NFTs are neither miracles nor scams

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On Thursday, my colleague Kevin Rose Sold crypto tokens for newspaper columns worth more than half a million dollars. (For charity!) Someone paid $ 69 million for a digital file A collage that anyone can view online.

This is part of the frenzy of the moment in NFTs or ineffective tokens, and they basically have a crowd of people to decide about anything new and novel.

I have something straightforward: its spread NXT There will probably not be a world-changing revolution which his supporters claim. And it’s probably not a completely absurd bubble, either. As with other emerging technologies, there is a better idea somewhere if we slow down and resist propaganda.

Allow me to explain to normal humans what is happening: NXT Essentially there is a way to convert a digital good that can be endlessly copied into a one-of-a-kind thing. When someone buys NXT, what they are effectively getting is the knowledge of owning an official version of one Cat with a Pop-Tart Body, a song, a Video clip of a basketball sting Or another virtual thing. Ownership records are maintained On a blockchain. (See this for more information Delightful details From the ledge.)

You might find this confusing or silly. Set it aside for a minute.

Mostly, my beef about NXT is how people are, especially those who live and breathe technology, talk about them and other emerging companies or concepts including blockchain, audio chatroom Club house And ultra fast trains.

Almost immediately, people sort themselves into the camp to declare that it will change the world or that it will be a total income. We will all benefit from more breath and less breath.

In life, most things are neither spectacular revolutions nor dooms. And behind most novel ideas there is often a possibility of something useful. The trouble is that exaggeration and greed are often hard to get a glimpse of promise from horse manure. So let’s take a step back.

The perceived big idea behind NFTs, as Kevin And Charlie warjel, My co-worker at Opinion, explained this to everyone this week, a problem that the Internet has created. With sites like YouTube and TikTok, one now has the power to do music, a piece of writing, entertainment or any other creative work and should be taken care of. But the Internet has not really fulfilled the promise of enabling the public to make a good living from what they love.

The related concept of NXT and blockchain promises, in part, to give people ways to make their work more valuable by creating scatter. There is promise in allowing social media companies, art dealers and streaming music companies to rely less on middlemen.

Will it work? I don’t know Whoever has a definite answer, run screaming at him. Basically, everyone should listen wise and measured Anil Dash, A veteran of the tech industry who accidentally helped invent the concept behind NXT and is furious about both Hunter They herd and believe there is one there.

That said, NXT probably won’t Fix the broken economics of streaming music Or tore apart the power structures of journalism and Art world. Sorry to be a broken record, but technique is not magic. Likewise, cryptocurrency is probably not an effective fix. For unaffected accommodation. a Complex and expensive train There may not be the best solution for global warming and our car addiction.

So, NXT is a bubble inflated Unusual financial situation and our mind is changing to goo In the pandemic? Undoubtedly. Are they rich tech brothers for rich plat babies who are Ruining the planet With all the energy required to create a digital token? Not completely, no.

Maybe they are somewhere in the middle. And that’s fine.


It often seems as if the policy debate about technology is a hamster wheel going nowhere. But if you have sexual intercourse, then progress can be made.

4,000th response from tech journalists Congress hearing in Big Tech’s power Thursday was mostly: [muffled screams]. Yes, elected officials and technology CEOs roamed in verbal circles. And it felt like America had policy makers Moving at the speed of a snail How and how laws should be changed to make tech companies more accountable, effective and fair.

all true. But I give two examples of tech companies that are actually becoming more transparent and effective. We should focus on what has not changed, but we should not ignore it.

in the last few years, Facebook, Google And Twitter Create searchable databases of advertisements that run on their websites and offer some ability to analyze them. Companies’ The revelations have wild flaws And insufficient, but I’d still say it’s better than before: what zero visibility was broadcasting billions of people in commercials.

This was a problem when Russia-backed trolls spread social media hype around the 2016 US presidential election. After that defeat, Congress debated new laws requiring tech companies to maintain online libraries of political legislation. This did not happen, but the companies did a version of it themselves.

There are two ways of looking at it. Either America’s big corporations are more accountable than our elected leaders. Or fear of more muscle laws forced tech companies to do something different. Either way, I would call it measured progress for which elected leaders and tech companies deserve some credit.

Tech companies and US government officials also largely controlled efforts by foreign governments to make a mess in the 2020 election, As i wrote before. Even absent some Big Bang Big Tech laws, both our powerful tech institutions and elected leaders were scared enough to address a threat to Americans.

None of these is an option to enact effective legislation. But it is also not true that apart from shouting and shouting nothing has happened in the tech policy.


  • Embarrassing in lending money: A new breed of online loan app in India requires people to hand over information from their phones. And they bombard them to repay borrowers and their contacts with phone calls and social media posts, my colleagues Mujib Mashal and Hari Kumar Reported.

  • How TikTok changed music and us: You Certainly Want to hear This is a podcast Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris, along with their partners, discuss the creative expression of musical challenges on Tiktok, and why the app has helped hit the bridge between a pop song verse and a chorus.

  • What does it cost to completely replace cable TV with online options? It comes to $ 92 per month for Bloomberg News Calculation.

Check it out 5-day owl being fed With tweezers very carefully. My favorite moment is the little owl flapping its wings when it swallows.


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