A new book explores the brief but ongoing debates surrounding crypto and NFTs—making the case that they present a positive development in the growth of digital media.
Why It’s Important
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are small cryptographic tokens that are listed on blockchains like Ethereum that can contain small programs, commands, or images. They are most often used to sell digital artworks, with the promise that individual NFTs are not replicable and remain exclusive to the owner of whoever holds that specific NFT.
Throughout 2021 and 2022, the concept of NFTs overtook online discussions, as jpegs of famous memes and digital artworks found themselves catching high prices in digital marketplaces as they were sold as NFTs for large sums of crypto. Interest has largely dried up, as evidenced by platforms like OpenSea cracking down on royalty policies to soak up what remains of transactions.
Bobby Hundreds is an entrepreneur, artist, the author of This Is Not A T-Shirt, and the founder of men’s streetwear label The Hundreds. In his new book NFTs Are a Scam/NFTs Are the Future: The Early Years: 2020-2023, he describes his experience jumping into the NFT revolution at the height of its popularity and promoting his company through NFT sales.
Through a series of evangelistic essays, Hundreds creates a time capsule of the evolution modern digital revolution happening around Web3 and cryptocurrency, making a case for NFTs as a sign that these technologies represent the future.
“Bobby digs deep into these questions and more: Are NFTs fashion? A cult? Already over? Just beginning? None of the answers are simple. Bobby works through each with the thoughtfulness and hard-earned insight that have made him a fervently sought-after voice in conversations about creativity, commerce, and community in the digital age,” says the publisher.
A Short Excerpt
“NFTs embody more than the million-dollar cartoons that the media depicts them to be. There are tremors of a cultural revolution rattling. Artists are circumventing the traditional gatekeepers and partaking in royalties for their work. Corporations are being decentralized, and the brands are being governed by their communities. And society is assigning financial value and ownership to digital property in a way that is transactable and records provenance. We’ve never seen anything like it before,” says Hundreds.