NFTs: Good or Bad for the Internet

An NFT, also known as a non-fungible token, is a unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a digital ledger. NFTs can be used to designate easily-reproducible items such as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital records as unique items and use blockchain technology to establish a verified and public proof of ownership. NFTs have both negative and positive effects on the Internet. For instance, in the article “NFTs Weren’t Supposed to End Like This,” the main purpose behind creating the technology was to “enable artists to exercise control over their work, to more easily sell it, to more strongly protect against others appropriating it without permission.” This is undoubtedly a positive, especially for artists who face exploitation. Nevertheless, there are negative results towards this type of technology and community to the Internet. One that stood out to me was the aspect that “when someone buys an NFT, they’re not buying the actual digital artwork; they’re buying a link to it.” This is honestly shocking because that means they still depend on the “old-fashioned pre-blockchain Internet,” where artwork would disappear if someone forgot to renew a domain name. This creates confusion for someone who truly believes he has complete ownership of this digital art piece. Furthermore, NFTs have been godsent for a digital artist who got received little respect. In the article “The Untold Story of the NFT Boom.” In this article, a takeaway that stood out to me was how the pandemic heightened this cryptoart crave. Parrott states, “It’s kind of a perfect storm of conditions right now with everyone stuck in their house on the internet and having that desire to collect art still.” Overall, I believe NFTs have a place on the Internet and will only get bigger. Nonetheless, they must improve the technology to make it more usable without old functions. Further, one needs to be careful who is involved in the community as exploitation and hacking might create an issue.

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