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OPLIN 4Cast #786: The NFT backlash is now in full swing

Posted in 4cast, and Trends

When we first talked about NFTs (non-fungible tokens), I was intrigued by the idea of enforceable, encoded provenance, but the hype around monetizing it never took hold for me. (Seems a bit like buying “magic beans.”) Last week a friend got a free NFT for seeing a movie, but found that creating an account just to see it—a simple animation clip, like a GIF—was not worth the effort: “really dumb” was his assessment. While many sectors are treating the advent of NFT like a gold rush, a backlash seems to be growing, with a lot resistance originating in the gamer community.

  • Crypto Enthusiasts Meet Their Match: Angry Gamers [New York Times] “Gamers’ antagonism toward the companies has built up over the last decade partly because of the growing number of micro transactions. So when game makers introduced NFTs as an additional element to buy and sell, players were ‘primed to call this stuff out.'”
  • Sega cites fan backlash in surprisingly cautious take on gaming NFTs [Ars Technica] “Rather than simply enduring fan backlash after the fact, Sega seems to be carefully considering whether it’s worth pushing the concept on a largely reluctant public in the first place. And even if Sega finds some profit potential from an NFT rollout, the company says it thinks those earnings might not be worth the accompanying public image hit.”
  • Gamers aren’t warming up to NFTs [TechCrunch] “NFT pilots from tech companies like Discord and Mozilla have been shelved because of user backlash from people who see digital scarcity as a wholly unnecessary invention that brings the worst of capitalism to the free web.”
  • Signal’s Moxie Marlinspike blasts Web 3—and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin comes to its defense [Fortune] “Marlinspike made his withering assessment of NFTs after creating his own NFT platform, where new users buy in to make edits to an art NFT, and then receive royalties when other users join. That’s a business model Marlinspike wryly refers to as ‘something similar to a pyramid shape.'”

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