heard the term here tonight.
21:02:05 Von Martin Born an Alle : @Ataberk – dependency is in the media space, i.e. mesaaging power
21:02:33 Von Adam Hayes an Alle : @rachel PoS has its own flaws. For cryptocurrencies it encourages hoarding and not spending (which makes for crappy money-things).. but for NFTs, which are inherently collectibles meant to be hoarded, perhaps it can work —
21:02:40 Von TBSocialist an Alle : @Rachel – The main platform where NFTs are minted (ethereum) is actively moving to proof of stake
21:03:59 Von Martin Zeilinger an Alle : do you all think that the powerful pushback in the community against the environmental impact of PoW platforms is actually accelerating those moves towards PoS?
21:04:19 Von Ataberk Casur an Alle : @Martin yes but is this that anyone can change? Messaging power is about social networks. That seems like a reality of the society to me. Here you cannot enclose the media space however, and this seems like a big difference to me
21:05:07 Von Adam Hayes an Alle : PoS also strongly rewards early token-holders who naturally own more units and thus have more consensus-making ability. PoS also allows people with monetary resources to purchase their way in to consensus by buying tokens. PoW solves these issues (but yes, requires energy instead)
21:05:07 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : Here is a link to a clean nft discord channel: https://t.co/kZ55CRvPQD?amp=1,
21:05:14 Von email@example.com an Alle : For anyone interested…
21:05:39 Von Martin Zeilinger an Alle : yeah I’m aware of the PoS drawbacks… will be interesting to see efforts to resolve those.
21:05:43 Von Martin Born an Alle : @Ataberk – what I mean is that a point of decentralization is being pushed while I at least see no step away from the concentricity we have right now.
21:05:57 Von TBSocialist an Alle : @Martin – I would say yes definitely. The enviro impact of PoW has been known for a long time and it was explicitly stated by the Ethereum foundation that a big reason for wanting to move to PoS was because of this.
21:06:10 Von Adam Hayes an Alle : PoW separates consensus-making from ownership, whereas PoS makes owners the consensus-makers. It’s eating where you shit.
21:06:36 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : @tbsocialist as you may have heard that will likely take forever…
21:06:47 Von Ataberk Casur an Alle : @Martin I am not sure what do you mean by no step away from concentricity? There are new NFT marketplaces springing up every week. Two biggest NFT marketplaces are open to everyone, OpenSEa, biggest one, is open to all.
21:07:20 Von TBSocialist an Alle : @Rachel – They already have the foundational infrastructure for it and is expected in a year and the founder is pushing for faster at times.
21:07:41 Von email@example.com an Alle : There was a podcast about Foundation app that they actually started as Proof of Stake and then their people “stakeholders” said no that won’t work for us so they moved to proof of work.
21:07:46 Von Denise Thwaites an Alle : In terms of digital inclusion, globally there are still a great number of people whose online access is mobile only and dependant on expensive data-plans (this disproportionally impacts people already experiencing socio-economic marginalisation). So indeed, any conversation about moving to purely digital systems needs to be qualified by the barriers to any form of digital participation for a portion of society.
21:08:00 Von Martin Born an Alle : @Ataberk – initial hyperspawning will subside but it’s still a hype mech this at least seems to be playing on + into
21:08:00 Von TBSocialist an Alle : I am currently staking on the Ethereum network at my home
21:08:09 Von Adam Hayes an Alle : You can own 1,000 BTC and have zero say in the consensus-making – and that is desirable since it disallows the ‘wealthy’ from exerting voice on the system. PoW is flawed only because it is linked to a fixed and arbitrary difficulty algorithm and fixed-interval block target.
21:08:11 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : @tbsocialist so if its gonna take a year people should use EcoNFTs in the meantime
21:08:31 Von Malthus John an Alle : But there will be a proportional drop-off in interest (leaving broke ‘bagholders’) when this process of ever smaller markets open up
21:08:58 Von TBSocialist an Alle : @Rachel – sure, there’s also Tezos which is another PoS blockchain
21:09:02 Von Malthus John an Alle : without any conective social/cultural value tissue
21:09:11 Von email@example.com an Alle : @tbsocialist yes use that!
21:09:44 Von Martin Born an Alle : @Denise / digital inclusion – yes!
21:10:12 Von Baruch Gottlieb an Alle : NFT = distributed patreon
21:10:44 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : I’m all for artists earning money but not the same artists and not on Proof of Work.
21:11:06 Von Malthus John an Alle : yes^
21:11:30 Von TBSocialist an Alle : I’m still listening to the speakers 🙂
21:11:35 Von pekko an Alle : Baruch: Pretty much. I would say that it’s a combination of Patreon and Kickstarter, but I think your comparison is apt.
21:12:06 Von Molly an Alle : Young ppl not on web on social media! What is up w that? Is the web the locus of NFTs? Or spurious social media platforms? How is the circulation working?
21:12:51 Von Martin Zeilinger an Alle : @Molly the platforms themselves (UX, etc.) incentivise circulation
21:13:10 Von Baruch Gottlieb an Alle : who is driving akseli’s car?
21:13:13 Von Lenara Verle an Alle : @Rachel do you remember what was the podcast you heard mentioning Foundation’s choice away from PoS?
21:13:32 Von email@example.com an Alle : @lenara I’ll look for it give me a sec…
21:13:48 Von Leith an Alle : @Baruch, ECSA riding self driving cars
21:13:52 Von Martin Zeilinger an Alle : @Baruch it looks like Akseli is talking straight to the mega-screen in the centre of a Tesla dashboard!
21:14:07 Von Jorge – ECSA an Alle : Akseli said I think: “From mercantilism” when it broke
21:14:33 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : @lenara https://twitter.com/hragv/status/1369412204349493251?s=21
21:14:48 Von Leith an Alle : Why was their book in french tho ?
21:15:15 Von Lenara Verle an Alle : @Rachel thanks
21:18:41 Von Martin Zeilinger an Alle : @akseli why is that important?
21:18:45 Von Baruch Gottlieb an Alle : only rich people decide which films get shown
21:18:57 Von Jonathan Beller an Alle : magnificent or obscene?
21:18:59 Von Grace Rachmany an Alle : What happens if someone loses their keys and then you can never run that part of the movie again?
21:19:06 Von email@example.com an Alle : @lenara Sure!
21:19:17 Von Molly an Alle : Do the others charge you? For their Atoms?
21:19:18 Von florian adolph an Alle : This is a great resource for Context in the way of research: http://www.finfour.net/
21:19:39 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : Honestly I still have a hard time with this whole thing— I would say it’s all a bit of a mindfuck because I really want artists esp BIPOC, women, lgbtq+ etc to earn money as artists! But for white men to be dominating AND KILLING THE ENVIRONMENT— it just kills my brain. We need to change the narrative. That is the main point. We need to question the system- the foundation of everything.
21:19:59 Von Fabiano Martucci an Alle : Adding another question. What happens if one of the owners of the Atoms/pixels don’t agree with a public/free exhibition?
21:20:03 Von Ataberk Casur an Alle : @grace: rule number 1 in crypto: don’t lose your keys. There are new wallets enabling easier log ins for the masses, that work on wallet recovery etc though
21:20:32 Von Baruch Gottlieb an Alle : it would be terrible if dark forces bought key parts of an important emancipatory works and then refused access
21:20:32 Von Martin Born an Alle : @Akseli – would be interested in how you describe the internal and external relationships of the group (of collectors) that are formed by this
21:20:47 Von Martin Born an Alle : * would describe
21:21:20 Von email@example.com an Alle : At least on econft platforms like Tezos artists are buying each others work. On other proof of work places I’m betting its a lot of money laundering
21:21:23 Von Ataberk Casur an Alle : I think the beauty of blockchain is we don’t need to question anymore, we can just act. The space is out there for you to build the ecosystem you deem fair and worth engaging in
21:21:26 Von Molly an Alle : I think it is encouraging to turn Art into Money…pure money and that might create a minor amount of capital it is dangerous! It is going to give high capitalists a reason to further squeeze profit out of everything!!! Flows beyond taxing…breathing
21:21:32 Von Martin Zeilinger an Alle : How is that Sussman piece any different from other current efforts to fractalise art ownership??
21:21:35 Von Ataberk Casur an Ela Kagel(Direktnachricht) : @Akseli – would be interested in how you describe the internal and external relationships of the group (of collectors) that are formed by this
21:21:43 Von Ataberk Casur an Ela Kagel(Direktnachricht) : Good question from Martin
21:21:59 Von Ela Kagel an Ataberk Casur(Direktnachricht) : I can pass it on
21:22:05 Von Ela Kagel an Ataberk Casur(Direktnachricht) : once he finishes
21:22:12 Von Baruch Gottlieb an Alle : or people ownership
21:22:17 Von Max Haiven (he/him) an Alle : @Ataberk: “we don’t need to question anymore, we can just act.” That’s the most terrifying thing I’ve heard all day!
21:22:28 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : @ataberk no offense but that is a bit naive.
21:22:47 Von Martin Zeilinger an Alle : @Max agreed
21:22:49 Von email@example.com an Alle : @max yes thanks for pointing that out 🙂
21:23:09 Von pekko an Alle : Rachel: But how do you make that? Who has the power (which is ultimately governance)? The key thing, for myself, is not to argue from the imaginary position of power, but rather from where we are. Which is limited, and why we have to start from something we can enable.
21:23:51 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : @pekko do you not feel climate change on a personal level? If ppl don’t understand viscerally the ramifications we are all screwed.
21:24:17 Von Ataberk Casur an Alle : Excuse my wording 🙂 I tried to mean we don’t need to finish at critique.
21:24:20 Von email@example.com an Alle : The environment is bigger than our bank accounts
21:24:28 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : We are talking about life on earth
21:24:57 Von Martin Born an Alle : Please do share the chat, Ela
21:26:13 Von Ela Kagel an Alle : I am saving the chat, sure! will share later on discord
21:26:15 Von Jonathan Beller an Alle : Akseli’s example is also terrifying. The gridding of the visual field as investible derivatives could go very badly unless the access and literacy questions are addressed.
21:27:02 Von Martin Born an Alle : @Akseli – and how does this compare to a Vimeo deposit of the movie?
21:27:36 Von Baruch Gottlieb an Alle : Thanks Ela!
21:27:49 Von Max Haiven (he/him) an Alle : @Jonathan – is access and literacy the problem here? I’m genuinely curious… isn’t that like saying the problem with capitalist markets can be solved by better access and literacy (i.e the WTO/IMF line). I sense that there is a difference, but I don’t get it…
21:28:12 Von Molly an Alle : I do like the idea that value can be determined outside of the “art market” which is what?
21:28:24 Von Jorge – ECSA an Alle : I want to acknowledge the concerns raised in this chat, and recognize that I share them. The Crypto space is ready for occupation, and the NFT makes this easy for any one. Build an NFT that represents, challenging the space to reflect unto its state, and influence its becoming.
21:29:14 Von email@example.com an Alle : @Molly the reality is— does art even matter at this point? It’s hard to believe that this is about the art at the moment—
21:29:14 Von Jonathan Beller an Alle : @max: that was shorthand for a very long project.
21:29:24 Von Max Haiven (he/him) an Alle : @Jonathan – I see!
21:29:26 Von Jorge – ECSA an Alle : NFTs allows any idea to create the liquidity for its own creation. Stake on it, indexes social attention and significance, and transforms it into monetary value that can be used for its own creation.
21:29:27 Von pekko an Alle : Climate change: This is still a question from where we can start. But, similarly, beyond eco-catastrophe, we’re facing an economic socio-catasrophe. For crypto, the problematic, energy wasting structures like Bitcoin are a start — there are many, many people that already changing that. I think that perceiving their work is important — not only for the fact that their work is likely to create a difference. The fact that, at the forefront, we’re looking at orders of magnitude less of energy waste in new technologies, is at least to be recognized, and, even better, to be supported.
21:29:55 Von Molly an Alle : Englebart designed the mouse off a grid and value concept!
21:30:16 Von Samantha Valenzuela an Alle : omg we want to hear from the other speakers too.
21:30:24 Von firstname.lastname@example.org an Alle : No! Not on proof of work !
21:30:31 Von Judit an Alle : and many artists are not creating NFT-s because they are still waiting for the technology to be less harmful for the environment
21:30:55 Von Leith an Alle : After party in the voice chat of the discord
21:31:43 Von Martin Born an Alle : Or, for those who have sleeping spouses, one text chat?
21:32:15 Von pekko an Alle : Rachel: Proof of work is not in the interest of development, and hasn’t been for a couple of years.
21:32:47 Von email@example.com an Alle : @pekko yes but if ppl say NFT they mean PoW not PoS. Say ECONFT.